Pako – Car Chase Simulator ($1.99) from Tree Men Games is marching towards its 2nd birthday this coming summer, and what a “ride" it’s been thus far (pun totally intended). When it originally launched in August of 2014 Pako was a stylish but simplistic high-scoring game all about trying to drive around with no brakes for as long as possible while avoiding obstacles and police cars. It’s still about that at its core, but Pako has seen a ton of updates since its release, like new environments to drive in along with new vehicles to drive. This has given Tree Men the opportunity to expand the boundaries of Pako with unique levels like the Arena which allows you to choose what vehicle you use, the Moon with its crazy gravity, the Desert which is an actual race against other cars, or the Airport which has you starting out as a human on foot and lets you hop into any vehicle you come across, including luggage carts, tiny aircraft, and stair cars (You’re going to get some hop-ons). Oh! How could I forget my favorite level the Hockey arena which lets you cruise around on the ice in a Zamboni and even run into a giant puck which you can launch into the net to score a goal?
I could go on and on all day praising Pako, but the real reason I’m here is to talk about the game’s most recent update which again expands on the original concept. Map Pack #4 brings with it 3 brand new levels, all of which are racetrack-style, meaning there are checkpoints to pass and it’ll track your time for each lap completed in addition to your overall survival time. The Rallycross map is a dirt track with jumps, the Lakeside map is a cement track set near a lake, and the Forest track is another dirt track which is (wait for it) set in the forest. The kicker is that each of these new maps gives you the option of choosing between 4 different vehicles to play on them. There’s a classic dirt bike, a street motorcycle, an ATV, and a Volkswagen Beetle type vehicle with big off-road tires. As with the rest of the vehicles in the game, each of these has a completely different feel and are a lot of fun to drive.
I absolutely adore Pako and I love how far its come since its original release back in 2014. It’s held a pretty decent position on the charts all this time too, meaning I’m not the only one who loves driving around like a maniac in a variety of cool vehicles. This leads me to believe we’ll be seeing Pako updates for as long as the game remains popular. Oh, and I almost completely forgot to mention the new 3rd-person camera option which was added back in September and basically makes Pako feel like a completely different game. This thing has so many new features I can’t even keep them all straight! If you’ve struggled to part with the dollar that Pako costs, there’s also a free version you can try as of this past December, so there’s really no reason why you too shouldn’t be driving around like a maniac as I have been all morning.