Car Quest, from developer Ezone, is one of the most unique adventure games imaginable. There are a lot of indie games on the Switch eShop that try something new and different, but the idea of an adventure game which has you play as a car certainly isn’t the first game idea that comes to mind. How could this possibly turn out well?
Car Quest begins with the appearance of a talking, floating head who introduces you to the world of Blocktaria. It is explained that the floating-head man has amnesia, that something has happened to Blocktaria, and that you, a car, are the only person who can save the day by collecting artefacts dotted around the world. It’s a plot which seems perfectly natural and logical.
Upon collecting your first artefact, the floating head regains a piece of his memory and introduces himself as Lord Blockstar, explaining that an EMP was unleashed upon the land, and that the fragments you collect will reopen and rebuild the world around you. Finding these artefacts and exploring the locations they open becomes the main form of gameplay, but the artefacts aren’t the only collectable in the game. Collecting batteries, which act as Car Quest‘s currency, along the way will give access to portals scattered around the world for you to find, transporting you to new enclosed areas filled with their own different puzzles and collectables.
Speaking of puzzles, Car Quest has a few different types for you to solve. Some see you moving ramps around open areas to access higher points and reach new collectables, and these puzzles proved to be the most taxing, as the ramps almost had to be in the exact and pinpoint position required in order for the car to accurately progress. Other puzzle types include mazes, filled with switches that change parts of the environment when activated. These can again become quite tedious at times, as you’ll find yourself backtracking through areas you’ve already been in.
The controls for Car Quest are incredibly easy to get used to. You can use either A or ZR to accelerate, B or ZL to brake, and holding the R button will allow you to drift, which for a short amount of time will allow you to boost. This particularly comes in handy when you need to gain speed coming down ramps to clear a larger jump. The car’s handling is also very smooth, save for a few minor annoyances when trying to navigate tight corners.
One particularly poor aspect of Car Quest is the overall presentation of the game. The areas are displayed as bland, tiled floors and walls, something which never changes. The theme carries over to the maze and desert areas, and the only noticeable differences were colour changes to fit that current area’s environment. It isn’t unfair to say that it’s a very boring and monotonous game to look at. Performance was mostly fine both in Handheld and Docked mode, but loading screens seemed to also last a bit too long.
Overall, Car Quest is not a terrible game. The initial gameplay loop can be quite infectious, but after collecting artefacts and driving to new areas to do the same thing again and again, it became boring and repetitive.
Car Quest £7.69
Car Quest is a novel and relatively enjoyable idea, with a gameplay loop that can be satisfying, but samey environments and repetitiveness eventually make it a tiring experience that can drive you up the wall.