There's something genuinely cruel about Pako. It's a game that lasts for seconds, but that drops enough hate on you during those less-than-a-minute blasts to last a lifetime.
It simulates simple car chases, tasking you with staying alive for as long as possible. To begin with that'll be about three seconds.
But once you get the hang of the controls, and work out the best routes to stay ahead of the pursuing cops, you might get to stay alive for slightly longer.Pako your bags
You control your fleeing vehicle by pushing on the left and right of the screen. Acceleration is handled automatically, and there are no brakes. Brakes would make things far too easy.
There are five levels to drive through, each of them offering a different car and a different set of obstacles.
You might be careening through a tank-filled square on a motorised rickshaw, or trundling through a zombie-infested graveyard in a stupidly-long family estate.
Staying alive means keeping away from anything you can hit. Prang a tree and it's game over. Hit a kerb that's a bit too high and your car explodes.
You need to dodge the chasing police cars as well. And the controls aren't really fit for purpose in that regard. Small corrections usually leave you weaving desperately around the narrow roads.Parallel Pako
But that's sort of the point. Pako is a game that cackles at your misfortunes, then drops you back into its death-filled street mazes and makes you do it all over again. And again. And again.
The trick is that Pako feels like a game you should be succeeding at. Everything about it is simple, and designed to lull you into a false sense of security.
This is a brash, good looking arcade game that tempts you in and then stabs giant hooks into you and refuses to let go. Some might find it grates a little, but if you're looking for a vaguely ridiculous challenge, you'd be hard pressed to find anything better.