It’s almost 15 years since The Simpsons: Hit & Run launched, allowing us to run rampant through Springfield and terrorise the Flanders as we please. The open-world adventure was a smash hit that captured the satirical humour and charm of the classic show to a degree that had never been achieved before.
Featuring all the characters we know and love and more than a couple of harebrained missions, here’s seven reasons the game is a cherished memory.
1. Driving to the Kwik-E-Mart for the first time
Sure, it was your standard tutorial mission, but seeing Springfield brought to life in full 3D for the first time was truly remarkable. All the landmarks were there, and you could visit them whenever you wanted! As long as you picked up the groceries at the Kwik-E-Mart first.
2. Playing as (almost) the whole family
The game’s story involved playing as Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Apu at various points, making each section distinct from the last. Each character’s missions and objectives were different, and all came full of sayings and wisecracks – some new, taken directly from the show.
3. Smashing all of Krusty’s Buzz Cola billboards
Before Burnout Paradise made littering the map with destructible billboards cool, there was The Simpsons: Hit & Run. Dotted around the town were advertisements for Krusty’s Buzz Cola that provided coins when destroyed – as well as the sweet satisfaction of (virtual) vandalism.
4. Going on a rampage
The Simpsons: Hit & Run was all about player freedom, meaning that you could gleefully destroy as many cars and as much property as you pleased. Your only punishment for getting caught was a meagre fine, so it was the perfect way to let off steam.
5. References to the show
Between the costumes, vehicles, NPCs and everything else, the game contains a lot of nods to what’s now considered the show’s heyday. Whether it be the Cool Lisa outfit or the Monorail, chances are high your favourite episode gets a look in.
6. The self-aware humour
Naturally, the writers had a field day poking fun at games and the gaming industry, peppering in jibes at the medium throughout the script. There’s even a series of wisecracks poking fun at Hit & Run’s own writing. Hey, don’t have a cow, man!
7. Unlocking the Itchy and Scratchy episode
Each level has seven Itchy and Scratchy cards. Collecting them all unlocks a special episode of Bart and Lisa’s favourite hyper-violent cat and mouse cartoon. Getting 100% was fun enough as is, this just made it all the more satisfying.