Traffic Jams Review – Disfunction Junction
Developed By: Little Chicken Game Company
Published By: Vertigo Games
Price: £17.99 /$19.99
Have you ever sat in traffic and wished you could be the one to change everything by your own hands? Well, with the VR game Traffic Jams, you can be the one with the power of traffic at your fingertips!
Just Your Average Job
The story of Traffic Jams is quite simple. You are a newly hired traffic controller with a sparkle in your eye and dreams of being the best. Other than that, there’s not much to it except a couple of intermissions where you talk to your instructor. The most of note I can say is that the language they speak is this weird mishmash of languages that is kinda funny.
What matters most here is the gameplay, and that’s obvious once you finally step out from your trailer into the streets. At first, you’ll start off in the daytime of some simple street corner and move on from there to gain more of them. There are five levels, each with three times of day, and each of these have their own circumstances and missions to complete, like completing the level without crashes or letting three people fly from crashing. The more missions you complete, the more stamps you’ll get, which will give you more of these levels and their times of day.
Become The Traffic Light
The loop of Traffic Jams is quite simple, but actually pretty fun once you get into it. In terms of the average gameplay, there’s no need to press any buttons, as all controls will be done through hand movements. As cars and pedestrians come to the road crossings, you can tell them to stop or go by holding your hand out or pulling it towards yourself respectively. While there are multiple objectives, the primary one is to not let there be any crashes. You can also pull the sticks in specific directions to make different hand signs to elicit responses from the people.
As a system, it’s actually quite fun to do, if a little aching on your wrists. My biggest problem is the sensitivity is a bit high on them, so I’ll just be putting my hands down after gesturing for a car to move, and they’ll take that as a “stop.” Or they’ll be stopped and take my little hand movement as a “go,” causing them to go and crash, losing me my sweet combo!
However, it’s not like a stop will be the only thing keeping them from moving, as each driver and pedestrian has a patience meter. When they stop at the crossing, it will start to build, and if it fills completely, they’ll just go without waiting for you. You can delay this, or even push back the meter, by gesturing for them to stop, but that will only stop it for so long.
Whacky Shenanigans Ensue
Of course, doing this over and over isn’t going to be fun, so Traffic Jams has added more to keep things interesting, which I’ll start describing below.
First, you’ll come across many distractions to keep you from controlling the traffic. Examples of this include zombies, wasps, car smoke and things getting thrown at you, among others. These can all be stopped through movement, like punching or waving your arms, but it just adds another layer as you’re trying to stop everyone from moving while you’re trying to make things right again.
Second, some levels will have specific events happen that can drastically change how the rest of it goes. For example, in New York, meteors will come down to break up the roads and make it harder to direct traffic. You do have an effect on these, and can even tell the meteors to stop before letting them pass, in order to not harm anyone. Yes, this game is pretty stupid, but I love it.
Third, each match will have its own small amount of hidden minigames that can only be completed by either pulling stuff away from NPCs or crashing specific cars. These include games like using frisbees to pop balloons, or feeding fish from a fish truck to pedestrians wearing seal hats. There are some I haven’t even gotten, so there are sure to be some surprises in there.
I Survived Carmageddon
And then there’s the multiplayer, but it’s not multiplayer in the traditional sense. Instead of there being two traffic controllers, you can have up to four friends, not in VR, cause events to happen in the game through their phones. The game is already chaotic enough, so having person-controlled events is sure to ramp that up to 11.
Other than that, there isn’t really much else to say about Traffic Jams. It has a unique graphics style that adds to the comedic flair, and its music is nice to listen to while you’re wreaking havoc. The only major issues I have are the aforementioned misreading of hand signs, and the fact that a car crashes after it passes the road crossing.
Overall, Traffic Jams is a wonderful game to just put on while you’re bored and want to do something in VR. With its multiplayer, it’s also sure to be a fantastic party game to play when you have friends over. That, along with the myriad minigames hidden within, are sure to add some level of variety and fun. Just make sure to rest your wrists after a while.
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Reviewed by Freelance7. Game received by Vertigo Games.