Anyone who played the first GTA remembers that the most fun you could have was getting your wanted level all the way up and then avoiding police until you crashed. Pako offers JUST the highlights of this experience, forcing you to out run cops hell-bent on running you off the road - all viewed from a glorious isometric perspective.
Get your motor running
Each of Pako’s five areas have their own distinct look. The closed arenas are constantly turning you back on yourself, while you joyously skid and spin your way through their tight corners in your attempts to evade police.
Arenas all have their own cars perfectly matched to the environment. The car park level, for instance, has a small coupe able to dart through gaps with ease. This is offset by the freeway, where changing lanes with the heavier camper van requires careful planning.
Head out on the highway
The controls are wonderfully simple. With the cops in hot pursuit the peddle is constantly to the metal, leaving you to focus on weaving left and right through the housing estates, cemeteries, and squares that make up the levels.
Holding either side of the screen spins your car in the corresponding direction. The different handling of each vehicle completely changes the game’s feel from area to area. So, with even the slightest touch ending your run, it is important to quickly master your ride.
The hearse is possibly the easiest car to grasp. With its slow pace and wide turning circle, trying to steer it through corridors of headstones is certainly not easy, but the area and handling are well matched to provide the most entertaining challenge possible.
On balance, it could use some form of indicator to show the approach of off-screen cars. Other than this, however, the only thing standing between you and your friend's high score is your own skill.
Looking for adventure
Pako's 3D isometric graphics may look basic at first glance, but they are laced with a wonderful 70s grindhouse art style. All of the game's cars are ripped straight from classic chase movies, while the title screen has the distinct feel of a poster of the era.
The music is similarly simple. Still, however, the synthesized music and sound effects manage to evoke all things 70s.
Whatever comes our way
Blending endless-style gameplay with police evasion creates a brilliant dynamic for Pako that demands forward planning, quick reactions, and nerves of steel to be successful. Rounds play out fast enough to have a quick blast on the bus, but if its “just one more go" appeal sucks you in you may find yourself losing hours.