Wheels of Aurelia lets you experience Italy ’78 from behind the wheel, even if you have no idea what that means.
Drive around Italy as Lella, giving people rides and making idle and not-so-idle conversation as you follow the Via Aurelia in 1978. This driving and chatting game has very easy controls (left/right to steer, space to speed up, up/down to choose dialogue options), different endings and a colourful aesthetic.
What’s Interesting About Wheels of Aurelia?
Let yourself slip into character. Lean back on your chair, one hand on the steering wheel (/keyboard), and cruise through Italy. You don’t even have to turn, the driving assistance does that for you. Just admire the scenery, enjoy the radio and chat with your friend Olga, who’s coming along for the ride. If you’re up for helping hitchhikers, you can chat with someone else for a change, about the pope or UFOs or how the job market is doing better in the North than the South. Wheels of Aurelia’s mix of clean visuals, music and slow-delivered dialogue makes for a relaxing experience.
Disclaimer, I don’t know how to drive, and I wasn’t born when the game takes place, but it’s still abundantly clear that this is of a different era. The postcards you see when you drive by another city, the songs on the radio, the things people talk about, it all meshes well. My only qualm with this game is that I came out of that pleasant reverie at times – when someone wanted to race and I became very aware of it being a bit clunky to drive, for example. I like to think it’s similar to driving along a highway, not having to focus much, instead idly chatting with your passengers. It was an optimistic road trip, but one where important subjects could come up without feeling out of place.