Does Not Commute

App review by
Paul Semel, Common Sense Media
Does Not Commute App Poster Image
Play against own mistakes in charming, frustrating driver.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Controls are simple, thumb-steering, but a bit tough to master.

Violence

Cars crash into things and each other, causing smoke and damage. No people visible, so no injuries. School bus one of the vehicles, so implication is that kids are on the bus, but they're never seen.

Sex

Subtle innuendos kids likely will miss -- for example, a male character finding and keeping a picture of a female character -- but it may raise questions.

Consumerism

"Premium" version for $1.99 adds checkpoints to the game so players don't have to start over from the beginning each time.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Does Not Commute is a simple arcade game in which you help people drive to work and other destinations. Play begins with one car and then builds, replaying each route you take and creating multiple vehicles on the roads. Because the controls are very sensitive and the car has no brakes, you will get into a lot of car accidents when you play, which will either be fun for frustrating for kids. Since the game is played from an aerial viewpoint, is set in the suburbs during the 1970s (as opposed to during a zombie apocalypse or an alien invasion), and has a minimal story, it has no blood or curse words, unlike (or likely) in real car accidents. Crashes result in smoke rising from the car, and there's a school bus, presumably filled with children, but no people are injured (or even visible). If you don't opt for the $1.99 upgrade that enables checkpoints, you'll have to start over every time the clock runs out, which likely will be often.

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What's it about?

DOES NOT COMMUTE is a simple arcade game in which you help people drive to work and other places. It's set in the suburbs during the 1970s and played from an aerial viewpoint, with a jazzy soundtrack that plays as you get humorous facts about each driver. Using your thumbs to steer, you begin by trying to get one car to its destination, which is shown with an arrow. On the next play you steer a second driver while your first car follows the exact course you just took. After you've taken a few turns, the road is clogged with obstacles, making driving more difficult. You must get 13 cars to the destination before time runs out. Once it does, you must start over from the beginning or pay to enable saved checkpoints.

Is it any good?

Though some will love the challenge of playing against themselves, others may find Does Not Commute frustrating; its setting, music, graphics, and facts about each driver are charming and funny, but its controls are finicky -- perhaps by design. It takes a while to get the hang of it, as it's very easy to overcorrect and forget that oncoming cars use opposite directions to steer. Also, the cars have no brakes, so you'll hit houses, trees, and other cars frequently. Without checkpoints, it's almost certain you'll run out of time and have to start over, which will be no problem for some and infuriating for others -- as in a real morning commute.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about road safety. What should drivers be aware of when driving? What are some of the things that can distract a driver? What are the real consequences of a car accident?

  • Discuss what is fun (or not fun) about this game: What makes you want to play it? What are the challenges? Is anything frustrating?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Price: free
  • Pricing structure: Free (While the game is free, the premium edition — which adds checkpoints so you don't have to start over from the beginning every time you play — costs $1.99.)
  • Subscription price: 1.99 for the premium edition
  • Release date: April 22, 2015
  • Category: Arcade Games
  • Topics: Cars and Trucks
  • Size: 59.20 MB
  • Publisher: Mediocre Games
  • Version: 1.0.1
  • Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 6.0 or later; Android 2.3 and up

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love cars and steering

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