If you’re older than 16, but younger than 25, you might remember playing Flash games of dubious quality off a shared USB pen drive at school, where a generic slew of games like tower defence sims and 2D monster truck scrollers would dominate lunch times. Sounds sad, but that was life for many of us. If you’re acquainted with the quality and stylings of those games, then get ready for Truck Trials Driving Simulator, which, in kindest terms, is just like a Flash game, but made for phones.
Initially, players will be surprised and perhaps pleased to note that the game’s title is a misnomer: Truck Trials isn’t strictly a driving game, but more puzzle-based as you have to traverse your truck over obstacles using ramps, speed boosters, and portals. This is completely welcome, as the grand scale of most modern racing games do not tend to fit on a dinky phone screen, and proper control of these titles necessitates something more than horrid on-screen controls. The puzzle element fits the mobile phone much better, and the puzzles, by and large, are competent, albeit not special.
Everything about Truck Trials feels fairly standard issue, never really daring to step out and be its own game at any stage. It embodies sameness. It’s the same as any other puzzle game of its ilk – and yes, vehicular puzzlers are more numerous than you’d think. What we get – and we get it for free so there’s little room to moan – is the same collection of puzzles that we’ve seen in numerous other puzzle games, right down to all the stock objects that players are asked to use. Ultimately, Truck Trials is decent but ultimately not terribly interesting.
The long and laboured rant at the start of this review about Flash games should set the right precedent: Truck Trials looks exactly like a 2000s-era Flash title. That is to say, it looks facile and embarrassing, especially in 2017. Many people reading this review are likely not usually snobbish about graphics, myself included, but Truck Trials lacks a serious amount of visual polish that doesn’t detract from the gameplay but makes the entirety of the package seriously difficult to look at after 10 minutes. Look at the quality of the clouds and the hills. I’m reticent to give this game a pasting because it was made by one man whose forte is clearly not in graphics, but this is horrid and basic. It’s as entry level as graphics could possibly come.
Writing about Truck Trials has proven to be more difficult than what one might guess, because ultimately, the game really doesn’t offer up that much and trying to truly disseminate what it does give you is like drawing blood from a stone. It works. The driving is functional. The graphics exist. The puzzles are standard. Ultimately, this is a game so average that it needs not exist, and in total, crushing truth, you do not need to play it, either.
Truck Trials Driving Simulator may just be the epitome of “okay”. Playing it is like living in a sterile world where nothing is exciting any more, not worthy of extended comment. Even the running pastime of mocking how the clouds look is a fruitless endeavour considering the workforce behind the game. It simply works, but offers no excitement, no surprises, nothing to convince you to play this game over anything else. By all means, play this game – you won’t get anything meaningful out of it, but play this game anyway. It’ll put some time in and you can contemplate the bleak sterility of life as you do.
The game is average, with an even mix of positives and negatives.
A functional yet joyless experience that literally offers no reasons for players to keep playing. Life is beautiful, play something exciting instead.