Close your eyes, take a deep breath and imagine this. Take Crazy Taxi, add to it a huge dose of Kuru Kuru Kururin, wrap it with an amusing cast of a 70’s B movie and finish it off with a disco funk soundtrack and you have Roundabout.
Roundabout was originally a PC game but it has finally landed on console and I have to say, it works beautifully. Set in 1977 the game puts you in the life of Georgio Manos, the world’s most famous, if weirdly quiet, revolving limousine driver. You start the game in the Limousine test center where you have to navigate your way through a set of obstacles to qualify for your license. On completion of this the story then starts to unfold and takes you through Georgio’s rise to fame, the highs, the lows and the loves while at the same time meeting some of the craziest characters I have seen in a game in a while. Oh and did I mention all the time your limousine is revolving!
The core of the game moves you through a colourful open world where you pick up missions in the form of passengers. Each passenger comes with its own full motion video clip which looks like it’s been cobbled together in your Dad’s garage, but that’s the point. This adds a weirdly hypnotic draw to the game and I was finding myself happily watching and laughing at each character’s craziness and even though Georgio doesn’t say anything, the looks and expressions from the driver’s seat said it all.
Once you have a mission you are guided by a series of arrows through the open world, carefully navigating your way through many obstacles like cars, street lamps, fences buildings and off course roundabouts. This sounds so easy but timing is the key here and one misplaced movement can find you stuck between two obstacles. Being stuck is short-lived though as your Limousine explodes in a colourful fireball, I’m speaking from experience here, and you are left trying to work out what happened while watching the wheels bounce down the street. Fortunately the developers have been kind and there are several checkpoints during each mission so you will never be reset too far from your last point.
Mastering the ability to navigate your way through some of the tightest obstacles and roadblocks is vital to this game and however frustrating it can get, its feels so gratifying once you do get the hang of it. Within 10 minutes I was driving the main streets like a pro, throwing my stretched Limousine through some of the tightest spaces and round tight hilltop roads but there is always a greater challenge awaiting or maybe a tree or wall.
As with any game there has to be customisations that you can make to your original vehicle and this game doesn’t fall short. Through Mickey the Mechanic you can equip all sorts of weird and wonderful power-ups to your limo. The first one you acquire is the Turtle, this slows down time when activated, throwing you in to a psychedelic hippy style environment – a nice little touch. Others help you find hidden treasures. All these make the game more enjoyable and will cater for even the strangest of tastes.
Every main mission can be completed quite quickly but that will only give you a score of 50%, you see, each mission also has side goals – collect the coins, don’t explode (not my favorite), don’t hit any pedestrians etc. so this adds that extra challenge to each mission that will have you retrying them over and over until you hit perfection, but it doesn’t stop there. There are also a bunch of challenges. Have you ever tried to do keepie uppies with a revolving limo? Well you can now. This adds more depth into the game and will keep you entertained for hours. In my search I found a few but I can assure you I was only skimming the surface.
I have to admit that when I first looked at Roundabout I thought that my pleasure and interest would be short-lived but there is something about this game that kept me hooked. Before you know it you have played for several hours and are driving around in a limousine wearing a hat, the car that is, not you. Even when you put the controller down you somehow want to pick it up again just to see if you can get one more notch on the leaderboard or that extra coin you missed. Overall I really enjoyed it and would recommend this to people who just want a bit of fun without having to over think things – certainly a nice little addition to have on your Xbox One that will keep you entertained and smiling for hours.
Thanks to Xbox for supplying TiX with a download code
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