Developer: Dumpling Design Ltd
Size: 120 MB
Platform: iPhone & iPad
Mr. Traffic is the sort of pick-up-and-play time waster that’s ten a penny on the App Store, but that doesn’t diminish the fact that it’s a fun example of the form.
Playing out like a cross between Crossy Road and the seminal early App Store game Flight Control, Mr. Traffic sees you taking on the role of a traffic conductor in the middle of a busy intersection.
As cars and trucks stream in from all four directions, it’s up to you to usher them through with a direct tap. One crash is all it takes to bring down that Game Over screen, so you’ll need to time your taps accordingly.
Especially given that these are some of the most impatient drivers around. Leave them idling at the stop sign for a few seconds, and the drivers will cycle through a couple of degrees of irritation, culminating in them hitting the accelerator, regardless of the hazards in front of them.
Besides their fellow drivers, those hazards can include the odd non-controllable event like a flock of chickens, or even one giant stampeding chicken. This game seems to like chickens.
Indeed, it’s Mr. Traffic’s cute, zany sensibility that keeps you plugging away when the concept starts to wear thin. The reward for playing (and watching ads) is a virtual coin currency, which can then be spent on new outfits for your conductor.
These items of clothing can be unlocked one item at a time, or you can save up and splurge on a complete outfit. It’s all very silly, and hardly original (the Crossy Road influence is strong here), but it gives a fairly thin game a vital sense of purpose.
It kind of needs that impetus, because the tapping gameplay is extremely lightweight when you get down to it. Tapping to release cars doesn’t have quite the tactile depth of, say, Crossy Road, and it definitely lacks the strategic multitasking challenge of Flight Control and its countless imitators.
This isn’t helped by some curious performance quirks. Given the simplicity of the game, we expected it to run like butter on our iPhone 13 Pro, but we experienced semi-frequent stutters. It seems to be in need of an optimization pass or two.
Ultimately, Mr. Traffic is a solid, fun little traffic management game. It may lacks the depth, ingenuity, and slickness of the genre’s greats, but you’ll have a good time chasing a new high score – especially if you rope in a competitive friend to compete against.