Roundabout could be the Surgeon Simulator 2013 of Driving Games

I wanna take you for a ride.

In Roundabout, you’re basically hydroplaning nonstop. That’s the easiest way I can think to describe this open world puzzle game where you attempt to drive a powder blue limousine that’s endlessly spinning on its axis. This means if you try to drive in any single direction you will just end up spinning donuts. It’s a ridiculous constraint, but Roundabout revels in ridiculousness. In a way, its intentionally-awkward controls lend to driving what Surgeon Simulator 2013 lends to surgery. Roundabout uses its cumbersomeness to its advantage and offers up an obstacle course based around driving in circles.

When I first stepped into the driver’s seat I found it almost impossible to go anywhere except into the nearest wall. Just getting the car to move in a straight line is a nigh impossible challenge best fit for a Hollywood stunt driver and not someone who regularly wipes out in Mario Kart. It didn’t help that I was driving through a claustrophobic city played from a top-down perspective--similar to the early Grand Theft Auto games. Trees, other cars, lamp posts, and really cramped alleyways that I had no business driving down were the bane of my existence.

When I say "bane of my existence" what I really mean is that my car would explode if I bumped into too many things. And I bumped into a lot of things. Thankfully, the game constantly doled out checkpoints so that I could quickly retry tricky spots. This was especially helpful when I was attempting one of the game’s missions, which all involved me picking up a friendly stranger and bumbling through some hellish urban maze on the way to his or her destination. Except for the one where cars started raining down from the sky. That one got a little weird.

Speaking of weird, the game also employed full motion video cinematics. These campy cutscenes provided some context for you missions, such as the lazy soccer star who wanted me to drive him to the soccer field, and then drive a soccer ball into the goal for him. The talent for these scenes is pulled primarily from developer No Goblin’s own backyard of Seattle, Washington, including other local developers, YouTube personalities, and whoever responded to their brilliant casting call. No matter how vexed I got while driving, it was well worth it just to see the next super-cheesy, 70’s-inspired interstitial.

You can unlock special powers for your limo, such as jumping or slowing down its rotation. Oh, and don't worry about the blood.

If all this sounds like I’m putting down on Roundabout, know that isn’t my intention. Wrapping my head around its unusual control scheme was definitely a challenge at first, but after spending some time with the game I found there were moments when everything just clicked. By timing the rotation of my car perfectly I could glide in, out, and around every little obstacle without even a scratch--for a minute or two at least. There’s a method to this madness, provided you don’t get too dizzy along the way. Roundabout is coming to PC, Mac, Linux, and Xbox One though ID@XBOX later this year.

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13 comments
00J
00J

Someone said THIS is better than Earth Defense Force 2025. Can you believe that? Earth Defense Force is no HALO, it's NO HALO but damn, i guess some people really do get a kick out of those red slinky eyeball glasses that bounce bugged out eye balls up and down up and down... 

Phoenix0nFire
Phoenix0nFire

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X-tract
X-tract

How does this in any way or shape relate to Surgeon Simulator?

Tiwill44
Tiwill44

The Surgeon Simulator of driving games would be a game in first-person where you attempt to drive a car using weird arm controls.

Mega_Skrull
Mega_Skrull

Mmm, I'm sure this looks the same as a certain puzzle game, just with the limo makeover and blood, but I've seen this before.

*googles*

It seems the first was called Kuru Kuru Kururin, for Gameboy advance, there are probably other clones.I can make games like this too, where's the line for copying things? Maybe Zinga or King know...


And "Roundabout could be the Surgeon Simulator 2013 of Driving Games"

Who the fuck would call this a driving game?

00J
00J

Garbage... What a waste of programming talent... 

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@X-tract

Awkward controls.

Yet really, the author of this article either prefers to cite relatively high-profile Surgeon Simulator or is not aware of earlier games with awkward controls, such as QWOP.

Pewbert
Pewbert

@X-tract They mean in a "crazy game becomes popular" kind of way.

00J
00J

@Tiwill44  Yeah you'd have drunk hands and you'd mess up like hit the windshield wiper controls or accidentally turn the car off or pick up a map and block your view. Get your hands stuck through the steering wheel you know stuff like that... 

pez2k_
pez2k_

@Tiwill44 Night Rider Turbo is exactly that, even down to the 80s theme and it being a Flash demo. It's about as hilariously hopeless too.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

The above is coming from a person who apparently adores Earth Defence Force. :/

00J
00J

@Gelugon_baat  You think EDF is garbage it's not a AAA title but I'd rather skip stones across a pond than waste 5 minutes swirling a taxi, limo around in circles...? I don't even see the relation... Obviously we have a HUGE DIFFERENCE in "taste" for games... HAHAHAHAHA


So if i made a game about chasing a squirrel around a yard "blindfolded" you'd like that? I bet you might...

Blindfolded means all your controls are random, so you can't see anything and the controls reverse every random second...


Your power ups would be running over and collecting apples and flowers that would slowly give you control to your character...