iPhone Game Review: Police Range Reviewed by JadeDragon
If you have ever dropped quarters playing the Policy Trainer series arcade game, Police Range for the iPhone and iPod touch will look familiar to you. The concept is the same: training your shooting skills as well as your reflex in the target range and in front of a building where good guys and bad guys pop up randomly. The main difference though is the Light Gun vs. finger touch. And the finger touch while very easy to play doesn?t provide the same magic the Light Guns add to the arcade coin-op experience.
That?s not to say the game isn?t fun. Police Range is indeed a fun target shooting game. It has two playing modes: Target Practice and Crime Alley. Your goal in Target Practice is to hit the target board, preferably in the kill zone marked for you in the first level. The target boards pop up slowly in the beginning levels, and the speed increases as the levels advance. Each level requires you to hit certain number of targets to advance. If you fail the level it?s game over. The game rewards high scores to high accuracy that is not hard to achieve in the first 25-50 levels, but when the targets start to pop up and disappear really quickly, being accurate becomes very challenging.
The Crime Alley mode adds more variety to just target shooting. You will face a building with 6 windows and 3 doorways, and you must shoot certain number of villains pointing their guns at you while avoid shooting any civilians who will also appear in the same places without guns. Like in Target Practice mode, the street range turns up speed as you advance in levels with more civilians added to the mix of targets. There are different types baddies and different looking civilians as well. So you have to pay attention as the game adds new faces to the boards. Just like in Target Practice mode, if you failed a level in Crime Alley, it?s game over. But you don?t have to start from the beginning if you have earned your stripes and can start at the Officer, Sergeant or Captain level.
To make things more interesting, Police Range has gun upgrades and various achievements. Gun upgrades happen automatically in a level when you hit certain numbers of targets continuously. As the calibers go up, you don?t have to be as precise in your aiming as you did earlier and this in turn gives you more advantage when targets pop up more quickly. The game has interesting achievements including surviving 100 levels and 500 levels (insanely hard) in Target Practice and some strange feats like hitting no targets or hitting a civilian of each kind in a level. The game posts your high scores to OpenFeint where you can compete with players around the world and earn OpenFient achievement points.
The graphics in Police Range is simple but effective. The game makes good use of the large iPhone/iPod screen in a portrait orientation and the user interface is intuitive and clean. Touch control is very responsive and actions are smooth. The Crime Alley target boards have simplistic pictures compared to games like Westbang, but the style works fine with the Police Range theme.
Audio is also simple but works for the game. There are enough sound effects for different types of gunfire and ammo reloading as well board shattering sound. The game offers an option to create your own playlist from your iPod music as it doesn?t have any BGM.
A nice little title for the Police Trainer type of arcade gamers on the iPhone/iPod touch, Police Range has enough gameplay to practice your accuracy and fast reflex with two playing modes and a good number of achievements. The game also supports the OpenFeint system which allows you compete for online high scores. Though the game requires the same level of concentration and endurance, the iPhone and iPod touch version still can?t replicate the Light Gun arcade experience.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 4 - No groundbreaking graphics, but the simple graphics work for the game. Sound: - 4 - Good sound effects, no background music, but gives you an option to create iPod music playlist. Controls: - 4.5 - Very smooth touch controls. Gameplay: - 4 - A good amount of gameplay. Two playing modes and a good number of achievements to make the game more interesting.
Playing Hints and Tips:
-Always try to hit the kill zone for high scores.
-The game requires high concentration in later levels. If you are distracted, just pause the game if you don?t want to loose the progress.
-Try not to shoot any civilians even if you have to miss one baddie, it?s better not to shoot a civilian.