What is Traffic Jams?
Traffic Jams is a game developed by Prism Studios for the Oculus Quest that uses room-scale VR with 6dof tracking to allow the player to walk around in small virtual areas while using their hands to interact with things, such as picking up and throwing objects, opening doors, etc. The goal of this game is for you to solve puzzles so that cars can get through intersections without crashing into each other. You are rewarded with points based on how many cars make it through the intersection alive (in which case you get between 1-3 points). If too many of them crash (up to 5) then you lose lives which are denoted by the number of seconds remaining on your timer. This game is a good example of the types of games that provide a challenging, semi-educational and immersive experience. It can be considered moderately fun, as it provides some entertainment as you figure out the puzzles which are rewarding in their own way.
Traffic Jams Soundtrack
The soundtrack for Traffic Jams does its job to immerse the player into the game by being subtle but atmospheric. It creates an intuitive sense of what mood should be felt while playing this game without becoming distracting or repetitive, allowing the player’s focus to remain on solving traffic problems. The Puzzle pieces are timed with light beats that signify that something important is about to happen within the puzzle area if they stay still long enough, which adds an element of immersion to this game.
Traffic Jams VR Experience
The game requires you to move around in order to interact with things within the game…which is excellent for this game because it provides a sense of realism to solving traffic problems, which makes you feel like your hands are actually there in real life working through these puzzles instead of just using the analogue stick on the controller to do everything. My only complaint about the controls is that I think that they should have had more interactions or used something other than “pick up” and “throw” since there are many different ways that one could solve the problem of picking something up off of a table or holding onto an object while moving it somewhere else without having to throw it. This would especially make more sense if using Quest’s third wireless controller, as you wouldn’t have to worry about dropping it.
Traffic Jams: Room-Scale VR on the Oculus Quest
This game uses room-scale VR, which allows for various degrees of directional freedom and some actions that can be done. This is the first title to use this on the Quest (that I am aware of) and it definitely utilizes all six degrees of freedom as there are puzzles where you need to go under tables, jump over objects and go upstairs in order to reach something necessary for solving a puzzle…all while having your hands interact with things within this space. The more space that one has available, the more that they will be able to move around and access everything needed. However, I think that it would still be interesting to see this game with even less space available as it might add an extra challenge if the player had to access everything within a smaller area.
Traffic Jams: The Good and Bad
The good thing about Traffic Jams is that it provides a good number of challenges while keeping things interesting by adding various ways to solve puzzles such as using objects in different ways than just throwing them. This means that the player needs to think about how they will get past certain obstacles and try out different solutions until they find one that works for each puzzle, which increases the overall gameplay length. However, the bad thing is that there may not be enough replayability because there are only 4 levels present in this version of TrafficJams (though there are more present in the Steam version of this game), which means that they may become repetitive after solving each level once…which I believe is why this game lasts about 30 minutes per playthrough.
Traffic Jams: Conclusion
In conclusion, Traffic Jams is a good educational puzzle game for getting kids interested in learning how to improve transportation infrastructure and safety by providing a fun yet semi-challenging experience. This is a great way for children to learn about challenges that face traffic systems today while being entertained at the same time, as it provides an interesting premise with some unique ways to solve puzzles depending on what objects you have available. However, the main downside of the title is that the replayability might be somewhat low because the levels are only 4 in number, but I believe that this could be fixed with more content updates in the future…like adding a level editor for making your own puzzles.
Traffic Jams: Total Score 6/10