I recently had the opportunity to sample Can’t Drive This, a new cooperative arcade racing game from Pixel Maniacs. Can’t Drive This differentiates itself from other arcade racers by requiring two players to work together. While Player One drives a car in a standard 3rd-person viewpoint, Player Two utilizes a top-down view to lay down the track ahead of their comrade. It’s dynamic, fast-paced, and fun when it all works out.
I personally played the game with my eleven-year-old son. We started off with him driving using a Wired Xbox 360 controller, while I used my mouse to lay down the track ahead of him. Trying to keep ahead of his driving quickly became frantic, as road tiles switched from simple straights to curves, water hazards, windmills, jumps, and a variety of other crazy options. Next we switched seats, and I found that driving wasn’t much easier. Trying to plan for the road ahead becomes significantly more difficult when you have no idea whether the next curve holds a straight-away, or a vision-obscuring pit of water!
Online play in both public and private lobbies is also supported, for those who don’t have the luxury of a nearby partner to play with. However, the game is definitely improved by having both players in the same room working off a split screen.
At the time of this writing, game modes included Yardage, where the objective is to drive as far in a straight line as possible, and Tile Mania, where distance matters less, and the goal is to drive over as many tiles as possible within a confined map. Future additions promise selectable levels, a Versus mode, and a Sandbox mode.
There’s also a good amount of customization available. Four different car body types (which do have subtly different handling characteristics) plus all sorts of paint jobs, paint colors, and bumper and spoiler options.
Pixel Maniacs continues to add new features, including clan support and additional tiles, on a regular basis. Based on their published statements, they expect to release Can’t Drive This from Steam Early access in December 2016 or January 2017. Pixel Maniacs previously released ChromaGun in February 2016, a first-person puzzle game with a lot of similarities to Portal.