Road to Guangdong presents for review as a game which thrusts you into a road trip with an old car that may need some work and some vague details on where you came.
Developed by ‘Just Add Oil Games‘ out of England, Road to Guangdong is a road trip simulator with a strong narrative. You will meet friends and family along the way while attempting to save your family restaurant.
Driving games are not hard to come by today. You can find realistic simulators, arcade racers, maybe even some early 90’s throwback racers – but very rarely can you find a “Road Trip Simulator.” This is exactly what Road to Guangdong attempts to deliver.
Players assume the role of “Sunny” and start with being introduced to your Aunt. Shortly afterward you have to get an old car named “Sandy” back in running order to begin a road trip across China to help the family. Plot details then reveal themselves as you progress through the game. Instead of just watching cut scenes or scrolling through text without interaction, you will be prompted often to pick dialogue choices. I am not certain how drastic these divert the plot as I did not play through multiple times but this does give a nice feeling of an open-ended adventure.
The other mechanic is the car maintenance. This is not as deep as a car mechanic simulator, but it does require more attention than most car related games. As you drive, you have to watch your gas, oil, and other general parts of the car. Driving the car is fairly basic with just gas and brake (no shifting) but you also have to make sure you maintain a balanced speed because the car will overheat.
Now, to the road trip. Unfortunately the scenery as you drive is a bit bland and repetitive. The art style is beautiful in its own right, but when you come from modern driving games, or even open ended games that have larger driving portions, the visuals begin to feel very flat.
Although the concept is very attractive to anyone who enjoys a good road trip, I really feel the basic structure of the game is a little too ambitious without more visual detail or variety while traveling the streets. You may find more enjoyment out of the dialogue, but this can only take you so far for a game that involves so much driving without engaging conflict.
Your goals will slowly be revealed as you progress down the road while repairing the car and talking with your Aunt and various other family members. The game does possess a certain charm which may resonate with some, but the adventure never fully lured me in. It left me begging to find more information about my next step in the road trip. Part of me is curious if making this into a VR experience would help.
Road to Guangdong
For the most part, those interested in narrative-heavy gaming experiences without any voiced dialogue will find Road to Guangdong worthwhile. Others looking for a a break from the latest action title may also enjoy the "choose your own adventure book" approach. It's slow progression and less than optimal visuals are the main factors holding the game back.
- Unique Concept
- Plenty of narrative
- Visuals lack fine detail
- Needs more driving mechanics or options
Prognosis is Fair