Looking Back: Simpsons Hit And Run

Finished singing the theme tune? Good, now we can begin. Simpsons Hit And Run is that rarest of games; a television show tie in that's actually fun to play, and nails the spirit of the show by being very, very funny.

You take control of Marge, Homer, Bart, and Lisa (oh, and Apu for some reason) in different zones of Springfield. Each zone has plenty of secrets to uncover, cars to steal, and citizens to kick. Think Grand Theft Simpson and you basically have Hit and Run in a nutshell. Of course, there are no guns or heavy violence, but plenty of cartoon car chases and robot bashing fun to be had.

The plot is general Simpsons' nonsense concerning robot wasps, aliens and nuclear waste. The fact that the actual voice cast from the show lends their talents to the game is a massive boost. It wouldn't be the same if we were hearing a Homer impersonator spouting one liners as we drove through Springfield.

Most of the missions are standard race this/drive here/beat this clock through town. While it can get a tad repetitive, the real meat of the game comes from driving around and having fun spotting Simspons landmarks. You can drive up a ramp and over the famed flaming tyre pile, or even through the power plant and into the Stonecutters' secret base.

All of this, combined with a smart script that delivers genuine laughs gives us a game that might not be perfect, but feels like the Simpsons. And if there's one important thing when designing a game based on an established franchise, it's that you have to nail the essence of said franchise. Just look at the Arkham games for proof of that.

So we'll leave you with a sales pitch; Simpsons Hit And Run: Preparing your kids for when they're old enough to play Grand Theft Auto.