Drawing lines has become something of a well-worn pastime for iPhone gamers this year. Flight Control introduced us to the idea and had us drawing paths with our fingers to safely guide planes into an airport without letting them crash into each other. Harbor Master had us doing the exact same thing with boats. Space Dock did it with shuttlecraft. Until the release of Field Prowlers: POLICE RUSH!, nearly every line drawing game shared the exact same objective: guide these objects to the correct locations without ever letting them bump into each other. It was fun at first, but quickly grew tired. Field Prowlers: POLICE RUSH! takes the whole line drawing experience into a whole new direction.
Rather than guiding a variety of vehicles towards fixed targets as you would in most line drawing games, Field Prowlers: POLICE RUSH! puts only two police cars at your disposal. These police cars will patrol three different maps, each with a good number of intersecting roads. Also on these roads? Terrorists!
A variety of black vans will be racing around the map placing bombs on civilian buildings in an attempt to create chaos. The police are a little quicker than the vans, and it's your job to draw lines that will help them apprehend the bad guys. But there's a catch! The bombs these vans drop will need to be diffused by the police, too. Let them go too long and they'll explode, disrupting the peace and eventually ending the game. This means you'll need to try and trap bad guys between two police cars while at the same time making sure you drive past every bomb on the map before they explode. It makes for a crazy, frantic balancing act that just gets busier and busier as the game goes on.
Eventually you'll do battle with a boss vehicle before moving on to another map. The strategies in dealing with these vehicles are a little different than what you'll experience in the rest of the game, but not so different that you'll find it off-putting. Unlike regular terrorists the bosses are so big they can knock your car for a dizzying loop, taking one of your two patrol cars out of commission for a few seconds. And when it comes to a map full of bombs, every second counts.
A variety of minor elements help to add to the experience. Power-ups can give your vehicle lightning speed. Traffic congestion can block off paths that were free and clear only a moment earlier. There are enough little touches in Field Prowlers: POLICE RUSH! that the maps still manage to feel fresh despite the number of stages you'll play on each one.
Like a lot of games that dare to be different, Field Prowlers: POLICE RUSH! biggest strength is also its biggest weakness. In taking a gamble to provide a fresh spin on the world of line drawing, Konami has created a game that keeps things fun with a non-stop frenetic energy that feels like a rave exploded in your line drawing finger. The problem is that this energy never really slows down. Field Prowlers: POLICE RUSH! is kind of like that guy who drinks coffee all day and just seems to operate at a different speed than the rest of the world. It's a terrifically fun ride, but after a few stages it can be hard to keep up. By the time you reach the second map the adrenaline coursing through your veins will give you a roller coaster like high.
Prowlers: POLICE RUSH! gives a well-worn line drawing genre the fresh shot in the arm it so sorely needs, while at the same time bringing that classic cops and robbers experience to the iPhone. The frantic pace may be a little much for some, but if you think you can keep up, Field Prowlers: POLICE RUSH! is the new take on line drawing that you've been waiting for.