A world without drivers is a rather interesting thought. With improvements in automation and the advent of self-driving cars it may not be as ridiculous of a world as we think. That being said, we are nowhere near far enough along where computers will be able to do all the work. That’s where the player gets involved in Perfect Traffic Simulator.
The goal of Perfect Traffic Simulator is to arrange a variety of vehicles so that they can navigate through traffic. There are a few requirements for each level, the first and most obvious is that the cars just can’t slam into each other. Well, no more than five cars can crash in each level. There is also a time limit that each car has to make it through the intersection by. And lastly, some levels will have crosswalks with pedestrians, and hitting one results in an instant game over.
But as simple as the concept is, it’s hard to say it is done well. Upon booting up Perfect Traffic Simulator and selecting the first level I was unsure of what to do. For reasons unbeknownst to me, the decision has been made not to include any tutorial or even pop-ups that walk through the mechanics of the game. The only bit of information is the grammatically incorrect sentence describing how the combo system works.
This system relates to how cars go through the intersection. As they alternate, the combo counter will increase to a total of three. Getting this combo of three and completing all of the other requirements will result in a perfect score on the level.
Thankfully, beyond that the only other thing to figure out is the clunky controls. Cars are lined up on roads that all connect to the same intersection. There are colored lines that show the route each street of cars takes, but every car follows the same path so there isn’t much of a puzzle there. What’s more frustrating is how the cameras are positioned and how they move. The camera is too close to the cars to actually see the line that shows the direction they go, so the only way to actually check things is by doing a dry run that is doomed to fail, or slowly move a car to the intersection to check.
Changing which lane you are on to adjust the cars is also done very awkwardly. The cameras jump from one position to another and then swivel into place after selecting a new road of cars to adjust. And if that sounds confusing, it’s because it is. It’s disorienting and makes it hard to create a mental map of how the cars are situated in each level.
The car movement is also odd. Some cars seem to accelerate at slightly different speeds for no reason, which can cause two cars on the same route to clip each other. I even saw one car briefly drive onto a sidewalk right after the level started for, again, no reason. There are lines along the roads that show their distance from the intersection but those also don’t seem one hundred percent reliable. The easiest way to actually figure things out is by watching the cars go through the intersection, see which cars do what, back out, and then make a small adjustment before doing it all again. It’s an incredibly tedious process that’s more trial and error than puzzle-solving.
Beyond that, the game’s list of features boasts realistic physics, random weather and time of day, and “chilling music which will drive you in a great mood” – a quote which the more I read, the weirder it sounds. I don’t think I would call the physics realistic either. Cars will hit each other which usually just results in them veering off the road in a rather anti-climatic display. Further to that, it was almost constantly sunny and midday. As far as the “chilling music” goes, it’s redundant and doesn’t really enhance the experience.
Perfect Traffic Simulator doesn’t even give an easy 1000 Gamerscore. Two of the achievements are time-based that are unlocked at playing for one and three hours. You’ll get the rest by completing every level and then getting a perfect on each as well. It’s a weird mix because it’s certainly possible to beat the entire game in under two hours, meaning it’s unlikely you’ll get the three-hour achievement. However, if you decide to go for a perfect on each level you will most certainly spend more than three hours playing the game, but I can’t say you’ll enjoy that time.
It’s disappointing because there isn’t much else to comment on the game. The 30 main levels are what Perfect Traffic Simulator on Xbox One consists of, but it is a clunky, tedious experience that is incredibly hard to get through. Not because it’s difficult, but because of poor mechanics. When all is said and done, the biggest wreck in Perfect Traffic Simulator is the game itself.