Road to Guangdong

Ever wanted to drive around China in an old barrel while visiting relatives? Well, no me neither. But Just Add Oil Games still gave us the opportunity to do so and is making our unwanted dream come true. In Road to Guangdong, you have to visit your family members to get their approval and recipes to take over the family restaurant. So does the game fulfill our undesired dreams, or developed Just Add Oil Games something for the scrapheap? Let’s find out on this exciting road trip!

The map with all the places that need to be visited.
  • Driving around: Well, as you might expect, this game is about a road trip through China. So here’s a really short summary: the game gives you an old gas eating barrel which can’t go in reverse and you have to make your way to all the city’s displayed in the picture above. Where the driving might seem easy, you really have to keep in mind that you don’t bump into other cars or buildings or whatsoever. Since you can’t reverse, you will have to call the garage to pick you up, which costs a lot of cash. But the scenery you encounter while driving around is a delight and you even have to bring in some tactics. You can’t drive too hard or your car will overheat and you have to choose wisely when to stop for gas or you will be that loser stuck on the side of the road who thought he’d make it to another gas station.
  • Repairing/garage: Another really fun/challenging/good factor about the game is when you go out to the garage and you will have to repair your car. You can find used spare parts on the scrapheap or buy new ones from the store. But you need to keep managing your cash since running out and having a broken car means game over. The menu for fixing your car is also a delight. At first, it might be kinda difficult and you will most likely struggle, but when you get the hang of it, it will be easy to figure out what needs to be done. Of course, you can also refill your oil/gas but that also cost lots of money. So, in the end, it’s probably more about managing your cash then getting to the end safely.
  • Story: The story in the game is based on an original idea. You need to take over the family restaurant but you need approval and recipes from all the family members so you to make a road trip to every single one of them, help them with their problems and get them on your side in order to get their support. But in the end, there is something odd about it when you start thinking. Why drive all across China, just give everyone a call… it’s way cheaper and saves a lot of time you can use to cook meals to get better. But that would ruin the game so let’s stick to the original concept.
Driving around in an old barrel that’s supposed to be a car.
  • Controls: Something that is really odd about Road to Guangdong are the controls. Yes, when going through all the conversations, it’s just simply pressing the button to continue, but while driving the car they could have added something extra like for example a reverse button. Since when can’t a car drive backward?!?! It would have been so much better if they added this, at some points on the road you just simply need to reverse a bit in order to get even further but the developers made this impossible. Let’s just hope they add this in future updates since everyone will benefit from it.
  • Overall look: The overall look is also a thing that isn’t particularly good or bad. The scenery you drive through looks nice, but they keep re-using the same thing over and over again and that just gets boring since you are mostly driving around. Another questionable thing is the character design. Yes, it is a special style, but some look really good and others are just pure shit… It makes you wonder where the developers were with their head when making this.
The garage where you can fix your car or refill it, you can even buy or find new parts.
  • Gas usage/broken parts: The amount of gas that you use in this game is immense. Like how does a car even use that much, a simple drive of 5 minutes and I need to go to the gas station 5 times?!?!?! Oh and another thing… every time I am at the gas station, one of the car parts is broken?!?! Like how? I know it’s an old barrel but this is a big NO… it’s too much. You can’t even drive fast or your car will overheat even if you just add a new air filter. This really needs to be reworked or something because it’s so damn annoying like what the f…
  • Conversations: I know Road to Guangdong is a story based game, but the amount of time spent in useless conversations that have nothing to do with the story, man! You expect a road trip game where you need to visit relatives. But one of the things that you need to do upon launching is to fetch the secret lover of your grandma so they can get engaged. And there are so many things like this. Maybe this isn’t my favorite genre of games but again it’s too much for everyone, I’m 100% sure.
  • Repetitive: After playing the game for 2 hours, it will get really repetitive, and it feels you are doing the same thing over and over again but then with other conversations. The driving is constantly the same, the scenery is the same. Simply, it just sucks.

Score: 55%
Road to Guangdong could be so much more than where the game is right now. It’s all simple things that the developers of Just Add Oil Games can finish easily. And they should really do it before it’s too late. I can image a lot of players will just ignore the game and it will end up somewhere in the forgotten game section of Steam. But there still is hope since the game is only out in Early Access, so let’s hope the developers change it and then it is possible it has a bright future.

Developer: Just Add Oil Games Publisher: Excalibur Games
Played on: PC
Perfect for: If you love lame road trips in China
Steam game store link: click here

Michael Sporen

Writer for LifeisXbox (PC)

A gamer who always tries to make the impossible happen and most of the time ends up stuck or blowing himself up whilst trying. But always giving my honest opinion about games, that’s what LifeisXbox readers deserve!

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