In Does not Commute, you are the conductor of a chaotic orchestra where V8 engines replace violins, and waving your arms about is only going to make things worse. Your challenge is to control the traffic. Not with a whistle and a high-vis jacket, but by driving each hot rod and hot dog van, every beach buggie and bin lorry from its start point to its desired destination.
To do this, you press the sides of the screen to turn left and right as your vehicle automatically accelerates. It all sounds simple enough, right? And it is. At least at first. Things, however, quickly become more difficult.
As soon as you deliver a commuter, it’s time to take the next on their journey, one by one. Now, as well as picking the most efficient route for each vehicle, you’ve got to avoid crashing into the cars you’ve already directed. The more journeys you take, the more challenging the whole thing becomes, transforming this driving game into one of strategy and path management.
Oh, and there’s the added pressure of this all being set against a timer. Get all of the commuters to their destinations in time or it's game over. There are time-boosting power-ups along the way though, and you'll need them. Every collision damages your car and slows it down. So will wrong turns or taking that so-called “shortcut” you thought you'd spotted through the woods.
While all this is entertainment enough, it’s merely the backdrop to the gripping soap opera that’s bubbling along under the surface. Each driver has their own, increasingly tantalising and bizarre narrative, and as the stories unravel, you’ll laugh, cringe and sit there mouth agape at the tales that make an Eastenders plot line feel tame.
We all know that games are a great way to beat the commuter blues, but Does not Commute proves that this can still be the case even when those games are about commuting. It’s a fun, frantic strategy game and sure, nobody enjoys being stuck in traffic, but directing it, it turns out, is surprisingly fun.