Drive On the Political Roads of Italy in “Wheels of Aurelia”
Driving creates so many sensory memories, or at least descriptions of those sensory memories that can change depending on when and where a person is driving. Whether it’s the street lamps rushing past while you ride in the backseat on a long road trip or that memory of you and your friends driving down the oceanfront with the convertible’s top down during spring break.
Wheels of Aurelia creates new memories with the protagonist Lella driving the Via Aurelia to reach the French Riveria in the the late ’70s. What Wheels of Aurelia does so different from other driving games is the focus on character stories. Throughout the drive different paths may be taken depending on the exits and the dialogue options that are chosen between characters such as Olga, Gorilla and others. In fact, Wheels of Aurelia could almost be considered a visual novel, but it is too ambitious to be held back by one genre.
The characters in 1970s Italy are all fueled by political interests and social topics that create discussion between themselves that the player has to navigate. “Any news about President Moro?”, “Are you a feminist?” and “Can I ask what you think about abortion?” are all topics that Olga may bring up within the first ten minutes of a playthrough. The time period is educational too, I know nothing about Italy in the 70s and topics such as Pasolini’s murder and “the real revolution in May ’68″ that Lella speaks of in France led me to doing some research after each playthrough.
The game is currently still in beta and can be purchased from developer Santa Ragione’s website. So what are you waiting for? As the Italian’s say, buon viaggio!