A free puzzle game of self-inflicted road rage.
I'm hooked on this new mobile release from Mediocre Game Studio, Does Not Commute. A combination of action and puzzle gameplay, the goal is to guide the various citizens of a town as they travel from one place to the next during the course of their day.
One after another, you maneuver vehicles across a cluster of city blocks, their routes recorded and replayed for each subsequent run. This makes the game's difficulty change, in part, based on your skill and foresight in planning how everyone moves across the level. On top of this, there is a time limit ticking down during all the action and the game forces you to take possibly more challenging routes to collect icons that increase the remaining time. And this is where Does Not Commute gets you.
Running out of time in the basic release of the app ends the game and forces you to start again from the very beginning, like a classic arcade game. By purchasing the premium version ($1.99 on Google Play, $2.49 in the App Store), you have the option to instead restart play from the beginning of any stage.
With all of the annoying ways that game developers often choose to monetize their games, whether it be the removal of annoying ads, limited free access to game content, or nickel-and-dime microtransactions, this is one of the most inoffensive options I've seen. Locking away checkpoints behind a pay wall is more like offering a convenience than fundamentally crippling the experience or creating arbitrary obstacles to be cleared with cash.
You can still complete the entirety of Does Not Commute in the free version if you're skilled and patient enough. It simply has to be accomplished in a straight run, the way games used to be.