Would you trust your friend to stop you from falling to your death? Can they build a road quicker than you can drive? If the answer to these questions is yes, then you have the perfect partner to take part in Can’t Drive This.
Developed and published by Pixel Maniacs, this single-player and multiplayer building/driving game will have you screaming at, and laughing with your friends, or rage quitting. With both local and online play, the scope to get the most out of this comedy laced game is pretty high.
So what’s it all about?
Have you seen the film Speed? Where Sandra Bullock is on a bus and it can’t drop below 50mph. If the bus slows down, the bomb that has been planted onboard detonates! That’s kinda what happens in Can’t Drive This, except there is no Sandra Bullock, the speed element isn’t as rigid and it’s a monster truck, not a bus (ok, so it’s nothing like Speed). Here I am reviewing yet another monster truck game, at least it’s not a racing title this time, like Monster Truck Championship and Monster Jam Steel Titans 2.
Anyway, I digress. Can’t Drive This asks you to play; solo, co-op or with up to 3 other players. The latter mode is a party game of Capture the Egg (flag). Co-op allows two modes: Game of Drones and Vardage. Solo events are called Lone Ranger. Each of the options is delightfully simple and oddly addictive.
Capture the Egg.
A local game mode where two teams must race around, building a route and stealing the egg from their opponent’s base. It’s fast-paced, aggressive, and is guaranteed to create arguments. Teamwork is a must, as is clear communication. This wasn’t just about the egg, no this was about the tactical approach it takes to get the prized asset.
Game of Drones.
A small arena has two holo’s to collect. Placed in random locations, you must work with your partner to build a route, locate their position and collect them as quickly as possible. Success ensures you progress to the next level, failure will tally up your score and you will have to try again. Sounds easy, right? It is until you realise a drone is randomly dropping EMP’s on your newly laid path. If you get hit, you need to be revived. If this doesn’t happen, it’s game over.
Vardage and Lone Ranger.
These are the same, except one is co-op and the other solo. A timed event where you will set your route, grab your holo and race to the next platform. Collecting the holo gives you more time, and the further you get, the higher the score.
A simple concept, but deceptively difficult.
Can’t Drive This has such a simple concept that a child could attempt it. The only issue if they did, is they are guaranteed to fail. Pixel Maniacs have developed this, so no game is the same. You do not know what building blocks will be allocated, and these have a massive impact on how easy your course is to navigate. You will be given simple curves and straight tracks to lay, but then a curveball is chucked into the mix. A ramp, high speed boost section, water trap, foggy area, ring of fire and so on. Your run can be ended with a bit of bad luck, or you can somehow land an epic jump and miss out on large sections of the map.
It was brilliantly infuriating and stupidly addictive. You die for the nth time and chuck your controller down, just to scream, “I want one more try!” You die again, bite your lip with rage and hit restart. Its simplicity makes it work so well, yet I wish it had more content and more game modes.
Basic 3D models and a bird’s-eye perspective.
The combination of two perspectives may confuse and annoy some gamers, but I liked how easily the action flitted from bird’s-eye to third-person. The basic imagery and cool colours made this very easy to look at. The simplicity is in line with the indie theme and is more than adequate for a game of this quality. The cinematic used in the tutorial was reminiscent of a 40s movie, with large in your face icons, and a grainy finish. I liked the whacky presentation, and it went hand in hand with the loud and funny acting.
The comedy flows through every inch of the voice-over work and all the tutorial videos. It’s always a bit of a gamble when you try to add humour, but I think the developers got the balance about right. The childish theme carries on with upbeat music and loud sound effects. The truck has a nice engine roar, and explosions had a good depth. Overall it’s at a standard which I expect, and there were no unpleasant surprises.
The gameplay is tough, but playing it isn’t.
The straightforward and clear message from the tutorial makes this very easy to pick up. The driving action is smooth and responsive, as is the building mode. Rotating each piece is completed with the bumper buttons, and the only stress comes from the ticking of the clock. Gamers of all skill sets will enjoy this, though real progress will only be made by those that are both lucky and skilful.
I enjoyed my time with this, but worry about its longevity. When a game relies heavily on a multiplayer option, you need a good bunch of friends who want to play it regularly to keep things going. If the developers looked to add more solo modes, custom options for track pieces, or different vehicles, I think this would help the lone player want to return. A tough achievement list requires every mode to be played thoroughly, so if you wish to gain the 100% status, you’re going to have to keep playing for some time.
I liked it, but it lacks depth.
Can’t Drive This is a fun little title that can be enjoyed casually. It’s easy to pick up, but tough to progress. The multiplayer modes are good just as long as you have friends who wish to keep playing. With a lack of solo modes and not as many custom options as I’d like, this somewhat lacks depth. Even with these drawbacks, I recommend it and you can buy it here! An enjoyable solo and multiplayer game where a calm head and great communication help you to the highest score possible.