Developer Minskworks’ Jalopy is a weird, drab, dull, wonderful experience, and if you’re in the mood for a bit of an Eastern European adventure in a clapped-out old banger, you’d do well to snap it up right now, while it’s free on the Humble Store.
It should be a simple enough task, really; transport your uncle from one side of the former Eastern Bloc to the other, trundling happily and uneventfully through Germany, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, and Turkey. Unfortunately, rather complicating the adventure is the fact that your only vehicle of choice is your beloved, but barely functional, Laika 601 Deluxe – inspired by the legendary East German Trabant.
That makes for an interesting dichotomy; on the one hand, there’s the endless monotony of Jalopy’s wilfully drab (usually damp) landscape, trundling leisurely by outside the window. On the other, there’s the constant tension that comes from the knowledge that your trusty Laika 601 is liable to jettison important bits and collapse into a pile of rust at any moment.
As such, what should be a straightforward journey becomes a game of low-key disaster management, as you attempt to scrape together the funds to ensure that tires can be changed, petrol can be replenished, doors can be re-hinged, and that you’re reasonably prepared to counter whichever in a long list of potential mishaps might end your journey prematurely.
It’s wearying, weirdly satisfying, and it’s got the perfect soundtrack for doddering through the gloomier corners of the 90s in a car that would rather be a shimmering tarmac ocean of disparate parts. And if that sounds like something you’d be keen to experience at least once (and I recommend you do!), you should waste no time in making your way to the Humble Store.
In exchange for signing up to Humble’s newsletter, you can download Jalopy for free – but you’ve only got until around 6pm on Saturday, 25th May, to do it. The game is yours to keep forever once you’ve snagged it, and, as an added bonus, you’ll get a coupon to buy the game for $1 USD on Steam between 25th May and June 1st. Use it as you see fit.