> # Welcome to GameGrinOS v1.01 > # How can I help you? > # Press ` again to close
Hello… | Log in or sign up
PAKO Car Chase Simulator Review

PAKO Car Chase Simulator Review

Look up the meaning of the acronym PAKO and you’ll find all number of confusing definitions. The one you should be most concerned with, however, is PAKO - Car Chase Simulator, from Tree Men Games. Initially a mobile game on both iOS and Android, the title had been ported to PC and is now appearing on Steam.

There’s more than a little Beverly Hills Cop with an extra sprinkle of 2011’s Drive behind this game and it’s plain to see from the off. PAKO has a 80s MTV-cum-VHS style to it that makes its relatively plain visuals stand out from the crowd. The soundtrack, provided by electronic artist Dkstr, is suitable synthesized, and sets a thumping backing to each of the game’s stylised levels.

The player’s main goal in PAKO is to escape the clutches of the law by avoiding marauding police cars for as long as possible. Unlike the helicopter-followed pursuits we’re used to seeing on the small screen, however, you’re trapped in an arena to force you to manoeuvre between obstacles, the police and environmental hazards. Even a hint of contact from anything causes your vehicle to burst into a comical fireball, wheels careering off in different directions. You’ve got infinite lives in PAKO, though, as each new level - of a total 10 - is unlocked by surviving a required amount of time.


The beauty of this game is in its simplicity, dropping the player in the middle of a chase, sirens already blaring. There’s no need for a tutorial, just some simple controls on how to brake, boost and steer. Intuitively you’ll know what to do and the game doesn’t try to get in your way. PAKO is non-stop, quite literally, as you can never brake long enough to slow down. Players will find themselves careering through a city mall or around suburbs trying desperately to avoid oncoming police vehicles who only method of stopping you is to ram you into submission.

PAKO adds some flavour by liberally spreading powerups across each stage. Some are completely over-the-top, like the “pillars” pickup which will create spiralling towers of stone behind your vehicle, while others are harmful. There’s nothing worse than picking up the “poison” item, which reverse your controls, just as you hit a tight turn. Items give the player and extra choice in how to deal with the cops in their tail - keep running or turn around and fight fire with fire by destroying as many patrol cars as possible. It’s quite possible to cause a ten-car pile up with careful driving and the right use of weapons.

It’s not just cop cars that will come after you, though. As you advance through the game SWAT vans, fleets of cops and even tanks will start to appear, hurling themselves at your car with reckless abandon. Trying to avoid a convoy of shell-firing tanks while drifting around a military base a few seconds from a personal best was simultaneously one of my most stressful and exciting gaming experiences.


The game features 10 unique areas through which to drive, ranging from a cemetery (complete with zombies) to an ice rink, trailer park and even the aftermath of the apocalypse, Mad Max-style. There are also 10 types of vehicle to unlock, including a sedan, minivan, trailer and tuktuk. The PC version features couch co-op, allowing up to four people to avoid the cops at once. Some features from the mobile version are yet to make the leap over, like a third-person camera, but hopefully they will be seen in time.

I was immediately impressed by PAKO, though it could be argued for a £5.99 price point you’re not getting much more than the mobile game. With that in mind the more frugal gamer might want to wait until the game has received a few more updates. Similarly, If you’ve already got the mobile version you’re not missing out on anything. There are some teething troubles, too, as the game automatically displays button prompts for an Xbox controller in the menus, even when one isn’t plugged into the system. It’s not a massive problem but lead to some confused button presses on my part.

PAKO is meant to played in short bursts with score-beating in mind. Creating the perfect minute-long escape is so tempting you’ll often find yourself going back to old levels rather than move on to the next stage. PAKO is a game that knows exactly what makes a videogame car chase fun and doesn’t try to do anything overly complicated. Perfect for those who like their gaming to be in frantic 10-15 minute windows and oozing with style, PAKO is a title everyone who enjoys indie games should pick up.

8.00/10 8

PAKO - Car Chase Simulator (Reviewed on Windows)

This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.

Perfect for those who like their gaming to be in frantic 10-15 minute windows and oozing with style, PAKO is a title everyone who enjoys indie games should pick up.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Alex Hamilton

Alex Hamilton

Staff Writer

Financial journalist by trade, GameGrin writer by choice. Writing skills the result of one million monkeys with one million typewriters.

Share this: