All Malaysians can relate to the soul-crushing anger and frustration of being trapped in a traffic jam. As if facing that in real life isn’t enough, we’ve found a game that can simulate that same scenario that too many of us face daily.
Introducing Commute: Heavy Traffic, a game produced
to ignite intense rage by a company called Kiary Games that has a general rating of 3.5/5 stars on Google Play Store.
The controls they introduced were basic and easy to get on the first read. All you need to know is tap and hold, go. Lift your finger to let go, stop. Although they forgot to note there that when they mean stop, they mean something along the lines of an emergency brake feel rather than a slow and steady stop, so a little heads up there.
Another minor quibble is that if you press the back button while playing, instead of pausing the game (which makes more logical sense), you’d end up exiting the game completely. So to pause, make sure you click on the ‘Pause’ button at the top right corner.
Your game vehicle has no indicator lights when switching lanes so just weave in and out of traffic like the true Malaysian driver you are. In addition to that, at most times the lane that you switch to feels like the slowest of the available three. Does this scenario sound familiar, drivers?
It does start off easy, or as deceivingly easy as it can be, but no more than 5 seconds of me holding the tap button and watching my little red car accelerating, the next thing I hear is a crash and then I see this.
Oh… well then. Let’s try that again, shall we?
Hmm, okay. Not bad, after around 10 more tries.
3 hours later, this is the best score I could do.
I know, I scoffed and called myself an amateur too. I’m not one to back down from a challenge usually but for the sake of my own sanity, I decided to stop myself before my inner Charmander evolved straight to a Charizard from pure rage.
There were some distractions in-game, such as being able to use the coins I’d earned from playing to unlock new vehicles, with different braking, acceleration and top speeds to match my gameplay preference.
The different locations also came with different missions to help provide a bit of variety to the game.
Despite dedicating my entire evening to this game, I honestly didn’t notice time passing by when playing this. It does suck you in more than you can imagine, which is a general reaction with most rage-inducing mobile games.
But more than the surprise I felt at how pitiful it was for me to dedicate hours on a game akin to ‘Flappy Bird’, I was more surprised at the genuine emotions this game made me encounter whilst playing. Hear me out.
Firstly, you actually reach a point where you feel like you’re actually driving the car in the game. The repetitive motions of tapping then letting go is similar to the movements of your own foot during heavy traffic so naturally, the associated road rage is on its way too.
Also, how the cars in front of yours would brake out of nowhere with the one behind you creeping up so closely like a predator brought back flashbacks of my P driving days when the brake was my best friend and my foot never wanted to step off it. Luckily this game doesn’t have a built in backseat driver, a.k.a my mother, to nag consistently at the side (minus points for that lack of realism though).
But my favourite part would probably have to be the dialogue that appears after a collision happens. Whether it be you hitting someone or the other way around, the lines are what people would say: #relatable.
And my personal favourite:
Oh, the joy of purposeful ignorance to adult responsibilities.
Overall, the game is a minimalistic one with simple gameplay and a few kinks that hindered the enjoyment a little, which reflects the average rating it received; however, years of tailgating would have prepared you for such a game and now is the time to let loose those skills (in a safe and consequent-free medium).
And for those who may have been curious before on how frustrating traffic can be in KL, I hope this satisfies your masochistic wish.
Download the game (for Android users only) at the Google Play store here.
Also, PSA of the day, don’t play this while driving. Let’s not make this the next Pokémon Go, shall we?