APB (All Points Bulletin) Game Comparison

Released: 1987  |  Genre: Vehicle Combat  |  Publisher: Atari / Tengen

Platforms: Arcade, Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64,
Atari Lynx, ZX Spectrum

APB Game Comparison

APB,the Grand Theft Auto of the 80's?

APB, also know as “All Points Bulletin” is a 1987 vehicle conbat game from Atari. It was co-developed between Atari and Tengen, from designer Mike Hally.

The music for APB was created by Brad Fuller, Hal Canon and Russell Dawe. The Amiga music was composed by David Whittaker, famous for Commodore 64 and some Amiga games such as Bubble Bobble and Defender of the Crown.

It’s also worth noting, APB may have been a major influence on the first Grand Theft Auto games, as I am sure you will see from the various screenshots.

APB Gameplay

In APB, you play 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.

Meanwhile, each day you are given a quota of arrests needed for various law-breaking activities. The goal in APB is to meet or exceed this quota within the given time limit.

APB gives bonus’s for a “perfect day”, picking up donuts will extend the time limit, driving through the “Speed Shop” gives your police car daily upgrades for brakes, armour, radar and guns.

Whilst driving through filling stations gives you more fuel to catch those criminals, many of which are litterbugs.

APB gameplay
APB crimes

The Crimes

There are various types of criminal in APB, from petty crimes to more serious crimes, litterbugs are easy to ticket with a single siren button, but other criminals are more evasive.

  • Litterbugs
  • Road Rage
  • Drink Drivers
  • Dopers
  • Speeding

APB and the Confess-o-meter

Every other day, starting on the third day, the player can go after an A.P.B. (“All Points Bulletin”).

The stage will start with a scene of multiple officers seen in silhouette where the Chief is showing a mugshot of a suspect wanted for a major crime.

The vehicle to be on the lookout for, along with the words “Get this crook today”.

Examples of major crimes can be expected such as selling narcotics, prostitution, terrorism, or arson, or less commonplace, such as one day where a truck full of nuclear fuel was stolen and Officer Bob is ordered to recover it.

When a fugitive is caught and returned to the station, the player must violently shake the suspect to get a confession before the Chief enters the room.

This is done by filling the “Confess-O-Meter” by tapping alternatively on the “fire” and “siren” buttons.

APB confess-o-meter
APB reloaded


In 2010, Realtime Worlds released a follow up to the original APB called APB: Reloaded, the game was released for Windows, PS4 and Xbox One over time.

The game is an open world game (back to those early GTA comparisons), where you can play missions as Enforcers or Criminals. Later in 2010, Realtime Worlds went into administration, for a period of time the online servers were shut down until K2 Networks purchased APD for £1.5 million.

K2 then releaunched under the subsidary of Reloaded Productions, it became a free-to-play game. In 2015 Deep Silver announced PlayStation and Xbox One versions which released in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

All copyright for APB now belongs to Unit Game, they currently have a number of plans for the APB series moving forward.

APB Box game box art

APB Amiga
APB Atari ST
APB Commodore 64
APB Atari Lynx
APB ZX Spectrum

APB Title Screens

APB Arcade
APB Amiga
APB Atari ST
APB Atari Lynx
APB Commodore 64

APB Gameplay Screens

APB Arcade
APB Amiga
APB Atari ST
APB Atari Lynx
APB Commodore 64
APB ZX Spectrum

APB Documentary

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