Jul 30, 2010

My Traffic

Polish. Often that's the difference that separates the good games from the great ones. My Traffic is a great example of this. I know you're probably sick of hearing about Flight Control, but what made that game great? Was it really innovative? It only took a concept that was used in Root Beer Tapper in the early 80s (and I don't know that it was really first) and converted it to airplanes. What made it great was polish, and that's why so many of the Android clones of the game fell short.

My Traffic is a game about controlling the flow of traffic. You are the "traffic master" and can seamlessly turn traffic lights from red to green and back again. Your goal is to get a predetermined number of cars safely on their way. If you go "green happy" cars are sure to crash and go boom ending the game. The game's graphics are fair, audio non-existent, and controls consist of simply tapping on the traffic lights (so it makes a great touch screen game). I'm actually very happy to have this game as I've been enjoying a similar game on another mobile gaming platform. The problem is that I'm spoiled... the other platform's version is much more polished.

Where to begin? First, this game has a little bit of slowdown in it. Is it when many cars are on screen at the same time? I'm not sure... but I do see it. It's there, but not a deal breaker in any way. Next, there's the collision detection... cars will explode even when they didn't actually touch. You can see on screen that they are not touching... just exploding. I'm guessing every car has an invisible box around it and if two overlap then that's a collision and the developer wasn't very forgiving. Finally, the "other" game has a really neat collision sequence where a crash doesn't actually end the game... it just prevents other cars from proceeding which usually ends the game. The physics of such crashes is actually a thing of beauty. Not here. Boom... game over.

But... this game is Fun with a capital F. The levels advance at a good pace with the exception of the utterly ridiculous and unnecessary level one (hint... you do nothing, but watch the cars go by). The core game play is all in place. And the game is less than a dollar (priced at half a euro or US $.65) and worth every penny. I'd really love to see the developer fix the slow downs, improve the collision detection, perhaps spice up the graphics a bit, and add those cool crashes versus instant death. I'd also love to see world peace. 3.5/5 stars and probably my lowest rating for a game I'd still heartily recommend.

1 comment:

  1. Hello,

    Thanks to test my app on the market. I'm new in the android developpement, so, there is some bugs, but I'll try to fix it in next version.
    The goal of the game is fun, for the moment with poor graphics, but the fun is already present, I hope... :)