A barely-functional car, a weird uncle in a bad jacket, a quest of self-discovery and seemingly endless machine-exhausting roads between you and your destination. Jalopy is free today, and a messy, unpredictable road-trip worth taking, although you might want to get a move on. Humble are giving away MinskWork’s eastern european driving adventure free for the next two days, with the offer vanishing on Saturday, 6pm BST, or “while supplies last”, which means it could end earlier. Curiously, no Steam key is given by default, but you can claim one for a single US dollar.
The RPS crew have been covering Jalopy’s long and eventful story for five years, give or take, starting with when it was called Hac. The game found a publisher, a new name, rode on through Greenlight and headed out onto the wide open roads of early access. Last year, Alex Wiltshire interviewed developer Greg Pryjmachuk and got the full, complicated story of the game and some of the struggles it faced in development. While the general public never got to see them, the game’s car (an off-brand Trabant 601) was once plagued by physics issues caused by conflicting, vibrating internal components.
Amusingly, an update that (temporarily) removed Uncle Lütfi added a blanket, thrown over your items in the back of the car, leading players to theorise that he’d died and was hidden back there. Thankfully, he returned in a later patch. The game gently rolled out of early access in March last year – surprisingly recent for a giveaway – but it means I can recommend this trip to absolutely everyone. It’s a low-key, sometimes frustrating journey to take, but you’ll see new places, meet strange people, and scavenge parts from abandoned cars at the side of the road across several countries.
Jalopy is free here on the Humble store for the next forty hours, or when their largely imaginary stack of stock runs out, so get in quick. While there’s no expiry date on their DRM-free download link, I’d recommend backing it up anyways. Once claimed free on Humble, the $1 Steam Key deal expires on June 1st. The game is published by Excalibur.