I love a clean, minimalist puzzler. The kind you can often find on mobile but I have a penchant for playing them on PC instead. Tiny Traffic scratches that exact itch with its complex interwoven switch-the-tracks block puzzles. It is short and sweet but it makes an impact.
Each level sees you needing to move a number of cars to chequered flag blocks and they move forward one block every time you press the play button. The problem is that they are dumb and move directly forward or follow the path in front of them only. Tiny Traffic gives you control of several blocks each level and provides you with move cards at the bottom of the screen. Each corner will have a number of card slots those moves can go into. You’ll to move the blocks around so that the cars use them to twist and turn their way to their end goal. it is all about planning.
By design, Tiny Traffic eliminates some of the room for error as your limited move set often focuses the mind on what you can alter. It might be moving the whole block or twisting it around. What I liked about the puzzle design is that solutions are temporary. Each step you take forward gives another chance to reset your moves and this is how many of the puzzles later in the game work. There are 45 levels in all which isn’t a ton but the back third of these are really quite involved and take a lot of mental working out. I really enjoyed the challenge whilst never feeling overwhelmed either.
Levels are only a single screen but they do have multiple moving parts. Often mistakes will see cars stuck on edges, smashing into each other or a barrier you’ve moved in their way. This resets the level and whilst it’d have been nice to have an undo move button, the inclusion of a speed up one is welcome to finish a level quickly. It is also a game that is very quiet. Some nice ambient background music would have suited the sky vibes nicely. These are minor quibbles though as the main game plays really well. As levels progress more cars, barriers and trigger blocks start to pepper the board adding more complexity too. A simple level explaining something always helps you get the new twist for each collection and that makes it easy to understand.
It took me a couple of hours to get through Tiny Traffic so there is plenty to enjoy for those of us who are not instinctively mechanically minded. A great theme, well implemented levels with a steady difficulty curve – what’s not to like? Tiny Traffic is another case of a solo dev working their magic.
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