Video Game Review: Wheels of Aurelia

Details: Played it on PC for about forty minutes. More information can be found at https://www.wheelsofaurelia.com/

Details: 5.8/10

Wheels of Aurelia was free on the Epiq Games Store so I decided to give it a play through. It’s a mostly boring game whose greatest asset is its main theme song, which is the song playing in the trailer above.

Wheels of Aurelia is an indie game that seeks to simulate a road trip through the Italy of the 1970’s. You play as an Italian woman on a road trip with her friend. Then stuff happens.

There are sixteen possible endings with each play through taking about twenty minutes. It is clear that the developer intended on players playing through each ending.

The primary point of the game is to see what happens to protagonist, but moreover, it’s to learn about what Italy was like in the 1970’s. Each time you go through the game, factoids will be added to a trivia page providing real world facts about Italy at the time. It’s fun in that it is educational as well. I feel like this game could’ve been very welcome in a school, except that many of the real world issues of 1970’s Italy were very adult and controversial, even today. For example, there were a lot of political killings and terrorism going on at the time, along with the passage of new laws like the legalization of abortion. Many parents might find these issues to adult or controversial for kids. I appreciated the educational aspect of this game.

Gameplay is sparse and mostly consists of simplistic dialogue choices. You can sort of drive the car, but the controls are incredibly simplistic. There is also no damage so you can drive like you’re playing bumper cars if you want.

Visually, the game has its own style, but it is clearly an independent game lacking a substantial budget.

There is no voice acting and there are only a few music tracks. The main theme is the one playing in the video above and is so good that it was enough to convince me to try the game.

Overall, this is a simplistic game that didn’t entertain me all that much. I came into this hoping for a relaxing game that drove me through the Italian countryside. Instead, what I got was an educational game with annoyingly simplistic controls. I did enjoy learning about the time period though.

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