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Video Game / The Simpsons: Road Rage

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The Simpsons: Road Rage is a 2001 video game developed by Radical Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts. It is one of a series of games based on the animated television series The Simpsons.

The game has many similarities to Sega's Crazy Taxi, to the extent that Sega sued the developer and publisher in 2003 for patent infringement.

Mr. Burns has bought all transit systems in Springfield and has begun to overcharge everyone for the transportation services. Even worse, the buses are nuclear powered, thus irradiating whoever rides it.

The citizens of the city (managed by the game player) must earn money by driving cars around town in order to regain control of the transit systems. The game contains 17 different drivable/collectible vehicles, six starting locations (five of which are unlockable), and 10 different missions. In order to collect the vehicles and unlock starting locations, players must earn progressively more money for each vehicle or starting location they want to get. In order to complete missions, players must do certain things (such as knocking down 12 baseball team mascots in 45 seconds or running into Gils within a time limit).

To earn money, players must drive around a vehicle for a given amount of time, picking up passengers and taking them to their destinations. Any of the vehicles that the player has collected can be used as taxis. Players have to avoid certain hurdles, such as other vehicles that spin out of control, rocks, flying street objects, Smithers's car, Mr. Burns' nuclear transit buses, and houses on difficult curves.

The game features six locations familiar to Simpsons fans, which have varying levels of difficulty for completing tasks.

  • Evergreen Terrace: Is the location of the Simpsons' house, the Flanders' house, Gerald Ford's (formerly George H. W. Bush's) house, the Maison Derriere, Milhouse's house, the Kwik-E-Mart, Smithers's apartment, Principal Skinner's house, Chief Wiggum's house, Springfield Elementary School, Willie's shack, the First Church of Springfield, Reverend Lovejoy's house, Edna Krabappel's house, Apu's apartment, Hans Moleman's house, the grocery store, the Springfield Retirement Castle, Barney's apartment, a Krusty Burger restaurant, Spinser City Apartments and a gas station.
  • Entertainment District: Is the location of Moe's Tavern, the King Toot's Music Store, the She-She Lounge, the Duff Brewery, the Rusty Barnacle, the Guilded Truffle, Planet Hype, a milkshake shop, Sir Putt-A-Lot's, the Aztec Theatre, the Gogolplex, the Frying Dutchman, the Noiseland Arcade, the Girlesque, the Springfield Mini Mall, Barney's Bowl-O-Rama, Circus of Values, the Try-N-Save, Moe's house, Fiesta Terrace, Candy Most Dandy, the Box Factory, a dating building, a pet shop, the Duff Center, the office of an insurance company, three Krusty Burger restaurants, five gas stations, a 24-Seven, a Pineas Q. Butterfat's Ice Cream Parlor and a Lard Lad Donuts restaurant.
  • Springfield Dam: Is the location of the Springfield Dam, Mayor Quimby's Mansion, Kamp Krusty, the Stonecutters Lodge, Jittery Joe's Coffee Shop, the office of K Radio, Rancho Relaxo, an interesting home, a builder's shack and a trailer park.
  • Nuclear Power Plant: Is the location of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, the Springfield Mall, the Springfield War Memorial Stadium, the Springfield Community Center, a run-off stream, a Lard Lad Donuts restaurant and two gas stations.
  • Downtown: Is the location of Herman's Military Antiques, Helter Shelter, the Springfield Plasma Center, the Veterans of Popular Wars, the office of Burns Transit, the Springfield Observatory, the Android's Dungeon, the Springfield Stadium, a cathedral, Saint Sebastian's School for Wicked Girls, the Springfield Airport, Area 51A, the Little Black Box, the Legitimate Businessman's Social Club, the DMV, Professor Frink's apartment, Snake's hideout, Krusty's house, the Springfield Drive-in, Springfield Park, Whacking Day Park, the Happy Sumo, the Singing Sirloin, Chez Pierre, Clown College, the Springfield General Hospital, Channel 6 Studios, the Popsicle Stick Skyscraper, the 50-Foot Magnifying Glass, the Escalator to Nowhere, the Springfield Revolving Restaurant, the Monty Burns Casino, two car parks, a convention center, the Springfield Natural History Museum, Springfield City Hall, the Springfield Court House, the Springfield Public Library, the Springfield Police Station, Copy Jalopy, the Springfield post office, a savings and loan, three Krusty Burger restaurants, two Lard Lad Donuts restaurants, two 24-Sevens, two Big T's, a Phineas Q. Butterfat's Ice Cream Parlor and four gas stations.
  • Springfield Mountains: Is the location of Mr. Burns' Mansion, the Springfield Pet Cemetery, the Gold House, the Tire Fire, the office of KBBL, the Springfield Gorge, a gas station, the world's largest toilet and an inspiration point

The Simpsons: Road Rage contains the following tropes:

  • And Your Reward Is Clothes:
    • Homer's Mr. Plow is an unlockable vehicle in the game, and Homer dons his Mr. Plow outfit while driving it.
    • Bart, Marge, Apu and Krusty have special seasonal variants that can only be used during certain dates. All of these variants grant the character an alternate outfit and a new paint job for their vehicle.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The buses in the game crash into things themselves, and crash into you all the time. The introduction in the game's manual attempts to justify this by claiming Mr. Burns gave the drivers "free reign to wreak havoc" all over Springfield.
  • Big Bad: Mr. Burns. He usually appears in his limo (driven by his partner Smithers) to stop you from progressing.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Near the end of the introductory cutscene, Bart says to just start the game already.
  • Broken Bridge: Each level has several entrances that look like they'd lead to other levels but are completely blocked off by debris. This is because all the levels were originally designed to be part of one singular map before being split up later on.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The game has a lot of various winks and nudges to the Simpsons universe, such as various sight gags and the vehicles the playable characters drive (including the unlockable Mr. Plow truck).
    • A lot of the characters have specific interactions with each other that you would expect based on their relationship in the show and everyone says "hi" back to Dr. Nick after his Catchphrase. Try to find all of the special interactions!
  • Drives Like Crazy: The point of the game, just like Crazy Taxi, is to drive your charge to their destination quickly. Some passengers will specifically ask for a destructive ride and give you a huge bonus if you destroy a certain number of objects before you arrive at the destination. Other passengers, however, will offer a bonus if you arrive before hitting less than three vehicles.
  • Easter Egg:
    • In an alleyway in the Downtown area, there is a sign congratulating Michael and Whitney (presumably two of the developers) on their wedding.
    • If you choose to delete the PlayStation 2 version's save data, the icon will change to Blinky the Three-Eyed Fish on the confirmation screen, although this may actually be a leftover from a previous save icon which the developers forgot to change.
  • Holiday Mode: If you play the game on Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day or New Year's Day (Or just set the system clock to those dates), you'll get access to seasonal variants of Bart, Marge, Apu and Krusty respectively:
    • For Halloween, Bart is wearing a Frankenstein's Monster costume and his Honor Roller is painted like a jack o'lantern.
    • For Thanksgiving, Marge is dressed like a pilgrim and her Canyonero is painted in autumnal colors.
    • For Christmas, Apu is dressed as Santa Claus and his car is painted a festive green and red.
    • For New Years, Krusty is wearing a tuxedo and conical party hat, and his car is decorated with confetti and champagne bottle decals.
  • Kids Driving Cars: Bart and Lisa are able to drive vehicles despite only being ten and eight years old, respectively, though they're limited to just driving the Honor Roller and the Electaurus.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: Another major criticism among critics. We're talking 50 seconds of loading for a task that only lasts for 20 seconds.
  • Self-Deprecation: In Simpsons tradition. The game opens with a cutscene of Bart playing a game in the living room, to which Homer tells him that the game is just a waste of time. The music from the game is also music from Road Rage, and the tiny parts of the screen visible seem to indicate it is, indeed, Road Rage.
  • Shout-Out: In the Entertainment District, one of Bart's reasons for heading to the Ice Cream Parlor is to look for Betty and Veronica.
  • Take That!: If you do a good job bringing Krusty the Clown to a destination, he'll remark "Boy, that was over faster than Chevy Chase's Talk Show." Krusty will also criticize a bad ride by negatively comparing your driving skills to Mickey Rooney's.
  • The Voiceless:
    • Smithers, who chauffeurs Mr. Burns throughout each level, has no dialogue. A cheat code will make him a playable character but even then he remains silent.
    • The two female pedestrians (Lurleen Lumpkin and Dr. Zweig) also have no dialogue unlike their male counterparts who make comments when they get run over. In the game's sound files are some robotic sounding placeholder lines such as "Female hit by car 1", suggesting that this was not always intended to be the case.
  • Worth It: If he wins a multiplayer match, Homer may say something along these lines:
    Homer: I wrecked my car, but it was worth it.