I came across an interesting game at the Xbox One demo station and bar near the GDC 2018 press registration area. Pixel Maniacs is a small indie studio based in Germany and Can't Drive This is the product of a Ludum Dare Game Jam in April 2016. Can't Drive This is designed for two players, but they have created AI to allow for a single player experience. The left side of the screen is for the player controlling the driver and the right side is for the player building a path for the driver. The game is one part Tetris and one part Excite Truck and ends up being a lot of fun. Check out the Can't Drive This Steam Early Access gameplay trailer.
I enjoyed playing in both roles in the game. Can't Drive This is easy to pick up and play, hard to master, and has a ton of replay value. It is also nice to switch roles when one person gets annoyed with the puzzle aspects of building the path or another person gets frustrated with driving. This kind of couch co-op strategy mixes extremely well with the combination of racing and puzzle gameplay mechanics. Drivers have to keep the car going above a certain speed to avoid exploding and builders need to keep building a road that the driver can easily navigate. This is a lot easier said than done in the case of both roles, but the game allows players to be creative while having fun.
Can't Drive This is still being developed, but is scheduled for a Q4 2018 release date. Pixel Maniacs notes on their website, "Since the project has grown out of Game Jam code, the game's scope eventually outgrew the reliability of the codebase, leading us to the decision to rebuild the game from the ground up. This unfortunately means that we won't be able to provide regular updates to the Early Access version until the game's full launch. However, we're confident it will enable us to make the game the best it can be."
I certainly look forward to playing Can't Drive This when it launches on Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One and PC later this year. Check out Pixel Maniacs official website for more information. You can also pick up Can't Drive This on Steam Early Access if you would like to give it a test drive and help support the team as they hit the home stretch.