Smuggler's Run

Game Boy Advance

Review by Matt Paprocki

Destination Software


Graphics: 6

Sound: 3

Gameplay: 6

Overall: 5


Smugglers Run was originally a Playstation 2 launch title. Popular enough to spawn a sequel, it's was a intriguing game much in the same vein as Crazy Taxi. In a completely illogical move, the game has been transferred over to the Game Boy Advance. While a fair port in most aspects, the limitations of the console prevent it from cloning the console version.

It's still the same story. You're a hired gun in charge of transporting illegal goods while avoiding your "competition" and border patrols. Smoke signals show you where you need to be to make your next pickup and/or drop-off. You're constantly fighting against a clock and everyone else on the road is there to make sure that clock expires. It certainly has it's moments of tension even on the small screen, but the overall experience just can't be replicated.

The fully 3-D graphical engine is impressive, though only in motion. Draw distance is relatively minimal for the most part but big, nasty pixels are noticeable. Even at full speed it's hard to ignore them. Worse yet, when driving over water, there is no noticeable difference from driving on land. No splash, no sinking, and you won't even lose speed! Controlling the sprite-based vehicles is easy enough, but with physics issues like mentioned above, what's the point?

The game also lacks a battery back-up feature meaning paper and pen are required to get through this one. There are a ton of missions so be prepared for A LOT of writing. Then again, coming back to this game might be a rare feat. While the voices are spot on (and the engine sounds aren't that bad either), the music is atrocious. The 2600 put out better tunes than this. It's one track that beeps every few seconds, and that's in no way an exaggeration.

This is definitely a game that could be enjoyed in moderation. It has a fairly impressive graphics engine and the gameplay could be addictive to some, but the numerous aesthetic flaws knock this one down. Had more time been taken to at least program some water effects, this one might've scored higher. The glaring lack of care here is inexcusable.


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Last updated: Saturday, June 18, 2005 09:28 AM