Disclaimer: I'm not being sponsored nor endorsed by Slowroads.io or any of its supporters to make this review - I've recently fallen in love with this game, and wanted to share it with the world...or at least, those whom read this article.
I'm no trend-setter by any means - I'm always slow onboard the train of the "latest new thing", but Slowroads...Slowroads was different.
I first heard about "Slowroads.io" late last month (31st October)
after jumping into the Discord server, I was surprised to discover that the "final release version" was only released a week or so before I arrived in the server.
I could go on forever about the history of Slowroads - but this review isn't about that.
The Pros (There Are Many!)
Whilst Triple-A games are striving for bigger and better graphics and release games at £80 or more, SlowRoads is taking a new approach - a free, online game, accessible for everyone.
For a simple browser game, it's absolutely ingenious. You've got a car, you've got a road, and you drive...endlessly.
The smarts behind it is that the road/s are procedurally generated - meaning that as you drive the road is automatically generated - meaning that you'll never get the same road or layout again - and you have no idea where the next bend will take you.
I think, what amazes me the most, is the sheer amount of variety this game has - all created by just one person.
In just one game, you've got 20 different variations of weather from four different seasons and five different time-settings (sunrise, morning, noon, sunset, night) - across four different planets (Earth, The Moon, Venus and Mars).
Additionally, you have the option of changing the "difficulty level" from "Casual" (common B-Roads) to "Hard" (Scottish Highlands).
Even in the month I've been on it, so much has happened - the community has found an obsession with bridges (and finding them), people have been driving hundreds of thousands of miles/kilometres - and quite understandably so, it's so easy to lose track of time when you just want to see where that next bend leads, or what's around the side of this mountain - is it a picturesque view?
There's been a small update or two, and plenty more on the way.
The concept - and indeed "product" are so simple, yet so effective - and the smallest of touches really make the game come alive - the cats eyes, British (Style) road-signs and barriers.
How each season and time is presented, the fact it has a day/night cycle and doesn't just "spawn in", it slowly fades to the next stage of the cycle.
There are even different sounds for the scraping and impacting the barrier! A lovely little touch.
Ideas For The Future
The Discord Server has been inundated with feedback, suggestions and ideas - and other than if I purposely drive the wrong way, or get lost in rural Scotland, I have no faults or gripes with this game - it's brand new, and I'm just ecstatic with every update.
Organising a road-trip with multiple players I feel would be near-on impossible (especially with the terrain de-spawning behind you), but all I'd add is possibly a few landmarks, little towns and villages off in the distance.
I know a review isn't meant to be biased one way or another, but it's much too early to say "oh, this is wrong, that's buggy etc." as the developer is working INCREDIBLY hard to fix bugs and make improvements (including the long-awaited cockpit camera! (well, long-awaited in context to how long the game has been online!)
But after hours of playing, I see no "glaring" problem - "ai" or other vehicles on the road would be nice, but all in good time.
In conclusion, Anslo, the developer has created a beautiful game - with a great sense of "replay-ability" (the ability to play it over and over without it getting tedious or repetitive) - to think back to my time at school, and having to make do with Agar.io and Snake.io - it's absolutely fascinating - and I truly do believe that this will be the next big thing to hit schools (and work-places!) in a few updates time.
A little day/night cycle drive with music