Get this thing towed
Title: Road to Guangdong
Platform: Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, and Xbox One (reviewed)
Developer: Just Add Oil Games
Publisher: Excalibur Publishing
Release date: Out Now
tl;dr: Time to strip the parts
Price: £17 / $20
Family Focus: Click here for more information.
Road to Guangdong tells the story of Sunny and her Aunt Guu Ma, embark on a journey of a lifetime as they travel across China in their beloved, yet ageing, family car. Following the death of her parents thus inheriting the family restaurant, they need to pay a visit to the various family members.
Road to Guandong is a unique game where players will go on a road trip, literally. Sunny and Guu Ma have to go through various areas of China where they need to visit family members in order to pay their respects and also reveal that Sunny will take the restaurant in a new direction.
With road trips comes responsibilities! Given that the family car, named Sandy, is quite old and beat up, it needs to be taken care of. Before going on the road, you’ll need to go through a handful of repairs to bring Sandy to a tip-top shape… well as much as this old girl can be. You’ll also need to keep your gas tank topped as having an empty tank won’t let you go far.
The game also centres on the money you have. Roadtrips are expensive and this game applies it to a tee. You start off with a set amount of money and fixing your ride, filling the gas, and oil tank will eat up at your savings. If you get stuck, you can call upon a tow truck so you can resume your adventure. While the first tow is free, prepare to pay for subsequential help.
But this is where the problems begin. As I tried to reach new areas to meet Sunny’s family members, the gas tank would drain faster than you can say Guangdong. Often times, I was between areas and never came across a single gas station, meaning I had to call up a tow truck; which wastes money. And given that the game gives you no direction, you can end up going nowhere, on long stretches without any garage/gas station in sight thus running out of money because you keep getting towed.
The other annoying mechanic here is that shortly before officially starting the road trip, you’re called upon fixing your ride so it can endure at least some mileage, so why in the hell is the coolant light always on after I’ve been barely driving requiring that I always have to slow down to turn it off. If the car was all fixed a few minutes before, why am I already screwed?
The game looks and sounds great. The visuals are uniquely designed and colourful; almost cel-shaded like. Characters aren’t overly detailed, but unique enough to easily distinguish them from one another. Environments, however, are pretty barebone, so when riding at night, it feels almost dead. The soundtrack is a great mix of rock and ambient, lounge-esque music; ironically enough perfect for a real road trip.
Road to Guangdong is a great and interesting concept; going on a road trip; driving around colourful settings set to the sound of ambient and rock music, but the whole thing falls flat. More often than not, you’ll run out of gas before reaching new areas. I can understand Sandy is beat up, but it hinders the fun of it. Get this one towed and save your money for something that will you more miles for your buck. Hard to do a road trip when you can barely go 10MPH and run out of gas after 3 blocks.
- Great and interesting concept.
- Great soundtrack.
- Sandy is a gas guzzler.
- Execution falls flat.
Road to Guangdong is rated E for Everyone and PEGI3 due to the presence of violence references.
This review is based on a review copy of the game provided by the publisher