Escape from Paradise City

Once you control a neighborhood, its money becomes yours and the power points can be spent in the Trait Tree. This RPG-lite power-up system lets you choose which areas you want to develop in your character. The game has been designed with accessibility in mind, so it's not too taxing. But the powers you can unlock are pretty cool, letting you convert money to power, get medical help, call the police, bribe the mayor, call a getaway car or even call in an airstrike at higher levels.

Sadly, due to development budget limitations, the game doesn't have a proper physics engine, so although the city is vibrant and full of people and cars, you can't take control of a vehicle and go on a hit and run killing spree. You can, however, take a 1st-person view of your taxi ride, which looks great and really gives you the feeling you're in the city. Cars still move convincingly, stop and toot their horns when pedestrians get in their way - it's just not a GTA clone.

The team has concentrated on making the most of some very good ideas, rather than trying to match the features of bigger rivals. So what it does, itdoes modestly, butwell. And with an 8-player online multiplayer mode, this could well be the sort of game that is a lot of fun if you can accept its limitations.