Car Jack Streets: Directors Cut Review

By , on January 9, 2013

Car Jack Streets: Directors Cut
  • Publisher: Tagplay
  • Genre: Action
  • Released: 19 Dec, 2012
  • Size: 113.2 MB
  • Price: FREE!
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5


  • It invokes good memories playing the first Grand Theft Auto.


  • Absolutely broken driving controls.
  • Nothing remotely new or innovative.


A Grand Theft Auto clone with awful driving controls. That sentence doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

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The original Car Jack Streets is lauded for being one of the first Grand Theft Auto style games to be released on the App Store, in this case emulating the top down perspective of the first two titles in that series. A little over three years later and the Director's Cut is released. What are the differences you ask? Increased frame rate, retina graphics, and achievement and leaderboard support. How does the actual game hold up after all this time, especially now that the GTA games themselves are on the platform alongside who knows how many clones and copies? Sadly not that well.

The actual on foot movement is on, handled by a touch screen d-pad. Shooting in the direction you want is a bit wonky, but it works. The driving though... just what is happening there? You've got an accelerator and brake like most games, but instead of using a d-pad or analogue stick, you use this kind of gear shift analogue, where the direction you press clunks the stick in that direction, and then to change direction, you need to lock it into another direction on its wheel. It makes any notion of tight driving a pipe dream, and seeing that a lot of time in sandbox games is spent jacking and driving cars, this is a serious problem.

The comparisons to Grand Theft Auto and its sequel are apt as if you've played them, especially on their release, loading up Car Jack Streets will remind you of that time spent. The lighting engine is quite similar, and some of the car sprites look like the could have been lifted out of these games. The sound in the world is very sparse, with general sound effects reacting to your actions, and almost no ambient noise. Upon entering a vehicle however, there is a selection of music tracks that enhance the driving experience. If this was made as a homage to those early GTA games, mission accomplished.

Over the time spent reviewing games, we've discovered that sometimes control issues can be subjective. Some people either effortlessly click with a control scheme, while others have the time and patience to adapt to what the game asks of you. We imagine that our reaction to the driving of this game might meet with such response. The feel of a game is very important however, and if something feels off and is fighting your interaction, then your experience is going to be a frustrating or negative one. Controls aside, Car Jack Streets might have been novel in 2009 for bringing an open world crime sandbox to the App Store, but in 2012, the issues really stand out amongst the competition, and all this Director's Cut is doing is highlighting them, when we assume it was meant to cash in on the game's initial success.


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