It’s not uncommon for indie games to boast a retro vibe – in fact, possibly the majority. But, while a lot of those result in pixel-based homages to platformers or point and clicks, Roundabout is a pretty perfect pastiche of the FMV video game craze, back from when putting games on a CD was exciting and new. It’s probably the best FMV game ever made.
Roundabout marries its fun send-up of FMV sequences with some solid gameplay too. You control Georgio Manos, allegedly the world’s first “revolving limousine” driver, who has to pick up clients in the open-world city of Roundabout (filled with collectibles) and deliver them along the route they want to go. If a mash up of the original Grand Theft Auto games and Kuru Kuru Kururin sounds a bit insane to you, then you’d be right. But somehow it seems to work perfectly here.
The limo spins constantly, and naturally the city is overrun with obstacles – tight corners, constantly reversing and accelerating cars, pedestrians (which can be mowed down in a bloody glory), and more. The missions aren’t too hard, but perfecting each’s “report card” is quite challenging (beating it under a certain time, no collisions etc.). Perfectionists will find a lot of challenge here, but it’s also quite easy to bungle your way through missions too, if you just want to experience the game. And it really is an experience like no other.
The story is just as goofy, fun, and simplistic as the gameplay – the 70s vibe somewhat reminiscent of Anchorman. The low-budget nature of the FMVs and deliberately subpar acting replicates the height of FMV games in an affectionate way. Between those and the addictive gameplay, you’ll keep wanting to progress, just to see how crazy it gets. One sees you having to bounce a ball on your limousine, another helping a priest to flee a wedding as he does not want to marry the couple, and other sees you chauffeuring a skeleton. The plot heats up as a mysterious rival revolving limousine driver appears. It’s a journey like no other, but one that does have its moments of touching human emotion too. It’s a balance that I love.
It’s an indie game as is priced as such, and for that it’s got more than enough content to warrant the price. It’s a real riot, and the only downside is that the story and FMV movies are so good, you’ll wish there were even more main story missions. I’d love to see a sequel, but even if we don’t, I’m more interested than ever in seeing what original and unique games No Goblin can put out next. Give them a follow on Twitter here!
It’s 75% off on Steam until the 10th November!