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Freeways is a puzzley road-builder from Desert Golfer

Highway to hell(ish road planning)

Where we’re going, we need roads. Criss-crossing and over-passing and field-avoiding roads. Freeways [itch.io page] is a puzzley car game where you have to draw roads to connect to each highway while avoiding obstacles, such as the pesky environment. It's like a bite-sized Cities: Skylines but also reminds me of Mini Metro, in that you click and drag lines to make a cohesive transport network but end up collapsing the entire country with a “higgledy piggledy highway”. Sorry, entire country.

It’s a daft bag of road puzzles, all arranged as one large, interconnecting map. After you connect all the roads, factories, docks, and housing estates, you can run an efficiency test - a timelapse of the traffic passing along your new junctions. Sometimes my loopy motorways work like smooth spaghetti.

Sometimes they’re like bad spaghetti that’s been left to harden in the bottom of the pan.

And sometimes they're like the messiest, tastiest spag bol imaginable. Mmmm.

You need to create overpasses for most of these challenges, raising the road by holding the right-mouse button down as you drag. Otherwise traffic jams are inevitable. As far as I can tell there are only 9 levels, but some of them are humdingers, and efficiency nerds will no doubt get repeated kicks.

It’s from Justin Smith, of Enviro-bear 2010 notoriety, which means it’s likely that every car in Freeways is piloted by a wild bear with nothing to lose. Smith claims the vehicles are “self-driving” and powered by “algorithms” but that seems far-fetched. Perhaps the bears are just very small and hard to see (edit: they are "in the back seat", he says). The same developer also made Desert Golfing but it is unclear if the infinite and eternal sands of the golf course exist within the same universe.

Freeways – Interchange Design For Autonomous Vehicles is on Itch.io for $3. It's also on iPad and Android tablets but shhhhh.

About the Author

Brendan Caldwell avatar

Brendan Caldwell

List Goblin

Brendan likes all types of games. To him there is wisdom in Crusader Kings 2, valour in Dark Souls, and tragicomedy in Nidhogg.

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