Click. Click. Click. That’s the sound of a button being mindlessly pressed in order to make progress in a clicker game. It’s one of those genres purely responsible for passive gaming that needs little to no thought on your part. You can usually just sit back and decimate cute looking creatures (Clicker Heroes) or vicious orcs (Lord of the Click) with a simplistic, button-pressing, repetition. The latest of its kind to arrive on Xbox is Car Demolition Clicker, which implores you to destroy cars. Will it be a hell of an explosive ride, or does it need sending to the garage for urgent repairs?
In many ways, Car Demolition Clicker tries to bring a bit of depth to proceedings and be more engaging than others of this ilk. But, ultimately, those unique aspects are where the majority of its faults lie and that ensures you’re in for a fairly average clicker.
Upon jumping into Car Demolition Clicker, it’s instantly apparent that there’s no narrative woven into the clicking gameplay. There’s a slight mention of Factions to demolish on behalf of, in return for a bonus, but lore-wise it’s not substantial. To sum up the action, you’ll venture into a level and be presented with a vehicle, which has a health bar. Causing damage is actionable by manoeuvring the on-screen reticle over the vehicle in question and pressing the A button. Keep doing the same thing until the entirety of its health is depleted, at which point another vehicle drops into the scene. Each level has a set number of these to clear, before an eventual boss fight occurs.
Every hit you initiate will boost your bank balance, which can be spent on upgrading weaponry, hiring help, and purchasing short-term perks. Starting out with a mere pistol, you’ll eventually buy enough upgrades to max out its damage output and cash earning potential. At which point, a selection of better guns become available to own instead, including hard-hitting sniper rifles and rapid-firing assault rifles. The single-fire weapons are hellish on the thumbs though, so you’ll no doubt end up steering clear of those. Nevertheless, there are a decent amount of options.
The main support comes in the form of drones; up to three in total. They aren’t cheap, but once bought, they’ll automatically fire at any and all vehicles you happen upon. These will remain with you throughout and, after a series of upgrades, will deliver enough damage to keep things ticking over – allowing you to take a backseat. It’s good to have the choice as to whether you focus your monies into your own weapon or to make the drones super effective against regular vehicles.
The vehicles range from pickup trucks and lorries, to vans and small cars akin to a VW Beetle. Despite bearing different skins you’ll soon begin to find the rotation repetitive, but they do at least have a nifty feature. You see, while destroying them, certain parts will deteriorate such as tires deflating, windows breaking and panels coming off. It is pretty cool to witness the wreckage before your eyes, however, having targeted areas leads to a couple of annoyances.
Firstly, once a specific part has received so much damage, it stops your attacks in that spot from having any effect. That shouldn’t be a problem, except it’s not blatantly obvious which sections to steer away from, so it’s often the case that you’re peppering the vehicle and causing no damage. To be quite honest, there are rare moments where the clicks in the correct places don’t register either, which is quite odd. There is a limited time perk you can buy with in-game cash to show the healthy bits to target, but it’s not cheap and isn’t as helpful as you’d expect – barely highlighting them really. And this irritation is only exasperated further during boss encounters.
On paper, the badass boss vehicles with their Mad Max style alterations should be a lot of fun to take down. Given that you possess a health meter for these confrontations and time is of the essence, before the enemy defeats you, the excitement is ramped up. The fact that the bosses set off drone-nullifying EMPs ensures you have to engage in the action. Sadly, the bosses bear armour, which has to be pinpointed to weaken it initially and it’s bloody hard to work out where to hit – again. When you’re dealing upwards of 1k damage, it’s annoying to fail simply because you missed a bit of steel protecting its bonnet and so you couldn’t make a dent to its health.
Fortunately, if you fail a level, you retain everything earned, but it’s a nuisance that it sends you back to the level select map and delays your next attempt. Should the current boss you’re up against be too tricky, there are pricey perks to enhance damage dealt for short periods or rain down explosive barrels on them. As a last resort, you could reset progress in return for Diamonds; the number of amount received is based on total cars destroyed. Bizarrely, the benefits of Diamonds are underwhelming and it’s bewildering how you’re actually better off just grinding away in one playthrough – or accruing tons of cash via the monotonous Endless mode.
That way, you won’t have to visit the same locations over and over again. Actually, you still will because after impressing with a few nice looking environments, such as the alleyway, the construction yard, and the ice cave, revisiting them is guaranteed as you venture through the 18 levels. Sure, there are day/night differentials for some, but it would be good to have more unique locations.
On the whole, Car Demolition Clicker for Xbox is a cheap way to pass the time and it’s hard to grumble about a game that lets you annihilate vehicles till your heart’s content. But grumble I shall, with a targeted damage feature that’s flawed from the outset and a fairly pointless New Game+ style reset offering little incentive. Fortunately, wrecking cars is enjoyable, with a decent range of upgradable weapons in your arsenal and a welcome support system of drones to give those fingers a rest.
As long as you manage your expectations, Car Demolition Clicker does its job as a clicker game and, if your desires are as simple as that, feel free to consider it.