Truck Trials Driving Challenge is a straightforward puzzle game developed by Craig Briggs. In it, you control a monster truck trying to navigate to the finish line on a level. It's a basic concept; you start off at the starting point and try to reach the end in the fastest time as possible. You'll collect fuel canisters in each level, adding points and refueling your fuel gauge. The biggest feature though, is the preparation for each level. Truck Trials blends puzzle and time trial mechanics to varying degrees of success, so let's see if it's worth the play!
As I hinted at in the opening, Truck Trials Driving Challenge is more than just a simple “point A to point B” experience. When you start a level, you have a variety of objects that you can place on the map. In the first handful of levels, these usually include ramps and speed boosts. You use these objects to help your truck cross gaps, avoid obstacles, and reach collectibles. In this way, Truck Trials is a puzzle game first and foremost.
You'll spend a bit of time surveying the level at hand, setting down some ramps, and try out your solution. You simply need to reach the finish line to complete the level; you're not required to collect everything. However, successfully collecting all the fuel cans in a reasonable time (without running out of gas) can prove challenging, and provides an extra layer of replayability to each level. There's a good collection of levels in Truck Trials, and while I wish I would've seen more, the game does a good job introducing new elements.
Besides ramps and speed boosts, new power ups appear as the levels progress. You'll be introduced to them in a level, and then a few levels later set them on the map. These include power ups that change your car size, teleport your car, and more. The extra layer of objects make creating solutions for each puzzle enjoyable, and add a good layer of challenge to keep players thinking. Additionally, the base levels do a good job of evolving. They start off pretty normal, containing flat landscapes and easy jumps. Before long though, you'll deal with moving platforms, pitfalls, and more. There's a decent ramp in difficulty halfway through the levels that provides a good challenge. And once all this is completed there is even a second theme with extra power ups (missile, grenades, harpoon, emo charge etc) to really keep you playing.
If development is ongoing, I expect we'll see additional levels roll out as they're finished. There's a few options and features that would really help flesh out Truck Trials, but they might be a bit hefty for a one man team. For instance, it would be incredibly cool to be able to create your own tracks and share them with friends. User generated content is a great way to ensure content is continuously released (as long as the game is successful), and would fit great with Truck Trials' gameplay.
Truck Trials is already a game of challenges, so it might be difficult to implement a “daily challenge” system. However, a small list of achievements would be nice. Furthermore, while I enjoy the color blue, I was a bit disappointed that there were no customization options for my truck. It would've been nice to change the color of my car, along with adding some aesthetic items. I think that a bit of customization would add a bit of personality to the game.
For one man's work, Craig Briggs has done a commendable job making a solid puzzle experience with decent physics. A bit of expansion will go a long way, so I hope the developer continues to evolve the game. If you're looking for a puzzle game with a bit of tinkering, give Truck Trials Driving Challenge a try. It's also pretty great for kids, and I could see some more creative children having a wonderful time with the game.
Reviewed by Matt
Watch Truck Trials Driving Challenge Trailer