Trophy Truck Extreme is a cross platform release from independent developers XMediaGrafx which promises to be a fun and addictive racing game, seeing off-road vehicles move at a breakneck speed across rough terrain and smashing into each other in a frantic race to come first place.
So, does Trophy Truck Extreme deliver on this promise? Read on after the break to find out!
Start Your Engines
Following a swift download and install from the App Store, Trophy Truck Extreme offers an initial setup screen with various options for graphics and resolution, tailored to suit your Mac’s specifications. This completed, one is now presented with the Main Menu, as shown above. The Main Menu hosts several self-explanatory options to choose from, accompanied by suitably macho rock music.
“Race” and “Smash” are Trophy Truck Extreme’s two types of play and upon choosing either of these, one is then asked to select between a small, light and relatively easier to handle buggy, shown below on the left, or the 650+ bhp powerhouse opposite.
I’m not exactly a hardcore gamer and I therefore haven’t got an external joystick or controller to use with Trophy Truck Extreme (though they are supported), so I’ve been stuck using my Mac’s keyboard for driving. This is never an ideal situation for a racing game but the developers have done a very good job of translating the minutia of racing an off-road vehicle to keyboard keys. Being confined to keys didn’t detract too much from the game’s experience.
The “Race” option is perhaps Trophy Truck Extreme’s main draw and indeed this is where I found myself spending the majority of my time in the game. After selecting the default “Beautiful” preset on my MacBook Pro on Trophy Truck Extreme’s launch, the graphics looked great and as long as I had the game running in full-screen mode, I drove at high speed without any stuttering or glitches – this despite my keeping other Apps open in the background.
Though the learning curve seems quite tough at first, the skill of the computer opponents seemed just right overall and this learning curve likely squeezed a lot of extra mileage out of the game’s lone track.
On the starting line, the user is given three laps of the long course to move upwards in position from the sixth place in which you begin. Beginning in dead last like this makes for a frantic chase and I found that Trophy Truck Extreme’s simplicity belied an inherent addictiveness within the games design.
As the course progresses through many ramps and jumps, each moment spent in mid-air earns another increment of “Boost” – which comes in very handy because Trophy Truck Extreme’s punishing physical engine does not allow too much wiggle room for mistakes when clipping the tracks walls or landing awkwardly.
Smash is much the same experience as Race but with added wooden boxes, barrels and debris scattered throughout the course to smash into. I actually found that this leveled the playing field somewhat and it proved less competitive than Race, but there was still fun to be had in sabotaging the competitor’s path and causing much mayhem. Trophy Truck Extreme’s in-game physics make the objects react satisfactorily without becoming exaggerated at any point.
More Tracks Please!
The iOS game explosion has shown that not every title needs to offer the depth of graphics which can be seen on games such as Call Of Duty, sometimes all we want is to launch a game and play for a while. Trophy Truck Extreme is definitely in this latter camp, which is fine and it never pretends to be anything else.
Really, the one key drawback to Trophy Truck Extreme is that there is only one track to race, thus reducing the game’s shelf life somewhat – even the old trick of being able to race the same track backwards would have been an improvement. However, the developer of Trophy Truck Extreme states that subsequent updates are currently being worked on and will include additional cars and tracks, thus resolving this criticism.
Does Trophy Truck Extreme offer the user a game playing experience which is on a par with massively popular games like the Need For Speed series? No. Does it offer value for the small amount of money it costs? Undoubtedly!
When one considers the very low cost and its indie-developer roots, there is a lot to like about Trophy Truck Extreme. The gameplay is a lot of fun and the AI of the computer opponents provides a good challenge too. More than anything, Trophy Truck Extreme shows a lot of promise and what features are included are well-designed and robust. One hopes that the developers will indeed capitalize on this success to improve and update on what is for now at least, an uneven but immensely fun game.