#133 A.P.B.

Posted: 11th April 2019 by Jeroen in Games
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775th played so far

Genre: Action
Platform: Arcade
Year of Release: 1987
Developer: Atari Games
Publisher: Atari Games

An APB or All Points Bulletin is a message send to cops and law enforcement officials usually to make them aware of criminals to look out for. It’s a common enough term that finding out about the game isn’t that easy. You’re a cop, sure, but the game resembles Police Quest‘s driving more than it does an investigation to find wanted criminals.

Our Thoughts

The basic gameplay of A.P.B. has you driving along a top down road (think Spy Hunter, but with a graphical upgrade and a lot more less relevant traffic). Your first duty is to arrest certain people breaking the law through littering and otherwise – you turn on your siren, have them pull over and arrest them. Or rather, if you play as I did, you kept your siren on and kept ramming into cars that were suspicious until you got to arrest them. It’s not the only way to arrest or be helpful – you also need to stop to help people with broken cars and to stop hitchhikers, which don’t need sirens but do require you to be careful – and have a bunch of bonuses to pick up to, for example, give you extra time.

Each level also gives you a bunch of requirements which you need to do while looping around the map. This starts off with just asking for a certain number of arrests, but goes up. They help you avoid demerits, for not doing your job, driving dangerously and doing other things you shouldn’t do. It’s a bunch of rules and while they make sense, they drive home the idea that being a cop might not make for the most fun game all the time.

When you can get some good chases in, though, the game really works. Chasing after them, stopping them, when you get the controls right becomes a lot of fun. It’s really a shame, almost, that the arcade elements require restrictions that make the game less fun.