Daryl F. Gates' Police Quest: Open Season is the fourth installment of Sierra Entertainment's popular Police Quest computer game series. Released in 1993 (with this CD re-release coming out in 1996), it was created by retired Police Chief Daryl F. Gates, who was the Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) from 1978 to 1992. He replaced ex-California Highway Patrol officer Jim Walls as the designer of the Police Quest franchise.
The game is listed as Police Quest 4 (PQ4) in the manual. It is also shown in the file names and the credits, and when exiting the game in DOS, "Thank you for playing Police Quest IV: Open Season". The number does not appear on the title screen.
Police Quest IV differs significantly from the first three games, in both game engine and story. The player plays the character of homicide detective John Carey, rather than officer Sonny Bonds, and the game is set in Los Angeles, California rather than the fictional Lytton. Backgrounds for the game are digital photographs rather than painted scenery, and depict real locations in Los Angeles. The Parker Center is a location used in the game, and is virtually unchanged from when the game was made. Written text is replaced by audible narration and dialogues on the CD version, released in 1996.
The entire game, like Police Quest III and the 1991 re-make of Police Quest 1, is based on a mouse-controlled user-interface system. Icons such as "walk", "speak to", "touch", "use", and "look at" are used rather than the old-fashioned text-parsing system used in the first two games.
Homages to Sonny Bonds appear in two places: the name of the police server is "SONNY", and "Sonny Bonds" also appears on the high score screens of the two arcade games in the Short Stop Bar (CD version only).