Roundabout is a strange game in where you take control of a spinning limousine and must try to take customers to their destination without the both of you dying in a fiery explosion. That is easier said than done, as the city of Roundabout is filled with people equally as crazy as you and will happily ram into you if you don’t get out of the way in time. Your limousine can never stop spinning or even change which direction you are spinning so that makes navigating anywhere trickier than you might expect. It sounds difficult and it is, however there is no way to lose a mission, if you blow up you will respawn nearby and are able to try as many times as you want. If you are a competitive gamer every mission has a leaderboard to take on, though if you are not there is only one reason to even try and that is the money multiplier. It is a system that rewards you for not crashing and at the same time causing as much mayhem as possible while collecting coins scattered about.
What is interesting about Roundabout is that it’s an open world game and you are able to explore wherever you please outside of missions. There are three surprisingly large maps to explore and are filled to the brim with collectibles like hidden money stashes, car horns and “sick jump” icons that reward you for reaching them. Early on in the game you earn the ability to make your limousine jump and are encouraged to leap from rooftop to rooftop, adding a lot more fun and variety to the game. With the money you have earned you can purchase real estate around the town, allowing you to take your share of the money they make. You have to personally travel to each of your buildings to collect your share and if you don’t, the money from you share doesn’t stack, meaning that you have to collect your money or that business won’t make you any more profit. Even though it’s open world there are still obstacles that can kill you everywhere and if you die while outside of a mission you will be teleported to a nearby mechanic shop. That can lead to you trying to make your way across the city only to die and respawn from where you started until you manage to get across. With how large the maps are, some form of fast travel would have been nice.
Environments are colorful and full of activity, like rabbits, fairs and pedestrians to run over Carmageddon style. There is plenty to see in the world of Roundabout from shopping malls to explore or great snowing mountains. Pedestrians scream and flee from the spinning limousine of death and make a satisfying splashing noise. There is plenty of blood and you are rewarded with cold hard cash to mow them over. If that bothers you there is an option to turn off violence and another one that makes the pedestrians scream gleeful things and giggle, which somehow makes the whole thing creepier to be honest. There are multiple other things to mess around with in the options menu like big head mode or changing the game to nighttime and it’s all great fun. One minor nitpick is that you must exit your game and go into the main menu to activate or deactivate whatever options you want. It is a very cheesy and tongue in cheek game with a crazy world to suit. You can jump over planes, visit shopping malls and replay any previous missions for a shot at a better rank on the leaderboards. There are no graphic options so you may want to try the demo beforehand to make sure you can run it.
Kudos for having a demo on PC, which has become far too rare on the platform. Your limousine can be customized by going to a mechanic shop with a purple wrench icon, where you are able to purchase preset color schemes and hats for your limousine. Yes those hats, this is a weird game as you are no doubt aware by now. They are rather pricey however and there is a decent amount to buy, so it will take you a while to buy all there is to purchase. Side missions are blue stars on the map that have you bouncing a soccer ball on your spinning limo, avoiding cars falling from the sky and destroying police cars chasing you. They are all great fun that also include leaderboards, though they do repeat the same ideas, only in different areas of the map. By doing certain objectives like running over a certain number of people you can earn powers for your limousine that include driving on water or shrinking your limo to fit into tighter places. This game is constantly surprising you with its insane gameplay ideas and you truly never know what to expect next.
Speaking of Roundabout being an odd game, all the missions have a cheesy FMV cutscene of whatever customer you pick up in the mission. Our protagonist Georgio Manos is a mute driver that started the idea of a spinning form of transportation that really took off somehow. From children to billionaires, you will have all type of wacky customers that don’t seem to mind that you run down dozens of pedestrians on your way there. The same actors are used in some situations but the tongue in cheek approach they take to that issue only serves to make it funnier. Eventually you meet a girl that is seduced by your awkward, wordless stares and becomes your love interest and the driving force of the story. It’s not an interesting story by any means but it will have you laughing all the way through. The music in this game has a 70’s disco vibe and while not outstanding it fits in very well to the world around it. Roundabout is a very creative Indie game in a sea of 2D platformers and RPG Maker titles. While rather on the short side if you are not into collecting everything in sight, it had me constantly thinking “wtf” and grinning like a doofus the whole way through.