City Connection
by Polly

I love them old games. Hell, if you've been reading this site for any amount of time that's quite obvious. I love them because they're simple, I love them because they're fun, and I love them because they don't have to make a god damn bit of sense! There's nothing to think about! Just slap one of them bad boys in, turn your brain off, and enjoy the rotting sensation of brain tissue and eyeballs begin to set in. City Connection has always been one of those games for me. It's not an amazingly fantastic game that I'd necessarily deem a "classic" beside the likes of the Contras, Metroids, Marios and Mega Mans, but man if it isn't great to throw it on and just enjoy it for a couple hours every now and then.

The premise is simple and doesn't make a whole lot of sense in the grand scheme of things. You play the role of a female driver named Clarice and guide her on a tour of the world's roads. Driving on the roads isn't enough though. In order to prove that she's been to a certain part of the world she has to paint the roads white (or green in the Arcade version). WHY exactly she would need to do that is beyond me. I'd think a few pictures and a post card might be sufficient, but I can't think of very many postcard writing simulators. Hmm...maybe I'm onto something here... Ed, Rhete, get your asses in here! Emergency meeting of the game-making Brain Trust, NOW!

Many obstacles stand in the way of Clarice's dream of world tourism. For one, the roads are like none I've ever seen before! Rather than being, ya know, kinda convenient and maybe a little curvy here and there, the roads Clarice travels are all one-lane and only go straight ahead. In a strange bit of paranormal phenomena, the roads also seem to hover in place mid-air, stacked four-high on top of one another, and seem to be missing quite a few large chunks, making it very easy to drive off of and fall. Thankfully, Clarice is too cool for school and not only is her car able to survive what would seem like miles of falling followed by an inevitable soda-can effect, she can also jump over large gaps and even perform a higher jump while pressing up to reach the higher stretches of road once she gains enough speed.

For some reason, the police don't really seem all that happy about some maniac speeding around town throwing white paint on everything and are all out in full-force to crash the living shit out of Clarice. Personally, I'd think the police might have a few more worrisome problems, like why their road system is so fucked up in the first place, but what do I know, right? The police make use of both their cars and really large ground spikes to put an end to Clarice's world tour. Thankfully Clarice is not unarmed, because not only did she bring gallons upon gallons of paint for her trip, she also has a healthy supply of cans of oil to throw at oncoming traffic which she can use to spin them out and bump them off the road.

What she couldn't have possibly prepared herself for though, is what should be known as one of the greatest trolls in videogames ever...

That Fucking Cat™.

Just look at him. Don't be taken in by that cute little smile, he's a fucking ASSHOLE! This cat CAN NOT be killed. He is afraid of nothing. He'll stare down both headlights until the bitter end, take the hit head-on, and just fly away laughing at your silly ass for hitting him and take one of your lives as payment for your transgression. You might think with that cute little checkered flag of his he'd be motioning you the finish line or something. But noooooo. He's just sitting there, all the time being a big ol' asshole. He's also a fucking phantom or some shit! If you encounter him, you can just drive the other way and he won't be there when you come back, but that's not to say he won't just appear a couple meters in the other direction and scare the piss out of you too. He magically changes where he's hanging out, so you have been warned. He can't be run over, he can't be spun out with oil. You can only hope to jump over him and pray he doesn't appear again soon.

That's Clarice?
The only way Clarice is gonna be happy is if she covers every single square inch of road on every destination she embarks on. I mean every. single. god. damn. square. She won't be happy if even so much as one itty-bitty piece of road isn't covered in white and this can get just a tad tedious. You see, her car is SUPER MEGA ULTRA FLOATY and sometimes trying to paint the one or two blocks of road at the end of a line can be one immense pain in the ass and it'll require multiple passes to do it. Once she's happy with the results, though, it's off to the next destination to paint her cares away some more.

There are a total of seven destinations for Clarice to visit and once she's finished her world tour, she simply starts the journey again. Since she's already visited the locales, law enforcement is out in full-force ready to have another go at her with even more diligence. Clarice just keeps driving until she can no longer afford new cars to throw at this project. That's it. No fancy ending, no fireworks, no bells and whistles. Play until you've had your fill.

Little gems like City Connection are what gaming's all about. You pick it up, you have your fun, and you're done. A game like this would most certainly be lost on today's generation of "hardcore gamerzzzz", but it's always been enough to keep me happy for decent stretches of time when I drag it out of the collection for a spin. Hehe...spin... 'cause she throws oil cans.... @-|):D

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