Developer Minskworks’ weird, wonderful Eastern European road trip adventure, Jalopy, is switching gears and accelerating onto Xbox One (almost certainly while desperately trying to stop its doors falling off) later this year, on 27th September.
Jalopy, if you’ve not yet been acquainted, initially released on PC last March, following a little under two years in early access development. It’s a delightfully idiosyncratic thing, tasking players with hopping behind the wheel of their beloved (if barely still functional) Laika 601 Deluxe in order to transport their uncle across the former Eastern Bloc.
It would, in all honesty, be inaccurate to call Jalopy eventful in the traditional sense. By and large, the most exciting thing you’re likely to see as you trundle through the wilfully drab, low-poly landscapes that make up Jalopy’s interpretation of Germany, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, and Turkey, is a discarded cardboard box in the road.
Rather, Jalopy’s drama comes from the fact that your ageing vehicle is perpetually on the cusp of falling apart, so it’s essentially a game of low-key disaster management – featuring some delightfully tactile car maintenance as you re-hinge doors, replace tires, replenish petrol, and so on – that manages to be simultaneously mind-numbingly monotonous and hilariously tense.
The end result is a experience that’s utterly hypnotic, weirdly satisfying and, on occasion, thanks to its decidedly off-kilter ambience, just plain weird. Oh, and it has the perfect soundtrack for road-tripping across Eastern Europe in the 90s.
Jalopy comes to Xbox One on 27th September, and you can get an taste of its distinctive charms in the illuminating PC launch trailer above.