The Simpsons: Hit & Run
Description official descriptions
The Simpsons: Hit & Run can be best described as Grand Theft Auto in Springfield.
The player takes on the role of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa or Apu and tries to uncover a mystery surrounding mechanical bees that are taking over Springfield, mysterious vans, and cola that can control the minds of those who drink it.
Like GTA, the game follows a linear-based path through fifty plus missions. The player will have to chase cars and find out where they're headed, grab all the spilling cola cans before people can drink them, and chase down villains before they get away.
Throughout the course of the game, the player can unlock tons of rewards by completing missions in a set amount of time or performing outstanding stunts.
All voiceovers are performed by those who act in the show, including Dan Castellaneta (Homer), Julie Kavner (Marge) and Yeardley Smith (Lisa).
The game supports multiplayer action for up to four players.
- 辛普森一家：打带跑 - Chinese spelling (simplified)
- 심슨가족: 히트앤런 - Korean spelling
- BestSeller Series (Cendant / Havas / Vivendi Universal) releases
- Game feature: FMV / cutscene player
- Gameplay feature: Game completion percentage
- Genre: Open world / Free-roaming / Sandbox action and driving
- Inspiration: TV cartoons
- Middleware: Bink Video
- Nintendo Player's Choice releases
- PlayStation 2 Greatest Hits releases
- PlayStation 2 Platinum Range releases
- Software Pyramide releases
- The Simpsons licensees
- Xbox Best of Classics releases
- Xbox Classics releases
- Xbox Platinum Hits releases
- Xbox World Collection series
Credits (PlayStation 2 version)
250 People (175 developers, 75 thanks) · View all
|Vice President of Technology|
|Vice President of Marketing|
|Assistant Marketing Manager|
|Director of Public Relations|
|Creative Services Director|
|Creative Services Manager|
|Vivendi Universal Games Special Thanks (Marketing)|
|[ full credits ]|
Average score: 75% (based on 52 ratings)
Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 110 ratings with 9 reviews)
The Simpsons: Hit & Run just lets you loose in Springfield in a way no previous Simpsons games have done. In each level, you're given a chunk of Springfield to just roam free in. You can perform missions or wander off and serch for hidden items, enter races, etc.
The game makes great use of its source material. It's voiced and written by the team from the show and contains dozens of the Simpsons supporting cast members. You'll get to play not only as the entire Simpsons family, but also that jolly Bengali Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. Even Halloween-episode regulars Kodos and Kang appear as the main villains, using evil cola to take over Springfield for an alien reality TV show.
Hit & Run is in many ways very similar to Grand Theft Auto III, but instead of being a hybrid driving/action game, it's driving and platforming. It even makes some improvements to the design, such as a menu option for instantly restarting the current mission. You won't have to drive all the way back to a start point here.
Unfortunately, it doesn't compare as nicely to its inspiration in other areas. There's a lot less freedom. There are five levels. Each has seven story missions to complete in order, one side mission and three races. These side missions aren't really connected to other, either. You'll find nothing on the order of Marty Chonks here.
The reward structure is unfortunately disappointing. Each level has three races, three vehicles to buy, a side missions and three outfits, 20 robot wasp cameras to smash and seven collector's cards. Finishing all four races or the side mission each get you a vehicle. The collector's cards focus on various items from the show and a full set gets to a multiplayer slot car game. That's pretty cool. The wasp cameras get you nothing except money. THe outfits all come from the show, but they don't actually do anything. The most annoying thing is the vehicles, which are the bulk of your rewards. The vast majority of them are completely useless.
I have some other related quibbles with this design. You must finish all three races in a level to get your reward. The game only indicates how many races you've beaten, not which ones. If you forget, you just have to do all the races in the level over again.
I have some gripes regarding the audio as well. Each character only has a few lines, so they're saying the same thing over and over. Often, they'll say the same thing twice in a span of a few seconds. It's funny the first time grandpa tells you about how they used to call sandwiches black freddies, buy even he should be able to remember he just told that story five seconds later.
Another annoyance is the money. It costs $50 to get busted by the police. On some missions you'll get busted a lot and lose all your money, forcing you to restart from an earlier save or do some rather tedious things (that might get you busted again) to earn more cash. Thanks to a combination of load times and the interface design, it takes a substantial amount of time to do this. Money is a far more limited resource than in Grand Theft Auto, but it's quite a bit easier to lose it.
The Simpsons and GTA are an odd fit. You can't very well have them go whack people and the platforming segments are sadly underused. The game is made almost entire of driving missions and really only has three types: collect the item/get to goal before time runs out, race or destroy a vehicle. The designers really needed to think of some new mission types rather than just eliminating all the GTA types that didn't work with their license. The ending is what bugged me the most as it's more or less the same mission three times in a row.
Speaking of variety: I would have liked to see some more playable characters. You play Bart and Homer twice each. Since they were doing supporting cast, I would have loved to see a segment where you play Flanders or something.
The Bottom Line
The problems are all minor quibbles. The bottom line is this is far and away the best Simpsons video game currently available, not that there's a lot of competition. It manages to be true to the show and be a mostly fun game and give a decent ten-plus-hour play time. I highly recommend it.
Xbox · by Ace of Sevens (4399) · 2006
The best thing this game has going for it is the truly funny plot and acting. The entire Simpson's cast provides voice acting for the game, and writers from the show provide the plot. The game also manages to make Springfield come alive as a fully explorable world. You will be able to visit almost every obscure place from the show you can think of. You can check out Evergreen Terrace, the Nuclear Plant, Burns' Mansion, and Moe's. Even things like the Escalator to Nowhere and the Stonecutters' secret traffic tunnel are present. You can even take the broken down monorail for a spin! The game on a whole is very, very funny.
Sadly, funny doesn't equal fun. At all. The missions are all basic variants on the same theme. Race this car to this place. Collect this many items in this amount of time. Drive to this place in this much time. And so forth. Almost all the missions are timed, and most of them are lame. It always feels like you are performing the same task again and again and again, and it gets old fast. While I truly enjoyed exploring Springfield, I honestly dreaded having to take up a mission to advance the plot. And, unfortunately, the plot is completely linear, despite what you may have heard. There is no branching storyline, and no real incentive to take things at your own pace.
The Bottom Line
Only if you are a Simpson's fanatic would this game ever be worth a purchase. Even then, I would have to recommend a rental first. I am a huge Simpson's fan and only my love for the show enabled me to trudge though the seven boring, repetitive levels. The game is worth checking out for the humor factor, but it's just too bad that there is nothing funny about the lame-ass gameplay.
Xbox · by Entorphane (337) · 2003
"The Simpsons: Hit & Run" isn't really bad as a plagiarism. Some individual creative content would have been a good addition, but it's still a quite professional Grand Theft Auto theft. The game's main problem is just, that the comparison with its role model is as inevitable as it is impossible to win.
Admittedly, the developers could have stolen worse concepts. The Simpsons and GTA are at least a matching combination. Homer's driving style always suggested, that he developed it in a video game rather than in a driving school. And the anarchic sense of humor, that characterizes the Simpsons, works well together with the equally anarchic gameplay style, for which the GTA franchise is famous.
The game is divided into seven chapters, in which you successively control all members of the yellow family (except for little Maggie). Homer and Bart have two chapters dedicated to them and the fifth one features – quite a surprise – the Indian Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu in the leading role. Hands-on there aren't any differences between the characters: their main activity is running, jumping and driving. Even Lisa can steal cars and run amok like the rest. Yet, unlike GTA, it's all presented without gore. The shooting sequences are replaced with sporadically intercepting platform action and whenever a car hits a pedestrian, slapstick comedy replaces brutal death scenes. Watching, how Flanders gets catapulted into the air from your buffer-bar, will surely put a smile on your face. Nothing really new, though: everybody knows, that car crashes and accidents are funny, as long as they happen in video games.
The racing sequences are still the strength of "Hit & Run". Similar to GTA, you have a great number of vehicles at your disposal, all with observably different qualities and handling characteristics. The game doesn't make the mistake to strive for realism, however. It remains a pure fun racer with exaggerated stunts and all kinds of hilarious action. The missions, you have to fulfill, involve a great amount of car chases, which are always fast-paced, easy to handle and yet challenging. If they were more varied, the missions could almost keep up with the quality of GTA.
Another strong point are production values, even when the transition from 2D to 3D doesn't do the characters any good. We're used to the Simpsons as a cartoon family – seeing them as badly rendered 3D-models isn't really appealing. But anyway the secret star of this game is neither Homer nor Bart, neither Marge nor Lisa. It's the city, it's Springfield. It may not have the size of a San Andreas, but the design shows a lot of talent as well.
In true sandbox style, you can at any time steal a car and explore the city ad libitum in between missions. Hunting for items can be a motivation, but even when you don't care for completing the game with a 100% mark, exploring the world is still a joy. Springfield not only looks good, but also appears alive and spirited with all its traffic and countless characters walking around (many of them known from the television series). Despite being 3D, the environments have a nice cartoony feel to it with lots of attention for details: walking in the garden of the Simpson's estate, lets you discover Bart's tree house, for example. Needless to say, that you will visit many well-known locations like the nuclear power plant owned by Mr. Burns and the elementary school, where my favourite supporting character acts out his visions of proper education. In addition the game is filled with many, many references to certain episodes, that will delight any fan. Sadly, average persons like myself probably miss many of that self-referential stuff...
Freak or not freak, exploring the game world and enjoying the beautiful graphics should still be an enjoyment for everyone. The production values in the audio department fortunately keep up. It's almost superfluous to say, that the original voice actors from the series do an excellent job, but the music is even better. Besides familiar themes you'll also hear many new ones and everything blends perfectly. Although it's sometimes hard to notice, as you concentrate on the action, the music, that plays during races, is particularly amazing.
Ever since their first broadcasting, the Simpsons were ranging from sharp, political satire to ridiculous, irrational farce. Unfortunately, "Hit & Run" more or less forgets about the first style of humor and does a pretty bad job in attending to the latter. It's not completely unfunny, but the few good moments get lost in hundreds of stupid groaners, crammed into pointless conversations and almost entirely relying on tired character clichés. The actual story comprises mechanical bees spying on the neighbourhood and a mind-manipulating Buzz Cola fake. While your daily Simpsons episode moves at a frantic speed, this stupid, slowly evolving plot is mostly in a slumber. It's only doubling the disappointment, when you hear, that "award-winning Simpsons writers" were at work, here. So what happened? I don't know, but it feels like the writers saw this as an opportunity to finally put the rather brackish ideas to use, that were collecting dust somewhere in the more seldom opened drawers of their desks. There's hardly any other explanation, when this isn't discarded television material, stretched and adjusted to video game format very quickly. In any case it doesn't do the franchise any justice.
Dialogues also suffer from having to advance the plot as well as to introduce the next mission objective, which usually is a carelessly disguised replication of the one before. That's probably the worst flaw of this game: the mission design is terribly unvaried. You either have to race against an opponent or against the clock. You often have to collect a specific amount of specific items within a specific time limit – alone this mission type is repeated for what feels like hundreds of times. Not a good approach, when you want to stay interesting in the long run.
On foot you're challenged only seldom. The platforming sequences are few and far in between, probably because the handling is neither really precise nor comfortable. What exists, doesn't fuel any desire to see more. Jumping over rooftops is mildly entertaining during free exploration, but the platform segments during missions are uninspired and annoying. The desire to do secondary missions is limited even more. As likely as not, the rewards will fail in making you perform more boring standard-tasks. True, the racing is fun, as I said before. In comparison with GTA, however, the gameplay is far too monotonous and uninspired. And this comparison isn't unfair, since the game so deliberately entered Rockstar's territory. Being measured against their works is a consequence, that must have been expected.
The Bottom Line
So, if you can't stand violent gangster-settings or are just a glowing follower of the Simpsons cult, you can nowadays get this game as a bargain. As soon as you have explored Springfield, there isn't much interesting left, however. The city may shine, but the performance of pop culture's most beloved family is quite disappointing. The best thing about "Hit & Run" is probably, that you can start it up and immediately enter a fast, action-packed racing sequence. The worst thing is, that it gets old so quickly.
Windows · by micnictic (387) · 2008
Most, if not any, advertising in this game are actually references to previous episodes. For example, the Itchy and Scratchy Movie poster was used in an episode where Bart is grounded from seeing said movie.
There's quite a gaggle of cut content for The Simpsons Hit and Run. These range from unused voice clips, vehicles, character models (Agnes Skinner being one example), mission objectives, graphics and more. You can look up all missing content on The Cutting Room Floor.
On Christmas day (December 25th), Homer's character in the main menu is dressed as Santa Claus.
There are billboards throughout the game advertising the legal services of Lionel Hutz. Matt Groeing, producer for the Simpsons, retired Lionel Hutz and Troy McClure when Phil Hartman tragically lost his life.
The hoity-toity music you hear in the Stonecutters hallway is the Spring of The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi.
- Computer Games
- March 2004 - #10 Best Game of the Year 2003
- 2003 – Most Pleasant Surprise of the Year (PC)
Related Sites +
The Simpsons: Hit & Run
- MobyGames ID: 10421
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by clef.
Windows added by Sciere.
Game added September 26th, 2003. Last modified May 12th, 2023.