Road Maintenance Simulator from Aerosoft and developer Caipirinha Games is certainly one of the most surprising multi-platform launches we’ve seen in recent months. Coming out for PlayStation, Xbox and PC, it offers a rather unique sim-like experience – here’s our take on the PlayStation 4 version.
When you think ‘road maintenance’, you’re probably thinking of delays on your way to work, or even on your way to a vacation destination. Not a positive connotation, so we were surprised to see a game developer tackle this very niche line of work in a simulator. And although we see plenty of oddball simulators on the PC, we were even more surprised to see this one going multiplatform!
Like many of you, we didn’t have lifelong dream to work in the road maintenance industry, but the prospect of seeing their perspective was intriguing nonetheless – having seen the end or midway result in action so many times. Your frame of reference may differ from what you see in the game though, as Caipirinha Games has based their gameplay (and visual) design on the German situation.
The game’s main modes takes you through the paces of Road Maintenance work on 30 different missions, which take place on the included open world map. Missions are layered into steps and phases, so it’s easy enough to keep track of what you’re supposed to be doing. Early on, this can be as simple as making sure a few trees get trimmed as their branches hang across the road, but later missions require multiple vehicles that you have to drive and work with.
For novices like us, there are a surprising number of different vehicles involved here, from trucks that place traffic signs to vehicles that spread out the new asphalt to rollers that flatten and compress the surface for you afterwards. But aside from all those big vehicles, you also get to handle smaller tools – which even includes a trash picker, as keeping the roads clean is also part of your job (and missions!).
Road Maintenance Simulator is certainly a curiosity in the PlayStation library, but comes with a PlayStation 5 version and Unreal-powered visuals that look suitably realistic – the environments and vehicles all look good, and the only area that’s a bit lacking are the character animations, which look wooden and low in detail.
We don’t think that you’ll go back to Road Maintenance Simulator a few more times after you’ve completed all of the missions, but it does offer a detailed look at what goes into maintaining our roads – or those of Germany, if you will. And hey, the next time you’re stopped because of road work and have the kids asking “how much longer?” on your way to a vacation, you get to tell them all about what’s going on while you wait! It may not be the most thrilling game out there, but it does paint an interesting picture of what was previously just seen as a bit of nuisance.