Yellow is not an option…
In Traffic Control you take up the daunting task of shuffling a mindless flow of traffic across 5 levels, each with their own unique intersections to manage. This may sound easy enough, but when your up against randomness, you have to be quick on your toes, toggling your traffic lights from red to green (by tapping on them) with precise timing. Yellow is just not an option here, it’s either stop or go…no in between!
Truth be told, this game is actually a lot of fun – albeit in short bursts. It’s obviously not going to win any awards, but for 99c if you can live with the whole cheap and cheerful vibe, then you will have a game that is enjoyable enough to bring a smile to your face, possibly even a giggle or two, but only if you don’t take it too seriously. However if you can’t help but to feel a bit put off by lameness, this is probably some traffic you really shouldn’t bother controlling.
The gameplay of Traffic Control revolves around flow management via well timed toggles of your traffic lights, from red to green then back to red, and again to green… so on and so on. On each level there is a highway of non-stop randomized traffic that flows through the center. It’s up to you to ensure that all the vehicles crazy enough to drive on your controlled lanes, make it across this highway safely without any collisions en route. In order to do this you must keep a keen eye out for any on-coming traffic. When it’s safe to cross you open the floodgates (by toggling your traffic light to green) and the vehicles stacked up, or casually driving, will go ahead and cross the highway. When oncoming traffic appears you need to close the floodgates quickly (by toggling your traffic light to red) to stop them until it’s safe to cross again.
This flow management gameplay is classic. Each vehicle type has its own unique speed; some are really slow (like trucks, and buses), others have an average speed (cars), and some are very fast (motor-bikes, sports cars, cop-cars, ambulances etc). In addition you can only allow so many vehicles to stack up in your lanes. If you let too many stack up you will fail the level.
It’s not the most imaginative or complex gameplay in the world, but there is fun to be had nonetheless, and that’s what games are all about isn’t it?
Traffic Control has its very own built in global leader-boards system. It even allows you to publish your high-scores on a world map using GPS alongside other enthusiastic players (although at the time of this review only one person has actually done so). There’s also an interesting prize tab. It’s basically an in-game achievement system where you get a house that evolves as you progress through the game unlocking virtual add-ons.
You can also challenge your friends via email, which sends them a link to buy the game. The only issue of note with this idea is that other then game email correspondence there’s no way to tell if your friends joined the game, and no way to filter the leader-boards down to just your friends.
iFanzine Verdict: Traffic Control is a game that feels amateurish at best. That’s not to say that the game isn’t technically sound, because I found no issues with the game’s performance at all. If you’re in a flow management mood, this game is not bad and is somewhat fun to play in short bursts when suffering bouts of extreme boredom.
Score: 4.5 out of 10