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Have You Played... Tricky Truck?

Blue lorries, white knuckles

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time

In a perfect world this $10 masterpiece would be an easter egg embedded deep within the SCS truck sims. Ignore the fatigue-induced yawns and eyelid flickers in ATS or ETS2 for long enough and eventually your Scania or Kenworth would dissolve and be replaced by a crude blue crate-laden HGV. All of a sudden you'd find yourself hurtling down a ski-jump surrounded by giant bouncing spheres, or creeping along a winding mountain track bordered by shards of shatterable PCB.

Combining a top notch physics engine with dream-like landscapes and fiendish driving challenges, Tricky Truck encourages experimentation and rewards manual dexterity. Years of user creativity have filled the nicely integrated online level repository with mind-bogglingly diverse puzzles. The game starts innocuously with unspectacular parking tests, slaloms, hill climbs and descents. Before you know it, however, you're jumping ravines, navigating collapsing bridges, activating elaborate cargo-loading mechanisms with delicate bonnet nudges, and dodging pendulums the size of small moons.

A puzzle that's nigh-on impossible in the default rig may be merely maddening in a hatchback or pickup (Eight alternative vehicles are provided). Whichever ride you chose and level you select, a High Scores – or rather Low Times – table shows how others have fared when faced with an identical challenge. Because every time in the table is accompanied by an automatically uploaded replay, it's easy to learn tricks from the proficient, the persistent, and the downright jammy.

Replays don't always help though. I've watched hotcoffee's miraculous Highway to Hell performance many times, but in hundreds of attempts never managed to emulate it.

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