Smash Cops Heat
If you like nothing more than to relax in front of the television and watch endless re-runs of reality cop shows, then Smash Cops Heat might just be the game for you. It's a top-down racer where the action's viewed from the perspective of a TV helicopter, and your role as an enforcer is to catch up to the criminals in your police car, shunt away at them, and destroy their vehicle before you yourself sustain too much damage amidst the traffic and rubble of the city.
Just racing around and smashing into a single car all day would probably get a little boring after a while, but fortunately there's a handful of different challenges to spice things up. Apart from the felon-hunting, there are obstacle courses to be negotiated, as well as suspect drop-offs that have to be completed within a fixed period of time. Sometimes you'll even be the hunted with criminal cars attempting to take you down.
As you make progress through all of these mission types you earn stars, and the better you perform in each challenge then the more stars you'll earn. Get enough of them and you can unlock new police vehicles that move a little faster, or cause greater damage when you smash into the side of these criminals-at-large.
There's a nifty control scheme for getting around in each of the police cars. Holding your finger down just behind the vehicle causes it to accelerate, while moving that held-down finger steers the car left and right. Get in close to a felon, and you can hit the ram button to dole out some damage, particularly effective when you can smash them from the sides and start a chain collision with other cars and debris.
The only real problem with the controls is the placement of that ram button, and on an iPad in particular it can be a struggle to hold the weight of the device, steer your vehicle, and activate the ram option simultaneously. You can also make use of a virtual joypad if you prefer, but in reality it's far too sensitive to be of much use, and will fling you around in donuts more often than not!
This is a free game, and so the money's made from the various upgrades that can be applied during chases. Your ram ability takes a little while to recharge between uses, but you can buy handfuls of Instarams which ignore the timer. You can also activate the Super Cop feature which makes you faster, stronger and deadlier against opponents. You'll only be given a handful of all these upgrades as you complete missions, so be sure to save them for when you really need them.
Even though we had a few problems with the controls, we also had a lot of fun with Smash Cops Heat. It's a fine throwaway arcade game with some decent variety in mission types, and the television helicam and funky menu music make this a very entertaining experience.
What's Hot: A great idea for a game with decent variety in the missions. A selection of different vehicle types to work towards.
What's Not: The controls can be unwieldy and it's very easy to spend the precious boosts when you don't mean to.