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Freeways is a deceptively simple game about building roads

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Freeways is a bite-sized road building sim for anyone who's ever shouted at a poorly timed traffic light or a cluttered intersection, positive they could build a better one in their sleep.

“You are a traffic engineer,” says developer Justin ‘Captain Games’ Smith. “Draw freeway interchanges. Optimize for efficiency and avoid traffic jams.” It’s a simple premise, but having spent some time with it myself, I can tell you Freeways quickly becomes difficult. 

There are only nine levels (to start; as a reader pointed out, you unlock more as you go), but countless solutions to them. The goal is to build your three-by-three road network as efficiently as possible by avoiding redundant connections, unfeasible turns and overlong roads. Once you’ve hooked everything up, you run a test to determine your network’s efficiency, with a higher score indicating a better-designed network. 

Freeways tells you what roads need to be connected but doesn’t even mention how you should go about connecting them. There's room to experiment, and you really have to think about how roads can and should interlock, especially as the number of roads increases.  

Straight lines will only get you so far. You’ve got to build ramps, traffic circles, turnoffs, overpasses and other connections to keep traffic flowing, and you need to be careful. A literal wrong turn can jam your whole system, which means starting over. It’s devilishly easy to fail Freeways, but rebuilding is quick enough that it doesn’t sting. For the same reason, it's fun to test different road structures. 

Freeways is available via for $3.