Game Review: Clean Road (Mobile – Free to Play)

Barely qualifying as a game, Clean Road is one the most barren, repetitive and unrewarding free to play games we’ve had the misfortune of playing.

This is not the first time nor will it be the last time we ask the question ‘what is the point’ about a free to play game. To make such a soulless and vapid release shows nothing but contempt for video games as an entertainment medium.

Instead what we have is just a series of ads with a piss-poor excuse for a game shoved in so gullible players might spend at least 5 minutes trying it out. 5 minutes is all you need to experience everything Clean Road has to offer. Actually, that’s not true…it’s more like 2 minutes. 2 minutes to realise it has absolutely nothing to give. Yet asks you to put up with lengthy ads for better looking games every 1-2 attempts or completed levels.

Clean Road 2

It’s infuriating because of how this has just become the norm. This kind of ‘game’ is normal for the free to play market and it shoots up the charts for downloads because it bills itself as being addictive and simple. We’ve played free to play games that can proudly call themselves that. Games like Swappy Cat that actually care about the quality of the game. You know, something that brings back players and encourages real money spend.

Clean Road’s idea is to assault you with so many ads in such quick succession that you’ll hit the remove ad pay button just to get some relief. Or at least you would if the game had any inclination to make your time spent with it worthwhile.

Clean Road 3

Is it ‘pick up and play?’ Absolutely. Simply move your finger left and right on the screen to move your vehicle left and right. It’s called Clean Road but that’s not actually the aim. Instead your goal is to free the cars trapped by snow. You do this by driving into the snow/sand/grass banks holding them in.

Once freed they will continue to follow you while you free more on route to the finish line. To make things harder, each Road has obstacles that block your path and/or slow you down. If the cars behind hit you, it’s game over. Simple enough, right? Well, the game doesn’t seem to understand its own rules regarding the following cars. Sometimes they’ll hit you, other times they’ll stop when you stop.

Then there is the ‘winning’ portion of the game. You’d think you have to rescue a set number of cars to complete a level but you’d be wrong. In fact you can complete a level without rescuing a single car. What a challenging and fun game this is.

Clean Road 4

No, rescuing cars relates to the number of coins you’ll receive at the end. These coins are then spent on new cars. Or better put as the same car but in different colours. They don’t change gameplay at all, of course.

However once again to show you how little they care about creating a game experience, you can watch an ad to get a new car. Not once or twice but after every single level and from the main menu. Why bother playing the game at all? Just watch ads and get the cars that way!

This might just sound like the cynical ravings of a burnt out free to play gamer but when the ‘watch ad’ button is bigger then any other on the screen it feels justified. The icing on the cake for this non-game, ad experience though is how when you complete a level the ‘next’ button takes a second or two to appear and when it does it’s small and below the watch ad button that is there in an instant.

The only positive words that can be said about this sick joke is that it works. Congratulations, it loads up.

Clean Road
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