APB (“All Points Bulletin”) is a 1987 arcade video game by Atari Games. In the game, the player assumes the role of “Officer Bob,” a rookie police officer. As Bob, players drive around the city, ticketing motorists for minor infractions and pulling over more serious offenders. Eventually, players must apprehend criminals for which an all points bulletin has been called.
The game was noted at the time of release for its presentation. The arcade cabinet was created to look like a police car, with a gas pedal, steering wheel and a siren button, complete with flashing lights atop the unit. The game’s cartoonish visuals and sense of humor gained it positive reviews. However, the game was slightly criticized for its difficulty; the game’s developers later admitted that a long development cycle had resulted in the gameplay growing more complicated than originally planned.
The game enjoyed moderate success in the marketplace, as most Atari games did. Its high-resolution graphics and novel cabinet design, with the flashing lights atop, added to its initial appeal. The game was noted for its increasing difficulty, with The Games Machine calling it at times “utterly frustrating.” However, the game’s cartoonish graphics and sound along with its humor were well-received, with Your Sinclair calling it “one of the funniest games of the year” and Computer and Video Games calling it “hilarious.”The unique gameplay was also lauded; The Games Machine called it “like a breath of fresh air.” and Crash said the game was “refreshingly different from the usual mass of bash-or-blast’em ups”
In a retrospective review for Allgame, Paul Biondich wrote that the gameplay “stood the test of time” and that the arcade cabinet’s unique design set the game apart in arcades. He also wrote that ten years after its release, the game was still graphically impressive. In addition, he complimented the game’s depth, difficulty curve and replay value.