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You Should Play: Does Not Commute turns a time-shifted traffic jam into fun

Andrew Hayward | May 25, 2015
These days, keeping up with games can be a full-time job. So how do you separate the signal from the noise, the wheat from the chaff, the Temple Runs from the Temple Jumps? Allow us to help by regularly selecting a game You Should Play.

These days, keeping up with games can be a full-time job. So how do you separate the signal from the noise, the wheat from the chaff, the Temple Runs from the Temple Jumps? Allow us to help by regularly selecting a game You Should Play.

It's tempting to lump every car game in with the racing genre, but Does Not Commutereally is a different kind of experience: It's more of a driving game than a racer. And really, it's a defensive driving game, because there are a lot of crazies out on the roads. You should know — you're controlling every one of them, after all.

Does Not Commute is a wonderfully offbeat offering from Mediocre, the makers of the excellent Smash Hit, and it's essentially a traffic-directing simulator with a curious twist. You'll control every car in the city — individually, one at a time — and try to get everyone to his or her destination as quickly and efficiently as possible while a clock steadily ticks down to nothing.

Driving one car through the empty city is no sweat; maneuvering the fifteenth car around the grid while all the previous cars still follow the paths you set them on is something else altogether. Does Not Commute uses this odd time-shifting approach to create something akin to a puzzle experience: How can you get all of these cars, mopeds, boats, and more to their destinations without getting bogged down with collisions and unnecessary detours? 

That's the challenge, and Does Not Commute delivers it with unexpected style and humor: It's startlingly hilarious, thanks to amusing tidbits about each driver. And it's also free, with a single in-app purchase to enable optional checkpoints — identical to Smash Hit's own design. Thinking about checking into this totally fun traffic nightmare? Here are three reasons why it's not likely to deliver road rage. 

Traffic made amusing: Does Not Commute essentially creates a game of skill and memorization out of commanding a series of cars around tight city corridors. You'll guide at least a dozen vehicles per area from one location to the other, one at a time. And you're sharing the road with yourself, as each car you drive will duplicate that exact same route once you switch to the next car. You'll have to remember the paths you took with each previous car so they don't smash together on the way.

You can always rewind and restart your current car's journey, but it'll cost you a second from the clock — however, that's often a better fate than driving a crashed car across the map at half-speed. Meanwhile, time boost icons appear that might influence your route, and special abilities — which may boost your speed but diminish traction, for example — can be used to shave seconds off each jaunt. The goal is to have enough time to make it to the next city, and so on and so forth.

 

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