It's been a long, bumpy road, but Jalopy has finally completed its pilgrimage through the plains of Early Access, and has officially launched. It's one of those games so distinct and original, it's no surprise that it's held our attention for years; a low-budget (and low-fi) road trip adventure from Germany, across eastern Europe on a course for Turkey. All the way, driving a crumbling junker of a not-Trabant through rain, snow and mud in service of your weird Uncle's latest get-rich-quick scheme.
The V1.0 update is a relatively humble one, adding the usual perfunctory launch gubbins, such as Steam trading cards, a separately purchasable soundtrack and (most importantly) international translation support. While initially planned, the developers are sad to admit that they couldn't quite integrate Steering Wheel or Mac support in time, both due to technical and engine issues, and both seem unlikely to happen now.
The game was effectively completed back in September of 2017, with a major update returning the player's absent uncle to the game, and along with him the overarching story of the game. Since then, updates have been incremental and mostly focused on bug-fixes and tuning, getting the game as polished as an intentionally low-fi game about rusty, sputtering old cars can be.
Jalopy's development has been long and storied, with updates adding content as ambitious as Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, with each country having its own distinct aesthetic and terrains to drive. It's been a real experience watching Minskworks piecing together this one over the past few years, one chunk at a time. And unlike most of Jalopy's vehicles, it appears to have made it to the finish line without the wheels falling off. Hats off to the devs.