Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
You may recall that I was quite taken with Does Not Commute when I was able to check it out back during GDC. Well, not a lot has changed in the intervening months, but the changes that are noticeable have managed to make it even more interesting.
In other words, you should consider downloading Does Not Commute while you’re reading this. Then you can jump into it as soon as you’re finished.
The basic idea is to tap and hold on the right and left sides of the screen to steer a given vehicle left or right. You’re treated to a bizarre but quite intriguing snippet of a story that pertains to the person behind the wheel (and it only gets weirder as you progress), then it’s a matter of getting them to their intended destination.
It starts out as a quick drive across the neighborhood, but every time you reach a given vehicles’ designated exit time will rewind and you’ll have to do the same for a new one. And because time has looped back you’re going to need to be mindful of all the other vehicles you’ve been controlling up to that point. In essence you’re creating a puzzle/gauntlet for yourself as you play. Thankfully if you mess up really bad you can rewind your current vehicle at the cost of one second off your total time.
What’s more, each vehicle handles a bit differently - to the point where some might even flip over if you aren’t careful. Crashing merely slows things down however, and you only really lose once the ever-present timer hits zero. Which it will if you aren’t mindful of it, since it won’t reset between vehicles. Although the further you progress the more optional power-ups (like armor or turbo) you’ll unlock.
You might be thinking that the power-ups are where the free-to-play stuff comes in, but that’s actually not the case. Once you unlock power-ups they stay unlocked, and you can choose to activate one of them (or not) for each and every vehicle. No need to pay for any of that. Instead you can pay a one-time fee of $1.99 to unlock checkpoints, which will let you continue your run from where you left off if you quit or fail.
With or without checkpoints, Does Not Commute is a very fun and clever arcade/puzzle/driving… thing. And since I’m pretty sure it’s finished downloading by now, you should give yourself a few turns behind the wheel and see for yourself.