Remember how we laughed and cried over arcade physics racer Trials 2? Okay, well we did. And lots of people loved it, and lo it was some kind of hit. Well, Red Lynx haven’t been sitting on their hands staring at the ceiling since they made it, no sir, they’ve been making another silly side-on zooming and jumping game, called Monster Trucks Nitro. (Secretly been around for a while, we just weren’t paying attention. Shh!) There’s a demo through that link, but the download is slow. Fortunately you can also get it on Steam too. Hooray!
Now first off I have to say that Monster Trucks Nitro is 38.9% less funny than Trials 2. You might think that the comedy value of lurid trucks with balloon-like tires would make for additional funny, but it’s actually the case that the flailing physics-death of the Trials 2 rider was actually where much of the value of the game lay. It made failure entertaining, which was useful because in Trials 2 you would fail a great deal.
Nevertheless there’s a good deal to recommend MTN: it’s punchier, and more toy-like. Which is to say, there’s exploding stuff in it, and it’s easier. It’s 29.6% more ludicrous, with a nitro boost, other monster trucks on the track, bizarre death loops and vastly more tumbling absurdity than Trials 2. The demo is NOT representative of the crazy shit. You go thundering down absurd slopes, crashing over piles of logs, and making ludicrous leaps across deadly chasms. It’s rather more Micro Machines than Trials 2, and that’s no bad thing. The two-level demo doesn’t quite get that across, as it falls short of the absurd escalation of jumps and detonations that the full game entails. Rollercoaster drops, giant barrel constructs… It is, you might say, a little zanier than these introductory levels suggest.