Roundabout: Best Revolving Limousine - Games Weekly

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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Roundabout: Best Revolving Limousine

Alot of games take it upon themselves to put a new spin on an established genre, but Roundabout takes the mantraa bit more literally, putting players at the helm of the world’s first spinning limousine. That’s right,a spinning limousine. The latest ID@Xbox oddity delightfully takes the basic concept of obscure Japanese Game Boy Advance title Kuru Kuru Kururin and ups the carnage, while integrating a series of cheesy live-action B-movie skits as you pick up passengers.

As you'd imagine, anyone stupid enough to step inside a revolving limousine has a couple of screws loose, and the cast of ridiculous characters you encounter across the campaign prove just that. You play the part of Georgio Ramos,a limo driver with ambitions to become the world’s foremost revolving chauffeur. But the game isn’t just about Georgio transporting her passengers from one side of the city to the other, but the madcap interactions that she has ina series of live-action cutscenes that break up the gameplay.

These sequences capture the tone of Roundabout: tongue in cheek and purposely amateurish, but you get the sense that everyone on board is having a huge amount of fun. Each of these sequences starts as you accept a mission, cutting to the live-action footage, featuring hilariously bad acting and sloppy directing. Whether it’s someone putting on an atrociously bad accent, or mismatched eye contact between actors, the spoof has been meticulously executed.
 “You get the sense that everyone on board is having a huge amount of fun”
 What you can also expect is a surprisingly amount of heart and no small amount of intrigue. Despite the fact that Georgio is complete mute and the whole effort is designed to be entirely off beat, developer No Goblin establishes quite a substantial story and emotion around its lead.

But before any of that can really kick off, you’ve got to get passengers into the limousine which is easier said than done. The always rotating limousine must be controlled through the vast streets of Roundabout City, although you have no control over the speed of its gyration,  so you rely on precise timing of speed  and direction to successfully navigate through the world without leaving a massive  path of destruction behind you.

Cars, fences, street lamps and, obviously, roundabouts are all objects  in the environment (and mostly destructible) that you have to steer around to avoid causing damage to your vehicle and exploding in a ball of flame. It turns out that a spinning car is not only quite hard to drive but also provides a significant danger to other drivers and pedestrians. It all comes down to having both an understanding of the mechanics and the courage to push your limo to the limits and squeeze through those narrow spaces. Simple.

There are other influences that can be gleamed through the concept, not least Crazy Taxi and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. The series of inventive challenges  and  the core fast-paced racing gameplay make for an addictive hook and an encouraging sign that Round about is more than just a series of fun comedy sketches.

Of course, you could play it right  now and find out yourself, but we’ve no doubt it’s a game best played on the comfort of a gamepad. As you progress through  the game you unlock a series of power ups and the ability to jump, which opens up new paths and shortcuts to pass through. With a speed run mode included, we’re confident that the console version will be the pro’s choice when it comes to the fight for leaderboard dominance.

There’s plenty going on in Round about to make it an indie highlight of 2015. Not only is Xbox One criminally short on spinning limousine games right now, but with its simple but addictive arcade gameplay, matched with the zany humour of its FMV cutscenes, there’s really nothing else out there quite like it right now.  Make sure you fasten your seatbelt, because  it’s going to bea bumpy ride.

One element of Roundabout that really grabs our attention is the tone of its live action sequence and how it reinforces the outlandish concept of its gameplay. It’s a parade of weird, oddball characters that immerse the player in a series of bizarre short stories, lead by a quizzical Giorgio Manos. We’re hoping for a lot more of this sort of cheesy nonsense when we play the full game next year

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