By Tim Stone on November 30th, 2008 at 2:47 pm.
When I want to move extremely heavy objects from hither to thither I tend to use Egyptian slaves. On days when my slaves are on holiday or undertaking The Trial Of A Thousand Crocodiles, I turn to cranes. Tall, steely, and often teeming with snipers, these monumental machines have just been immortalised in sim form. Naturally, it’s a German studio that’s done the immortalising. Unnaturally (considering dross like Müllabfuhr-Simulator 2008 and Bagger-Simulator 2008) the result is really rather pleasing.
Well, going by the demo it is. The free 130Mb taster lets you try your hand at building the ground floor of something called a ‘haus’. Grab a wall or roof section from one of the waiting lorries, then lower it into the required position as quickly as possible. Bumps and dithering cost points.
The physics are surprisingly plausible. Loads twist and sway, snag and pivot. It’s mesmerising in an end-of-the-pier-claw-machine sort of way. If I was certain the full version featured an Ironman Mode with wind simulation, time limits, and in-cab wasps I’d have purchased by now.
The demo is in Deutsch, but that’s no reason to hang back. Memorise these and you’ll be fine:
Move crane arm – Cursors
Lower hook – Page Down
Raise hook – Page Up
Rotate load – Z & C
Tilt load – S & X
Attach/detach load – SPACE
Cameras – 1-7
To pick up the next piece of the building (indicated with red and yellow highlights) position your hook roughly ten metres above its centre, and PageDown until the ‘attach’ icon appears.