Traffic in video games can suck a lemon, far as I’m concerned. Might explain why I prefer arcade racers like the Burnout series over even absolute classics like the original Out Run or Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge. That doesn’t mean I automatically dislike either, however, and it didn’t take long for me to realize that this one was heavily inspired by games like those, meaning no vehicular wrecking takedowns or anything of the sort. Drive clean or lose speed (and, very likely, your race position). Simply put, Just Shut up and Drive.
So I did. Through every last one of its ten tracks – some even multiple times, in the hope of actually nailing that number one spot. But let me tell ya, Just Shut up and Drive is a challenge. A real challenge. And you know what? Apparently, the original Flash version from 2010 was even more brutal. Yikes. On top of difficulty tweaks, this version also has “many visual improvements” and ditches old sponsor brandings. Kinda makes me wonder just how different it is, although chances are we’ll never know, Flash being long gone and all.
Anyway, driving! Or racing, rather. Much like the arcade classics, Just Shut up and Drive doesn’t feature overly complex controls. Accelerate, brake, steer left, steer right. That’s it. While it does lack gamepad support, I did just fine with my trusty old keyboard. If you’d define barely getting a podium finish in any race as such. I blame the ruthless red cars. Always right in front of me, and when I’m hitting 250km/h down a foggy road with extremely limited visibility… you better believe someone’s getting a dent in their vehicle unless they move. Which ended up costing me precious time, as they just kept going while the speed of my car decreased noticeably. Not fair.
Didn’t take me long to get used to the high speeds at which just about everything flew by, sharp turns, narrow paths and all, though. Eventually, I was able to at least keep up, zig-zagging between cars and racking up those lovely points for overtaking someone while basically trading paint. Oh, and if you manage to drive properly long enough to reach that aforementioned 250km/h cap, the game will actually start counting how long you’ve managed to maintain that insanity. In case you’re wondering, the reason for this is very likely only for achievement hunting, as you’re required to keep going at 250km/h for 5, 10, and 20 seconds, respectively, to get them all. The fun doesn’t stop there either, as accumulating a certain amount of points is also on the list, much like performing a number of consecutive overtakings. Vroom vroom.
With a total of ten tracks that can all be finished in two minutes or less, Just Shut up and Drive is not exactly a racer with longevity – unless you’re interested in grabbing every last achievement. That’ll add some replay value for sure. Although given its price tag – or rather, lack thereof – the track variety, music, visuals, and gameplay… honestly, even if it was something like $2 or $3, I’d still wholeheartedly recommend picking it up and hitting the road, trying your darndest to overtake those rivals. Forget about the red ones. They’re only for points. It’s the yellow ones that matter, far as position goes, once the finish line is crossed and the credits roll. Except there aren’t any credits. You know what I mean. Just Shut up and Drive.
Just Shut up and Drive is available on itch.io, for free.