Monday, 23 February 2009

CallMeSarge Gaming Journal - 23rd Feb 2oo9

Monster Trucks Nitro

I am working up to a big post on CoH. This is not it.

THIS is probably one of the most pleasing sub £10 games I have purchased (perhaps beaten by PixelJunk Eden) and is the reason I have not completed Flower yet. Pollination can wait when there are physics based puzzles to solve with my monster truck!

Years ago a mate called Toby got me hooked on a game called Elastomania. You navigate your 2D motorcycle through a series of complex levels, collecting apples and finding a daisy that ends the level. Mastery of the finely balanced leaning mechanic was essential to progress, and it became a strange 'Pass the Keyboard' multi-player experience. I would occasionally wander through the house during a party to find some poor soul (usually the worse for wear) grinding away at one of the trickier later stages in the game. It was simple, homebrew, and totally addictive.

Monster Trucks Nitro, by Red Lynx, is a progression of that game (And obviously the Trials games too, but I played them less and I like the oldschool version, so segue a go go). The levels are time based, and herein lies the challenge. A bronze medal will unlock the next level (so far), but gold medals give you the shineys. In game bill boards hint at some kind of off-road formula one car – sweet!

The aesthetic feel and sound affects are spot on, and the blue monster truck with flames on it reminds me that as a child, I was truly convinced that my fathers choice not to invest in one of these for daily transport was a huge mistake. The gameplay puts a smile on my face – judging the balance just right as you launch your truck off a ramp, over a canyon, and on to a row of school buses confirms some deep, childish knowledge that despite what my fore brain is telling me, monster trucks are really fucking cool. Only one thing could improve the game for me. Ok two things. More levels. And a Bowler Wildcat.

1 Line Summary: More fun than Flower.

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