Is that a polygon in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

Bloc & Roll – Jalopy Goes Gold

PC •

Radvaĭ se, Vauxhall Viva fans and the confraternity of the Nissan Cedric Special! MinskWorksJalopy has left the detritus-strewn garage of Early Access and is now travelling the Eastern Bloc highways of a one-point-zero release!

Put the State in your Stately Play car game of 2018. Read on!

Jalopy is a wonderfully low-gear burble through the fading glory of Eastern Europe. I’ve had the pleasure of noodling around in the early builds, droning along the austere network of roads in the shadow of a collapsing Berlin Wall. However, it’s time to mix the oils and open up Greg Pryjmachuk’s carPG across East Germany, Bulgaria, Turkey, the former Yugoslavia and Hungary in its full release.

Navigate miles and miles of tyre changing, fuel burning, carburettor busting, mud clattering terrain, through night and day, rain and shine. Adapt to whatever the procedurally generated world of Jalopy can throw at you.

Upgrade, maintain and care for your Laika 601 Deluxe motor vehicle. Keep close attention to everything from the state of your tyres, the condition of your engine and even the space in your trunk. Repair each aspect of your scrappy little car and install unique upgrades to deal with the changing world. Everything from cargo weight to the condition of your carburettor will determine how your car performs on the open road.

The rise of capitalism brings an economical conundrum. Scavenge for scraps to make a small return of investment, or become a baron of the open road and smuggle contraband under the eyes of border patrols to make a sizable profit.

Developer Greg Pryjmachuk worked on the Formula 1 franchise from 2009 through to 2014. In late 2014, Greg began work on this new driving simulation featuring the fictional Laika 601 Deluxe car; reminiscent of the East German “Trabbie”, it will need much love and care to keep it going on this memorable road trip!

Jalopy has this bedraggled ambiance that you don’t often find in games, and especially not in the open world genre. It has its own economy, its own light sprinkling of crafting, regional differences and visual flavours; the complete package. The driving model is approachable, the interaction tactile without contrivance. The only cliche is that this game is very much about the journey, with the destination a plus.

And as you pull off a lonely eastbound road, a strained squeak of tired wipers in concert with the patter of evening rain, all the polygons and horsepower elsewhere cannot hope to compete with MinskWorks ruminative roamer. It’s a game of stopping the car as much as getting it started again.

Oh, and still relevant. Whet one’s whistle with the mellifluous tones of Noah Caldwell-Gervais’ ‘Jalopy! And the other side of maturity in games‘ Early Access examination.

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Notable Replies

  1. Sounds fun!

    I've always liked the idea of road trip games, but there needs to be an element of "game" strewn in. Personally, I've always wanted some sort of video game version of Top Gear/Grand Tour's challenges, but I don't now how to translate the humor and ridiculousness into video game form. Telltale could do it, but then you lose the driving element.

  2. Your travel companion, an old uncle reminiscing on time and place, makes for good company. It's very nostalgic, without being...you know...twee or Ernest Clinian.

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