he Simpsons: Hit & Run is a 2003 action-adventure game developed by Radical Entertainment and published by Vivendi Universal Games. It is based on the American animated sitcom The Simpsons, and is the twenty-second installment in the Simpsons series of video games.
The game follows the Simpson family and their friend Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, who witness many strange incidents that occur in Springfield; security cameras, mysterious vans, crop circles, and a “new and improved” flavor of the popular soft drink Buzz Cola that causes insanity. Taking matters into their own hands, they discover numerous shocking secrets, and soon realize these incidents are part of a larger alien conspiracy, caused by Kang and Kodos. The gameplay largely focuses on exploration and missions; players often race enemies and interact with supporting characters on timed quests. The game also features many elements found in role-playing games, such as explorable worlds and side tasks.
Development of The Simpsons: Hit & Run began in late 2001 as a spiritual successor to Radical Entertainment’s previous game The Simpsons: Road Rage. Production was extensive, as the team sought to differentiate the game from Road Rage, deeming that their new entry in the franchise required a different direction. The game was heavily inspired by the Grand Theft Auto series, and the development team re-purposed the open-world design and nuanced character development for the game. This encouraged collaboration with the show’s writers and cast, who helped to craft the story and dialogue. It was released in September 2003 for the GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox. It was then ported to Microsoft Windows two months later.
Upon release, it received positive reviews from video game critics, with praise particularly focused on the interpretation of The Simpsons television series as a video game, its parodical take on Grand Theft Auto III, and graphics, while criticism mostly surrounded some aspects of gameplay, such as bugs and glitches. It is often considered to be the best Simpsons tie-in game and has gained a cult following. The game was also a commercial success, with recorded sales of over 3 million worldwide by July 2007. It received the award for Fave Video Game at the 2004 Nickelodeon Australian Kids’ Choice Awards. On the PlayStation 2, GameCube, and Xbox, it earned Greatest Hits, Player’s Choice, and Platinum Hits respectively.
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