Developed by Pixel Crow. Adventure, PEGI 18
Released in UK on Nintendo Switch by 11 Bit Studios on 5th March 2019, RRP £13.49.
Beat Cop is a weird and whacky adventure game that takes its cues from countless classic 80s procedural cop shows. The game thrusts you into the role of detective Jack Kelly who has been demoted to beat street after messing up a case. Your goals as a beat cop are simple and a far cry from your days as a hotshot detective. Tasks include writing parking tickets and dealing with the citizens of your Brooklyn beat. Sounds pretty meh, right? Well hold on there, partner. All is not quite as it seems with this one. There are a lot of other elements at play in Pixel Crow’s little puzzler.
You see; Jack’s under investigation and being framed for things he didn’t do by people that really don’t like him, which might even include murder if the powers that be have their way once the investigation comes to an end. Plus, he has to also contend with an angry ex-wife and turf warfare on the streets he patrols between rival gangs, The Crew and The Mafia. The simple life this is not, which means you are going to have to play it smart if you want to make out of this with your sanity intact over the case of the game’s 21 day focused campaign.
At the outset of each day/mission you’re handed a parking ticket quota to get through before you punch out, but you’ll have to choose doing normal menial tasks such as this as well as investigating clues that might help clear your muddied name. There are so many options at play here that have an effect on the game. Do you write that last ticket of the day, or chase down a perp stealing from a store? It’s all about choice in Beat Cop, and there are countless opportunities to tackle. Honestly there is a huge amount of re-playability here, so if that sort of thing is your jam then you’re going to have a lot of fun experiencing the various outcomes.
Oh, and it’s hilarious too. The writing is so on point in terms of capturing what made some of the show’s it riffs on so damn good you’ll spend a lot of your time chuckling quietly to yourself at the interactions between Jack Kelly and his fellow officers.