Urban Flow – Review
Follow Genre: Puzzle, Party
Developer: Baltoro Games
Publisher: Baltoro Games
Platform: Switch
Tested on: Switch

Urban Flow – Review

Site Score
8.2
Good: Concept, Controls, Zen-like moments
Bad: No rhyme or reason to the difficulty, Best enjoyed with a full party
User Score
8.8
(6 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.8/10 (6 votes cast)

Puzzle games come in all shapes and sizes and many have to rely on a certain shtick to stand out from the crowd. We have had games in which we have to solve numeric puzzles, to small platformer titles that have you collect certain objects. This time, we’re controlling the flow of traffic by being in command of every map’s different traffic lights. We can only switch between green and red, but not timing this transition properly might result in huge pileups and crashes. Of course, the game does its best to throw extra obstacles in the mix, to make sure you’re paying full attention. We tried the game both solo, as well as with friends, the latter being a true party game experience.

Story

There is absolutely no story to be found in Urban Flow. You’ll just be dropped on random maps, which show you a certain overlay of a city, or busy streets to be more precise. You’ll be then left to your own devices by having to regulate the traffic lights, alone, or with up to three friends. The game does not require any story to stand out in its genre.

Graphics

The graphical style of Urban Flow is actually quite nice. The maps themselves are quite detailed and look like nice little snippets of actual city environments. The vehicles themselves are disguised as low-poly models in different colors. These models look amazingly cute and give the game a very lighthearted art style, certainly drawing in a diverse crowd. The game also sometimes does a few graphical effects, like fog on your screen, or busted traffic camera’s, and this gives everything a nice touch.

Some maps are a bit unclear, but we reckon these are design choices to make things harder. Sometimes you’ll have to control a traffic light on a small intersection, where you have no proper view of the oncoming traffic.

Sound

Urban Flow has a fairly nice accompanying soundtrack to go with things. The game does mix some smooth and calm tunes with some fairly heavy bass drops, making something enjoyable, but not too dull for a game such as this. The sound effects themselves are quite simple, but they do the trick to properly convey what is going on onscreen.

Gameplay

Urban Flow is a puzzle game in which you have to control the flow of traffic by regulating the traffic lights of a specific city location. The game utilizes simple controls, where you have to tap the corresponding button to change the respective traffic light. In handheld mode, you can also tap the light icons, if that makes things easier for you. We tried the game in single-player, which makes it tough as nails at times, but also with two to four players, which makes the game increasingly easier.

The game’s offset is quite simple. You direct the traffic lights as you go, and pay attention to other obstacles that slowly get added to the levels. At times you’ll have to wipe away the fog from your screen, pick up trash dropped by garbage trucks, or even allow priority access to ambulances, or allow free passage to tanks as they will just drive over cars if they have to. These added obstacles add some extra difficulty to the game, which is sometimes fun to deal with.

There’s a huge gap in difficulty between the different levels. Some are very easy, and only require you to keep track of one big obstacle, while others are pure chaos and require tons of micromanagement. Either way is fine, but there is no proper consistency in how the levels progress. Other than that, the difficulty between playing alone, or with different people is huge. You’ll notice that the game becomes a lot easier if you’re playing with four people, compared to a single-player playthrough. Some levels aren’t properly designed for a four-player party as they have too few traffic lights to control.

Controls are easy and the game properly shows which buttons correspond with which (set of) traffic lights. Sometimes a button controls more than one traffic light, which is another added challenge. The touch screen controls work decently, but it’s still advised to play this game on the big screen with more players.

Conclusion

Urban Flow is a very amusing and addictive puzzle game. The game can go to two extremes, namely, stress you out with all the things you have to do, or make you go into a zen-like state where you just routinely keep track of the flow of traffic. While the mechanics of this game are simple, the many different maps make sure you’ll have a lot of stages to beat before you’re through Urban Flow’s content. We did notice that this game is best enjoyed with friends, so if you’re looking for a party game in which communication is key, then this one’s surely a great pick.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.8/10 (6 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
Urban Flow - Review, 8.8 out of 10 based on 6 ratings
Ibuki
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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