One game that has had a constant presence on my iPhone for nearly 6 years now is PAKO – Car Chase Simulator ($1.99) from developer Tree Men Games. The quick pitch is that you control a car that has no brakes and is stuck on full acceleration, and all you can do is steer left or right to try and avoid running into any obstacles while simultaneously outrunning an increasingly aggressive police pursuit. It’s just one of those games that works really well on a touchscreen due to its two-button control scheme, and also can be easily busted out at a moment’s notice to fill in those tiny gaps of free time throughout the day. We liked PAKO a lot when it released in August of 2014, giving it 4 stars in our review and choosing it as our Game of the Week. But the real story is all of the content Tree Men have added to the game in the years since, expanding with additional levels, additional vehicles, additional modes. and additional features. The initial release of PAKO felt like a really great simple high score chaser, but the PAKO of today feels like a really great full-fledged game.
Well, with the COVID-19 pandemic still forcing so many people to stay at home, developers continue to try and bring a little entertainment for those who are isolated and bored by offering up their mobile games for free or at heavy discount. Yesterday we learned that Hand Circus is offering the phenomenal Rolando: Royal Edition for free right now, and Tree Men are getting in on the action by dropping the price of the original PAKO to free through this Thursday. I say the original PAKO because there is a sequel called PAKO 2 which is phenomenal in quite a different way from the first game, and then there’s PAKO Forever which is a free to play take on the formula which is also great in way that is unique from the other games. I love all the PAKOs but have a special spot for the original, and while there’s been a lite version for most of its existence, this is the first time the full original game has been offered for free. Go give it a download and try to make a dent in those virus blues.