I am an urban commuter: a wage-slave subject to harsh early mornings filled with angry travelers, traffic jams, and train/bus station lines that resemble rock concerts. And yes, most of the time I blame our local traffic enforcers for handling the streets in the most dismal and crappy manner.
That was until I played this game.
Traffix, a crafty and strategic indie game made by the dynamic duo composed of Ryan Sumo (former IGDA Manila chairman) and Luis Buenaventura (co-founder of Infinite.ly) is one of those games that subjects you in situations not far from your daily fare.Â It’s simple core mechanics and nostalgic sprite-based presentation hides a brilliantly addictive strategy game that would test one’s wits and patience. It also teaches us that a traffic enforcer’s life is never easy.
The premise is simple: you must direct traffic by toggling four directional nodes on the screen. Vehicles will come from all sides, eight to be exact, and by getting them from one end of the road to the other will you get points. As you proceed with the game, you will encounter different kinds of vehicles; impatient travelers, sluggish ten-wheelers, to manic police cars and hurrying ambulances.
The gameplay has a steady difficulty build-up: you’ll start with a few vehicles running across the screen, and after a few minutes traffic density will thicken, wherein you will find yourself panicking as you click one node after the other in a desperate race to get the frustrated commuters to their destination.
Angry commuters are not your only obstacle, as an errant click of a node may cause a car accident, crashing one vehicle onto another emulating daily urban life (and death). As a satirical reprieve after failing, you are treated to a traffic (or travel) related quote by a famous person, or sarcastic dialogues like “a bit accident-prone, are we?”. I have found myself laughing at most of these quotes; they’re sure to take the tension off after a very challenging run.
Currently the game is available free from the Pokki website, a client that delivers free applications to one’s desktop. More information may be found on the developer’s website, where they’re holding a contest with the iOS app as a prize if you beat their high score. The question is: can you?
VisitÂ pintsized.coÂ to check out the details of the contest. Traffix Â will be available on the iOS Appstore later this year.
P.S. Watch out for the Philippines-inspired Easter eggs in the game!