I Love Traffic
John Cooney (Achievement Unlocked, Grid16) brings us a cheerfully nihilistic look at traffic, in the form of a fast-paced, fun little reflex-tester. Click on the stop-lights to switch them on or off, allowing cars, buses, and semi-trailers to pass through intersections safely. Each level asks you to pass a certain number of vehicles within a certain amount of time. As the game moves forward, you'll have to deal with more lanes of traffic, more complex traffic patterns, and stricter time limits. Can you beat all 20 levels, oh Invisible Sky-bound Weaver of the Woof and Warp of Interlocking Automobiles? Or will the jabbering banjo music drive you insane first?
Analysis: I Love Traffic is not a game about people. It's a game about cars. It says so right on the main menu screen, and it's utterly true. The drivers of these vehicles have no control over themselves — they just drive right into the middle of the intersection when they see the green light, as though you threw a big bag of automobile catnip out there.
"You caused an accident!" the game tells you, as the cars collide, leaving entertaining skid tracks all over the highway. And you did. The second these tiny, digital drivers got in front of their virtual dashboards, they were doomed, their decision-making skills silenced by the purr of the engine, their fate entirely in the hands of the traffic gods. That's you. And you murdered them.
The message? Don't be like them, when you're behind the wheel. As my openly hostile driving instructor once told me about intersections, "Always look both ways! First you get hit from the left! Then you get hit from the right! You're a punk, and you're gonna get killed." Then he got me in a choke-hold and demanded to know the location of the emergency flares. Mr. Shipler would have loved this game.