Urban Flow Review for Nintendo Switch

Urban Flow Game Review

How difficult can it be to manage traffic lights? You alternate between red and green at different parts of an intersection and direct the traffic in this way. Do you think it is a piece of cake and not very interesting? Then welcome to the world of Urban Flow.

It’s simple and it’s brilliant

The strength of many indie games lies in their simplicity – behind the clear and easy to understand gameplay system there are mountains of fun to be found when you dig deeper into the title. It’s no different with Urban Flow, in which we have a seemingly simple task. We have to manage the traffic lights to direct the traffic.

The camera presents the action from a bird’s eye view, and we get a slice of a given city on subsequent maps. On a small map there is a key part of the area’s road infrastructure – a single intersection or roundabout, or a whole section of such intersections where dozens of drivers regularly meet. All working traffic lights are handed over to us. Using the button assigned to a given device, we have to direct traffic appropriately, switching on green or red light.

Seems like a simple task, right? Urban Flow welcomes the player in the first stages and then becomes a wonderfully relaxing title after a hard day. A great soundtrack of low-fi tunes blends perfectly with the almost rhythmically gliding vehicles on the screen, and the fluidity of the movement under our control puts us in the “flow” of the title. There’s something relaxing and exciting about it, something the developers at Baltoro Games knew well.

Urban Flow on Switch

It’s addictive

If they’d stopped there, we’d have had a game to play occasionally, when a particular need or mood arose. However, Urban Flow is also about the challenges that come with progressing through the campaign mode. The number of junctions and traffic lights to be managed increases, as does the complexity of the infrastructure. Emergencies and difficulties arise. To get three stars on a board, you’ll not only have to be able to smooth out traffic without causing accidents, but also take into account the need to prioritise ambulances, clear the way for tanks and remove broken-down cars.

You’ll also have to contend with a failing CCTV camera, working in the rain which makes it harder to see, and sabotage from road workers who’ve dug up a busy city thoroughfare. It all adds up to a challenge that is a lot of fun to fight. Not only do you need to get into the right rhythm, but you need to approach each map with a strategy and plan for contingencies. A great puzzle that gets really intense over time.

A colourful world of small cars

Urban Flow is a game with a nice, but simple setting. There are no graphic fireworks, but there is a humorous design and a soothing colour palette. Playability is the key in this turkey, and it stands at a high level, although you need to have some patience in order not to get frustrated with every more difficult challenges. In return, there are bonuses to discover for success, a virtual museum to visit and a studio to audition tracks.

The loner will find entertainment here, but Urban Flow is also a solid party-game with plenty of laugh-inducing situations. A good choice for friends who are looking for a production with simple to explain rules and engaging mechanics.

Is there anything that makes you put off buying Urban Flow for Switch? I’m looking, but I can’t find flaws casting a shadow over the project from Baltoro Games. There’s certainly potential for more, for a more upbeat setting, for more and more thoughtful power-ups, for refining some of the difficulties. However, these are shortcomings that can be felt only after a few hours of playing at a really high level. It’s worth jumping into the traffic manager’s shoes.

Is it worth buying? At this price and with such amount of content Urban Flow is a must-have item on every Switch’s memory card. I recommend it.

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