The ID@Xbox program is continuing to throw out some curveball games to the Xbox community, with recent releases The Escapists
and Blue Estate
both being well rated by our reviewers. The next offering from No Goblin is a truly original concept in the form of a spinning limo driven by a silent driver. Roundabout
, previously available on PC, sees you enter the shoes of Georgio Manos, a limo driver with a knack for spinning around. A unique and unusual idea, but does it make for an entertaining and enticing game?
You start the game by passing your limo driving test, obviously, and once done the world is your oyster. Apparently in this world, everyone gets around in a limo instead of walking or ordering taxis, which is lucky as it keeps you in a job. Controlling a constantly spinning limo is far from easy, and during your first mission you may find it a bit difficult to grasp and want to give up. Fighting that feeling is the best thing to do, as controlling the limo gets easier the further you progress and the game becomes more addicting by the minute.
Once you have got to grips with the spinning, there isn't much else for you to figure out controls wise. At the start of the game you can only speed up the spinning of the limo, with more abilities unlocking as you go further into the game and meet certain requirements. These minimal controls mean it is easy to jump into the game, but those who persevere will be met with a jumping, diving, swimming, music playing limo that can do things an average limo can't. The requirements are part hidden, so players who explore and play through all aspects of the game will be rewarded with more abilities to choose from, which will come in useful when trying to reach 100% completion
You'll be met with a number of different missions and challenges that consist simply of getting a person from A to B for the most part, with some taking a minor detour. While each of the missions can be easily completed, the tricky part comes in fulfilling the requirements for each item on the checklist. At the end of each mission, a percentage will pop up and direct you to a "How's my driving?"
screen, which lets you see what you need to do to 100% the mission. These can include completing it in a certain time, collecting all the stars and not hitting anything amongst other things, but luckily you don't have to do everything in one run. You can spread it across as many tries as you want, which is good because even the best driver will have trouble finishing a mission in thirty seconds, while collecting all the coins and not hitting anything on the way (luckily your passengers don't seem to mind if you explode them every now and again). Unfortunately, if you want to replay missions, you need to go back and find the individual star on the map, which can be irritating.
Your other option to distract you from missions are the challenges. These are unlocked as you progress through the story, and can be played from the main menu once discovered. There's a nice variety of challenges to keep you entertained, including ball bouncing, running over pedestrians (which is definitely more fun than it should be) and a destruction derby. While most challenges are fairly easy and fun, some are quite annoying. The Great Hunt, for example, has you searching for specific areas using a not-so-great radar system on your car, and trying to find six of these areas
will quite possibly have you raging at your screen.
The game's graphical style does not try to be the best; it keeps it simple and makes it work really well. The bright colours help keep your eyes drawn to the game, and add to the old feel it successfully achieves. Sometimes though, the picture can look fuzzy and not completely clear. This doesn't happen often, but is annoying when it does. You'll be met with old clips and footage through the story, along with live actors in the cutscenes. Whilst your passengers seem very unenthusiastic about the situations they are in, you'll become familiarised with the people you meet along the way, and learn to love or loathe them. These people tell you a story and (apart from Georgio, who never says a word) you won't be able to help but smirk at the runaway groom, the escaping priest or the Swedish tourist (who later turns Canadian).
What is a game like Roundabout
without collectibles? There aren't too many here for you to find, but enough to keep you busy once the story is over. Horns, money stashes and special jumps will have you searching left, right, up and down across the three areas of Roundabout
, and with no tracking for which collectibles you have in which area and only an unlockable radar to help, you could be searching for a while. You'll also need to be buying properties along the way. The money earned from those properties help you buy hats and paint jobs to customise your limo. The properties earn their money at different rates, but annoyingly you have to keep going back to collect the money as it isn't automatically cashed into your account.
There's a fairly decent amount of hats, paint jobs and horns for you to choose from. Whether you want a donut on the roof, a flashy gold paint job, or for your limo to sound like a spaceship, there's a customisation item for you. You'll find the horns through explorations (with jumping and swimming making the exploration area much bigger) but the hats and paint jobs must be bought. The completionists amongst you will be wanting to buy and collect them all, which will take time but keeps you playing the game after the story is over.Roundabout
has a standard 1000G achievement list, but the variety of the achievements means that you will be exploring the whole of the three areas at every opportunity. There are only four achievements that you will unlock by simply playing the story, but just doing that would be a crime. While you may not want to play to 100%
, the various challenges
will bump up that gamerscore. You'll have fun getting your very own pet eagle
and learning to pay your silent respects
, but what will keep you the most busy is spinning around over 53,596 times.
One achievement which might catch you eye is for completing the "classic" length of desert limo without crashing
. The original "classic" length for the game Desert Bus
was eight hours, so this could prove an interesting achievement if the same needs to be done here.
The story may be short and the graphics might not be of the highest quality, but Roundabout
is more than worthy of your time. If you take it for a spin, you will struggle to not gain an annoying amount of enjoyment from it. It definitely grows on you the more you play it. The lack of tracking for the collectibles might put off some gamers until a guide emerges, and there were a couple of problems with glitches that cause the limo to not move when respawned and building pop-in issues. It is worth taking a ride with Georgio, and whilst it may not be the ride of a lifetime, it is certainly a more than enjoyable journey.The reviewer spent approximately ten hours continuously spinning around in her limo, exploring the areas of Roundabout and taking people where they needed to go. This unlocked 33 of the games 40 achievements. An Xbox One digital copy of the game was provided by the developer for the purpose of this review.