What typically happens in a puzzle game when you solve a puzzle? You’re presented with another puzzle to solve. But you just used your brain and clicked your mouse and did all that hard work—I think you should get a little reward beyond the game saying, “Okay, genius, do another one.”
Please Fix The Road (opens in new tab) agrees. It’s a puzzle game about getting cars, trains, boats, cats, dogs, and even cows from their starting point to the finish line by connecting, moving, rearranging, rotating, and sometimes blowing up roads, trails, bridges, and rivers. The result of solving one puzzle is being presented with yet another puzzle to solve, but unlike in most puzzle games there’s also a delightful little reward between each level.
I mean, just look at that! The level transitions are some of the most stylish and satisfying animations I’ve seen in a game before, quick little dreamlike sequences of one puzzle morphing into the next in a gentle flurry of spinning, dancing, flipping, and sometimes swimming chunky little tiles. Each transition is divine, giving you a moment to celebrate your win with some visual razzle-dazzle before you’re presented with the next challenge.
Each puzzle in Please Fix The Road is a little map that needs some alteration. A car would very much like to drive over to a building, but the road won’t get it all the way there. A cow and a boat both need to reach their destinations, but one needs to cross a bridge and the other needs to scoot along a river under that bridge… but the bridge isn’t there. You’re given a handful of moves and tools to fix the map so everyone can get where they need to be, and that might involve blowing up some tiles, copying and pasting others, or rotating tiles to clear the path for the little vehicles and animals waiting to complete their journeys.
Amusingly enough, once they reach the finish line they’re unceremoniously ejected from the map and explode. Hey, you did your part. Screw ’em.
A quick warning as you gaze at some of the beautiful puzzle transitions on this page: There’s a definite chill-out vibe to Please Fix The Road, which includes a jazzy and relaxing soundtrack. Do not be fooled.
This is a really challenging puzzle game. There are no wasted steps—you have a set number of “moves” to find the solution, you can only use the tools you’re given in the order they’re given to you to solve each one. On the plus side, there’s a hint system that will perform the next correct move for you, and undoing your steps one by one or resetting the entire puzzle can be done with a quick click. But still, it’s legit hard. On a number of puzzles, even early ones, I’ve spent quite a lot of time being completely baffled by how to fix the damn road.
If you like your puzzle games with a groovy soundtrack and relaxing vibe, but are looking for some real head-scratchers at the same time, do yourself a favor and please fix the road in Please Fix the Road. There’s over 150 different puzzles to test your brain on, and even if some of them stump you for a good long while, you’ll love watching each one turn into the next.