Co-op games are always great because it gives you an excuse to spend time with your friends and have fun when you might otherwise be working or, well, doing something productive. They’re especially great when you have to heavily rely on the other person. There’s something wonderful to be gained from a game that forces you to realise that you can’t do something on your own without help. Can’t Drive This by developer Pixel Maniacs is a co-op game that makes you rely on your friend lest you'll both fail miserably.
Can’t Drive This is a racing game with a huge twist. You and a friend have to work together to get as far as possible on a race track; the twist being you have to build the track while you’re driving on it. That’s right, as one of you drives, the other is building the road right in front of you. Whether you decide to be the driver or the track builder, what ensues is sure to be a scream-filled, panicked roller coaster of emotion. With only two available play modes currently, there’s still many surprises waiting for the players of Can’t Drive This.
"With only two available play modes currently, there’s still many surprises waiting for the players of Can’t Drive This."
Before you start your crazy driving adventure, one fun aspect that Can’t Drive This features is the ability to customise your vehicle and the track. With a variety of fun colours and patterns, there’s a lot that you can do with your monster truck. For my car, I decided to go with a black exterior with pink polka dots and a red rose coming off the back – because why not? My friend's car was bright green and had a rainbow on the back. You can also change the colour of the track, but I wouldn’t recommend blue for the levels where you’re driving about the ocean... that was more confusing that I thought possible.
Of course customisation is fun, but the real fun is in the gameplay. The way that Can’t Drive This works is that both players are able to see what the other is doing in a vertical split-screen. On the left is the player who is driving and on the right is the player who is laying down the track. Being able to see what the other is up to helps you both strategise and assist each other as best you can. For example, if you’re driving and can’t see what’s going on because of the smoke that billows out from nowhere every time your partner lays down a track you can glance over to their screen just in time to see that they had to place a track to the left and you need to turn ASAP. It’s a brilliantly thought-out way so you can either completely focus on your side or occasionally glance at your friends in order to get a better idea of what’s going on.
Understandably, the gameplay for each person is a little different. For the person driving, you have to be sure to stay a certain speed because - and here's another twist - if you start driving too slowly, you explode. At the bottom left of the screen you’re able to see your speed, and if you go below 20 mph it’s the end. It's like that film with Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves on a bus. For the person building the track, it’s a bit like Tetris; the bottom corner of your screen you can see what track is coming up so you can, hopefully, warn your driver friend about the upcoming peril. Sometimes screaming “Windmill!” isn’t going to help diffuse the situation, but it’s important when you’re the person laying down track that you look ahead to try and plan for what’s coming.
The only two modes that are currently available to play in Can’t Drive This are Yardage mode and Tile-Mania mode. In Yardage mode you’re working with your partner to get as far as you can. This mean making it the furthest distance from the start of the track. Tile-Mania mode is where you have to try to drive over as many tiles as possible. Every tile your friend lays down that you drive over gets you more and more points. The other modes that are currently locked in this version of Can’t Drive This are: Levels, Versus, and Sandbox. I’m not quite sure exactly how Levels and Versus modes will work, but it's easy to imagine what sandbox might entail. Being able to make your own levels for you friends to drive through, perhaps? The possibilities there are quite exciting!
"Can’t Drive This is shaping up to be a hilarious racing game with a fun and unique concept."
Can’t Drive This still feels very early in its development simply because of what is yet to be released for it and of course the occasional glitches and weird bugs. When it does come out as a full release, however, it will be one to look for. Can’t Drive This is shaping up to be a hilarious racing game with a fun and unique concept. It’s a great game to pick up and play at party with your friends to try and see how far you can get and who can communicate the best. It’ll drive you up the wall, to say the least, but in the end with practice, it could be you who crosses the finish line the fastest.