Turbo Trucks

There’s an enduring and proud tradition of truck based racing games on various platforms, ranging from such delights as "Eighteen Wheeler", "Big Mutha Truckers" and of course the all time classic of the genre, "Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing". You’re Winner! "Turbo Trucks" is the rotting roadkill of this procession of excellence, what with its generic handling, ridiculously low difficulty level and rudimentary features.

Once you decide on single race, grand prix or time attack, you have a selection of trucks to choose from, all of which are distinctly different in style and appearance and practically identical in handling and performance. The tracks you race on are somewhat meandering, without any particularly sharp curves. I cleared the entire game in about half an hour and only touched the brake button once by accident in an attempt to see if I could change the view from third person to windscreen view. For the record, the view’s fixed. The background graphics? Well, aside from some rather hideously blurry and two dimensional trees in the ‘forest’ stages, there’s also some red desert stages, with equally detailed cacti to bounce off of. Did I mention that going off road has no effect on your speed whatsoever, so long as you don’t crash into a rock, tree or cactus?

Motorin'! No, it's not the official game of Smokey and the Bandit III

The AI on the other trucks is pretty simplistic, although I must say I was actually rammed off the road two or three times while completing all three sets of races. It certainly wasn’t because of any particular challenge or difficulty, it was more out of an attempt to extract some entertainment value. Speaking of entertainment, pressing Select resets your truck to the middle of the track, a common feature in many racing games nowadays, but if you’re not already in last place, the game invariably drops you on top of one of the trucks that were behind you. It brought back fond memories of goofing with the vehicle spawn cheat in "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City".

So, no challenge whatsoever, ugly graphics, minimal features. When I say minimal, finishing the Amateur cup unlocks a truck and the Semi-Pro cup, finishing that unlocks the Pro cup and the King Cobra truck, and winning the Pro cup unlocks the Secret truck, which is a black palette swap of one of the other trucks you can start with. Also, finishing first in the first race of the Pro cup with the Secret truck crashes the game, so that's pretty awesome.

In what would appear to be a common theme (see what I did there?) for these Phoenix games, there’s an excellent piece of music, but unfortunately there’s only one for the entire game, so by the time you’ve finished 3 or 4 races, you’ll be hitting the mute and turning up Godspeed, You Black Emperor. At least you would be if you were me, anyway.

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