Switch review: Traffix

Ever wanted to control traffic? No? Well, this probably isn't for you then - Traffix is a game where you control traffic. It's very similar to Urban Flow. And it's more fun than it might sound.

Each level in Traffix is named after a real location. I couldn't tell you exactly where the bit of road featured in each stage is from - but it doesn't matter. Whether you're getting cars around a roundabout in London, or carefully letting traffic move across the streets of New York, every location feels a little different to the last.

Not that the visuals incorporate anything recognisable, though. Traffix adopts a very minimalistic style, which is repeated across all of the 32 levels.

Traffix for Nintendo Switch

In short, your goal is to get the white cars across the screen by changing the lights. Each light is red by default, and assigned to one of the buttons on the controller. You can press once to let one car through - or double-tap to turn the light green and let all cars through until you turn it off again. Occasionally, letting one car through will actually result in a cheeky second car tailgating the first one and not stopping for the red light. This can lead to some problems!

Coming from playing Urban Flow, where the traffic lights work as a simple red/green on-off switch, Traffix took a bit of getting used to. Double-tapping is not particularly intuitive, and in several cases I found the button presses didn't register properly. It might be my Pro controller...

Your obstacles are the black objects - mostly other cars that don't stop, but trains and planes make an appearance too. Some roads go under others, which makes it harder to see where the black cars are as they can't be seen when they're in a tunnel.

Traffix for Nintendo Switch

If you hit another car, you'll get marked down the number of crashed vehicles - which almost always happens in pairs. Crash 10 cars and it's game over. Police cars can't hit anything - any crashes involving police cars will instantly end the level.

And if you leave cars sitting at red lights for too long, a clock symbol will appear to show that the drivers are getting annoyed. If the clock fills up, you'll get a honked horn, a sad face, and a "road rage" incident. Again, too many of these will end the level.

I think the "road rage" works well here. In Traffix, the timer is based on how long any car has been in a queue, so it might just be one car - or it might be a few. In Urban Flow, the lights themselves are on a timer, so if you take too long they'll just turn green. You can make far fewer mistakes in Urban Flow, so missing one light can mean game over.

At any rate, you'll want to avoid all mistakes if you're shooting for a perfect 3 stars on every level - doing so unlocks Chaos Mode on any level you finish perfectly.

Traffix for Nintendo Switch

In Chaos Mode, there are two big changes. Firstly, there's a lot more traffic. Secondly, you only have police cars. It's basically sudden death with a much narrower margin for error. I've not played much of Chaos Mode yet - but I did get 3 stars on every level in Normal Mode, so I've played them all.

In terms of value for money - Traffix is £4.99, with 32 stages and two modes. Urban Flow is £13.49 but has 100 stages and DLC. Neither of the games is super challenging, but they'll keep you occupied for a few hours each. One difference is that a lot of the levels in Urban Flow are very similar (some are repeated). In Traffix, each stage is unique, and has its own strategies that you need to master to clear it.

For me, Traffix has the edge as the levels are better and it's a "purer" experience. It's worth picking up.

Score: 8/10

Published: 24th Dec 2020 17:34

Title Traffix
Rank 618/3999
Average rating 8.13
eShop price £4.99
Europe release 21st Dec 2020
Players 1
Developer(s) Infinity Games
Publisher(s) Nerd Monkeys

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