Drive around Springfield in The Simpsons Hit & Run

Drive around Springfield in The Simpsons Hit & Run

Last Updated on April 5, 2024

I enjoyed the Simpsons TV show through the late 1990s but was always wary of the games. After being traumatized by the dreadful Simpsons Wrestling on the PS1, I avoided Simpsons games like the plague. Since beating Hit & Run, I’m glad I gave the series a shot at redemption.

Not your average Simpsons game

The Simpsons Hit & Run is a car-based action game similar to Driver (or GTA) in many ways. There are creative missions to complete across Springfield, and you do everything from collecting kids in a bus to running vehicles off the road.

Drive around Springfield in The Simpsons Hit & Run
Screenshot: RetroGamerBase

The game is split into chapters as you play as different members of the Simpson family. I love this setup. You start as Homer in his iconic pink car, Lisa has a Malibu Stacy convertible, and you even play as Apu in a souped-up sports car later on.

Springfield makes the transformation from cartoon to 3D remarkably well, too. Nothing looks out of place, and it’s a treat to interact with characters from the show.

Drive around Springfield in The Simpsons Hit & Run
Screenshot: RetroGamerBase

I even got to run over Milhouse, which was definitely a highlight.

Radical Entertainment nailed the car controls, as each vehicle feels completely different. The sports cars are nimble but fragile and the bus controls, well, like a bus. Even the soundtrack is decent and subtly shifts tone to suit the mission.

Speaking of missions, The Simpsons Hit & Run doesn’t shy away from difficulty. I was stuck on a mission where I had to destroy an armored truck for well over an hour, and this is a game where there are no checkpoints. There are a couple of brutal difficulty spikes, but the light tone definitely softens the blow.

While I didn’t see it often, reckless driving triggers ‘Hit & Run,’ where the cops mercilessly attack. If this happens, it’s usually game over.

Hit & Run is at its strongest during driving sequences as on-foot movement feels stiff and sluggish. Fortunately, while you can get out of the car whenever you want, you’re rarely forced to. Besides a couple of story missions, the game is beatable while you’re firmly planted behind the wheel.

You’re in for a bumpy ride with The Simpsons Hit & Run

Drive around Springfield in The Simpsons Hit & Run
Screenshot: RetroGamerBase

I can’t overstate how much fun I have with Hit & Run, but the experience sure is bumpy at times. The physics are all over the place, and cars do some hilarious acrobatics because of it. While it’s usually funny, it is annoying in the later stages, where the margin for error is so small.

The coin collectathon can get annoying, but if it sounds like I’m struggling to find problems, it’s because I am! Janky physics aside, Simpsons Hit & Run is a masterpiece. So many poor TV and film adaptations exist, and Hit & Run is a refreshing exception to that rule.

The Simpsons: Hit & Run: The Simpsons Hit & Run is a master-crafted blend of challenging vehicular action, humor, and fan service. Even if you don't care for the show, you owe it to yourself to take this one for a spin. Anthony

von 10

If you’re into driving games, why not check out our review of Chase HQ2 on the Sega Mega Drive?

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