Don’t have a cow, man. The Simpsons: Hit & Run was developed by Radical Entertainment and published by Vivendi Universal Games. The game features story and dialogue supplied by the writers and the voice cast from The Simpsons. It was originally released for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Nintendo GameCube on September 16, 2003 and Microsoft Windows on November 13, 2003.
The Simpsons: Hit & Run takes place in the fictional town of Springfield, USA. A soda drink called “Buzz Cola” is introduced to the town, and quickly develops into a popular trend. Soon after, the cola is linked to many strange occurrences, including the arrival of drone cameras and surveillance vans. When the townsfolk begin acting strangely (more so), the Simpson family begins to suspect an alien conspiracy.
Much of the gameplay emphasizes driving as the main mechanic. Heavily inspired by the Grand Theft Auto series, the game features races, time trials and vehicle destruction.
Players take control of several central characters from the show: Homer, Bart, Lisa, Marge, and Apu. There are 7 levels in the game, each placing control onto one of each character, with Homer and Bart getting two levels. Each level is set in different areas of Springfield.
The game features a GTA-styled notoriety meter in the form of the “Hit & Run Meter.” Destroying vehicles and other objects, and attacking civilians will progress the meter further. Once full, police officers will chase the player, and they will receive a fine if caught. The meter slowly drains as the player avoids causing destruction.
Wasp drones populate each level, and will shoot the player when they approach. They can be disposed of quickly and will drop a generous amount of coins. Many characters from the show make appearances, providing the player with missions. Successfully completing side missions will award the player with coins. There are many collectibles hidden throughout each level, including easter eggs from the series.
The Simpsons: Hit & Run is centered around driving. Every vehicle has unique stats, and each of the main characters has their own personal vehicle. Certain vehicles can only be accessed after purchasing them from vendors or by winning them in races. Once unlocked, vehicles can be called for by using a payphone.
Each level contains a hidden super car. I could tell you where they are, but I’m not gonna. Vehicles accumulate damage during crashes, and will eventually explode. Picking up repairs tools around the map will reset vehicle damage. When destroyed, vehicles drop coins. Unlocked vehicles can be repaired, for a fee, through the payphone.
From the title screen, players can access a 4-player couch co-op racing game in the vein of Atari’s 1986 Super Sprint. Played from a top-down view, players race 3 laps through a complex track. Vehicles unlocked from the main story can be selected for the races. Vehicle destruction is still present, so be sure to grab the repair tools when you see them.
This mini-game doesn’t offer much value to the actual game.
With a story brought to life by the creators of the show, The Simpsons: Hit & Run is an unforgettable experience for any fan. You’re sure to have fun raising hell in the digital world of Springfield.