Game Reviews

Top Truck

Star onStar onStar offStar offStar off
| Top Truck
Top Truck
| Top Truck

Off the top of my head, I can't think of too many games about trucks. But even in this limited competitive field, calling your game Top Truck is a bold move.

It's another 'homage' to Trials (as with last week's Trial Xtreme 2), where you drive from left to right from a side-on perspective, trying to avoid flipping the car, and overcoming obstacles with the right levels of balance and acceleration.

The twist in this particular version is that you have to keep the crowd interested to get all three stars in each arena. You do this by crushing buildings and other stationary vehicles with your mighty tyres, as well as via the less popular spectator sport of collecting green stars.

Running a-truck

You control the game with touchscreen buttons for accelerating and reversing. You can either tackle vehicle balance with an another two buttons or by tilting your phone. Both methods are perfectly serviceable, but they both run into the same problem.

Essentially, bikes - the genres go-to vehicle - are light enough to pull wheelies, and monster trucks aren't. As such, it's sometimes hard to know how much of an effect you're having on the balance.

The controls don't feel particularly subtle, either, which is crucial in a game like this.

You can blitz through many of the levels at top speed by keeping the tilt one way or the other. At other times it feels like the same input can either let you land a perfect jump or see you falling miserably short.

Not the wheel deal

There's a generous number of vehicles to choose from, but there's no explanation as to the difference between them. It was only by trial and error that I discovered that some were clearly quicker and others had better traction, making previously insurmountable levels incredibly easy.

The trucks are nicely drawn, and the different environments each have their own tone, even if the gameplay is pretty much unchanged throughout.

Unfortunately, the sound fails to build on the solid graphical foundations, with grainy generic heavy guitar loops only serving to remind you to find the 'mute' button. The sound effects are limited to engine noise, the crunching of cars, and the driver whooping wildly every time something goes right.

This would all be fine with the right gameplay, but without visual feedback Top Truck lacks the fun factor.

Most Trials clones manage to translate the addictive, tricky gameplay of the original in some form, but - like every stunt driver will at some point in their career - Top Truck ends up falling flat.

Top Truck

The Trials formula should be a banker for addictive and tricky gameplay, but somewhere along the line, the fun has been lost in translation