Online Games: Las Vegas Traffic Mayhem
Online Games: Las Vegas Traffic Mayhem
Online games provide hours of entertainment at very low cost. Many of these games are free. In this review we take a close look at Las Vegas Traffic Mayhem, found at addictinggames.com. The game simulates a busy intersection, ostensibly in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
Las Vegas represents the (legal) gambling capital of the United States. Perhaps negotiating traffic in Las Vegas also represents a form of gambling, given that many drivers are perhaps distraught or at least distracted over losing their children's college fund at the casino. Driving may be a gamble, but the stakes are much higher than any wager placed on the gaming floor.
Casinos are also renown for world-class restaurants, hotel rooms, and entertainment. This game focuses on the trip to your favorite gambling establishment, but instead of controlling a vehicle, you have the unique opportunity to control the traffic light at a busy intersection. This represents a unique perspective relative to many free online games.
Instead of steering an 18 wheeler or an exotic sports car, you look down onto the intersection. You use your mouse to toggle the traffic light between green and red. There it no 'yellow', or caution, light. Perhaps a future release of the game will include that feature.
The game simulates six different traffic intersections in Las Vegas. The first intersection is called "North Las Vegas". The second challenge, available only after conquering the first, is titled "Enterprise". We suspect that residents of Las Vegas, or frequent visitors, might realize more entertainment value from the scenery and the geography.
The opening screen presents a set of extremely simple instructions. No login is required to start this online game:
Click the traffic light to stop or move the cars. Avoid collisions and Traffic jam (sic).
Once started, the traffic begins flowing. Traffic from the 'west' (the the left side of the window) flows freely through the intersection because the light is green in that direction. Traffic coming from the south (the bottom of the window) stops at the intersection because the traffic light is red in that direction.
Unlike many online games, you don't get a 'life', or multiple lives to play with. Since you're not actually controlling a physical being, you continue playing until a traffic jam forms or an accident occurs in the intersection.
How to Lose
Your game ends when an two or more vehicles crash in the intersection. This happens when you fail to manage traffic properly. One easy way to lose the game is to change the traffic light from red to green (for north-bound traffic) while traffic continues to flow into the intersection from the west. Eventually an accident will take place.
Interestingly enough, it is possible to defeat the first intersection by green-lighting the north-bound traffic and sitting back to watch. We observed that the traffic flows in a pseudo-random pattern that sometimes manages itself long enough to 'win' and move on to the next challenge.
Your game will also end if you do nothing. Simply start the game and sit back to watch north-bound traffic jam up at the traffic light. West-bound traffic will continue to flow normally, but in about 10 seconds all three lanes of traffic will fill with vehicles and the game will end.
How to Win
Players win the game by properly managing all 6 Las Vegas intersections. Traffic jams and accidents must be avoided. One anonymous player noted in the comments blog that he managed to win in less than 10 minutes. We could not reproduce that experience.
Each intersection gets progressively more difficult. The third intersection actually introduces a second traffic light on a second cross street: you must manage south-bound traffic as well as north-bound traffic while observing the west-bound traffic.
Each intersection is assigned a 'target', which represents the number of vehicles that must safely pass through the intersection without causing an accident of getting stuck in a traffic jam. Reaching that target allows you to move on to the next intersection. For example, the first intersection has a target of 25. We were able to reach that total in less than 1 minute of playing time, but not the first time we played.
The overarching strategy can be summed up in one sentence: avoid traffic jams and don't cause collisions.
A simple strategy for a free online game is nothing new. In this case, watch the oncoming traffic for 'breaks' or pauses in the flow, then release the stopped traffic into the intersection.
Since this is an online game written for the Flash Player, graphics are somewhat limited. There is no up/down/left/right scrolling at all. Only the west-bound and north-bound traffic moves. The traffic light toggles between green and red when clicked.
Traffic is varied: smaller vehicles, semi-trucks, emergency vehicles, and other unidentified vehicles all move through the intersection.
The game is played against a background of upbeat instrumental music. When a traffic jam occurs, a few automobile horns begin 'honking'.
When a crash takes place, a realistic crashing sound is played. We noticed no other effects that might be expected, such as police sirens, screams, or ambulance sirens.
As with many online games, background music quickly becomes tedious and may tend to drive players insane.
This game provides a small amount of traffic simulation, which might be educational for young children or even teens. Adults who live in populated areas and drives automobiles will already be familiar with the rules of these roads.
Is this game safe to play?
Most flash games are completely safe because they execute within the Flash Player, which is provided by a reputable third party. This game requires no files to be downloaded and nothing to be installed save for the Flash Player.
This game does not require any personal information in order to play. Players are not obligated, or even asked, to enter an email address.
After several plays, a full-window advertisement will appear. The web site evidently supports itself by selling ad space to vendors. The ads that we viewed were mainstream and kid-safe, but every parent should make that judgment for themselves.
We judge that the game is safe to play, but you should always be wary of any online activity.
What is a Flash Game?
Many online games execute with a program referred to as the Flash Player. The Flash Player is a separate program distributed at no charge by the Adobe Corporation. Adobe created the program to provide a common environment for multi-media programs to execute across multiple operating systems. This strategy offers tremendous advantages to game developers since they do not have to be concerned with specific operating systems. The same flash game will run the same way on any operating system that supports the Flash Player. If your computer does not have the Flash Player, visit adobe.com to see if it is available for your particular operating system.
Another advantage of the Flash player is a greater level of security,
- 1 = poor
- 10 = superior
We rate this game in relation to other free online flash games.
Game Concept:: 9. Controlling a traffic light is a unique concept
Strategy: 1. Grasping the game strategy is simple.
Playing Experience: 5. The game loses its' excitement after the initial challenge wears off.
Multimedia: 6. Setting the game in a real city with real intersections is a unique idea. The graphics experience is somewhat less than many other flash-based games and the music is tedious.
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