traffic lights… Either they’ll curse your existence if you’re late, or you’ll thank the universe for having just passed all the consecutive green lights to cross the city. Traffic lights control our movements in many ways, so it’s obvious that a game has to be played about it! Urban Flow for Nintendo Switch : A game by publisher Baltoro Games, known for introducing mobile games to the Nintendo platform. Will the traffic light regulation put order in a noisy metropolis in your hands, or will this game disappoint you as much as a long red light?
Urban Flow – A game in which you control the traffic lights in the city to control the flow of bad drivers sitting in their car. Although the concept is unique, it is already quite widely present on mobile phones/tablets with games such as Tiny Cars, Traffixand many others to varying degrees. This name starts with a name that is simple enough: You must only drive at red or green lights and you must not obstruct traffic. The mechanics of the game is no less simple, as you can use the touch screen or the buttons on the joystick to change the lighting. That’s it, exchanging two flowers is all you pay, but in a few minutes you will realize that everything is much more complicated.
Your first step makes it easier for you to stay in the chaos with just two traffic lights. Cars will collapse if you keep a red light on, and if you keep it on too long, the drivers in this game will simply get too excited and switch to the red light and oncoming traffic without looking back! Fortunately, there is a counter that jumps when they become impatient, giving you a good second to react and cope, but it is always the main effect in this game that you have to learn to prepare.
In the third step, Urban Flow throws you to the bottom of the lighting control and you notice that the task accelerates quickly. Some of the traffic light control games on mobile devices that I played in my time were quite slow and progressive, but here you are faced with difficult situations in the first hour of the game. With a total of 50 campaign levels, I had the madness of having only 20; with swirling tanks, thick fog to clean my screen, and more. This is where Urban Flow really starts to shine and stand out from the crowd. When you invest in new tasks, you have much more to do with this simple rocker switch. If a tank appears, ignoring all traffic rules, and you have 3 traffic lights that are supported by impatient drivers and you wait… a commuter train passes… oh, and you’re dealing with a bunch of cars trying to reach the highway… Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. this game’s gonna be a complete mess and a blast.
How can you lose in this game? Well, it’s pretty simple. Car accidents are your failure. Depending on the phase in which you are in the campaign, you may fall once or twice, then you pass the level and have to start all over again. Of course it is not difficult to mismanage situations and before you know it you have a line of cars and accidents insured.
I really liked the star system, which is directly related to the way the game is played. When the cars leave the playing field, you will see a marking line for the star rating. By achieving the different goals the course has set for you, you will get more stars, up to level three. As the game progresses so quickly in its complexity, it’s good that you can reach the level with just one star, but the more ambitious you can aim for more. There are many tests and skills to learn if you want to!
If the difficulty level is too high to handle alone, you can always choose a game in Party mode with a maximum of 4 players in total. The game goes a bit further to adapt to new players, but this makes the game even more chaotic when it comes to negotiating traffic jams with other players. I wasn’t a big fan of this multiplayer game because I wanted to control myself, but I could see that others were enjoying it, and I’m sure the screams of the games will break out quite often.
For meta-prizes or unlockable items, there is a gallery of star-related items that you have collected during the game, but which are not connected to your real game. This is an area I want to take care of. Larger rewards, such as new cars or skins, custom brake lights and other cool bonuses, would make a pile of 3 stars per level more rewarding.
There’s also an endless score-based mode that’s also fun to play as you like, giving the game a more arcade-like feel. Finally, the game is visually very entertaining and is certainly one or three levels above many moving traffic lights. The visual effects are pure and cartoon-like, with an aesthetically appealing style. The cars have bold shapes, and the only thing I complain about is that everything that moves in the game looks more like an overlay in the background than a really integrated and vibrant city. For example, the traffic lights themselves don’t really change, which is a big mistake in the game of changing traffic lights. Still, the game always seems to run smoothly on the platform, and I had no problems with readability, even if all the cars were noisy.
City current : A fairly familiar traffic light style that brings the game to the Nintendo Switch market, with decent graphics, exciting and addictive gameplay, with a few offbeat moments that may disturb some players. For me, traffic management was chaotic and stressful, but I certainly felt joy when I got 3 stars in the rating I received!
Urban component assessment
- Graphs – 6/10
- The tone is 7/10.
- Course of the game – 7.5/10
- Late appeal – 6/10
Final remarks : GOOD PLACES
Urban Flow is a traffic light control game that makes extensive use of the participation platform. You can change the campaigns of the single player levels that I preferred or synchronize 3 other players and turn the game into a kind of party game. There are many multi-level tasks in the game that can offer over 100 levels, but the difficulty curve may disable some players before they can see all that is on offer. For $14.99 you get a brilliant experience, but there are many such free or very cheap games on mobile platforms that can also satisfy your desire for traffic lights.
Alex has been actively involved in games since the release of Nintendo. After turning his hobby into a profession, he spent just over ten years developing games and is now creative director of the studio.
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