Monday, November 26, 2012

Avatar Monster Truck

Let's go jump over a line of school buses!
A lot of times when I think of Monster Trucks I think of the huge, trailer trashy version of normal cars with their engorged tires leaping over other vehicles and crushing everything that passes under their wheels. An announcer screams the day of the week over and over again while the behemoths shred the earth beneath them, and if the audience is lucky they might even get to see someone get hurt, or better yet, die. Recently the indie game Avatar Monster Truck was released, and I was curios to see if it lives up to the epic sized tires found in the real life arenas.

I suggest decking your own avatar out with a handle bar mustache
before playing Avatar Monster Truck to replicate the feel of
actually watching a monster truck rally.
Created by the Indie Game Marketplace veteran Maximinus, Avatar Monster Truck is pretty simple. The graphics are bright and contain a lot of solid colors and flat surfaces, and are very reminiscent of the cel shaded graphics found in some other games. You get to choose the color of your monster truck and the number that appears on it's side. I definitely dig the bright colors, but something about it feels very plain and almost borders on boring. The music and sound effects are mostly standard fare, but your monster truck is LOUD and makes a constant, annoying REVVING noise which quickly got on my nerves.

The game play of Avatar Monster Truck feels like it could be fun, but the game lacks a tutorial or anything that helps you understand why your monster trucks controls the way it does. There is a screen that tells you what the controls do, but sometimes the truck seems to stick to surfaces, and other times it would get stuck on hills that I couldn't quite figure out how to get over. There are times where you're driving straight up walls, a la Sonic the Hedgehog, which was cool, but I couldn't understand how I could make it up those with relative ease and then get defeated by a small hill. I could tell there was a rhyme and reason to how the truck worked, but I had trouble figuring out what this was on my own.

Oh shit! The monster truck course is haunted by a ghost!
Let's race it!
The game doesn't have any multiplayer, so you spend your time racing against Maximinus' ghost trucks. All you really have to do is get the best time. I like this idea, but I wished the game had a scoring system, because you can do flips with your truck off of ramps. It's a lot of fun when you pull off those flips, so it would be nice if I were to get points for landing them successfully. Some of the later levels also get really frustrating because the course can be mostly vertical, but because making jumps is iffy combined with the fact that sometimes you truck just shrugs it's shoulders and says "Eh" when trying to go up some hills, you'll fall down one of the holes you were trying to get over and wind up really far behind. There's really no point in continuing at that point so you might as well start over. Luckily the game features little to no loading, making restarts virtually painless.

My car was green, like the M&M, and had the number 69 on it.
So, is Avatar Monster Truck worth your time? It is fun getting to control of the giant beasts, but when I think of a monster truck I think of POWER and DESTRUCTION, two things this game distinctly lacks. I think if a scoring system was put in with a little extra emphasis on doing flips and tricks with the truck, you'd have a really awesome game here. Multiplayer isn't exactly necessary, but I think if we were at least trying to compete for high scores instead of best times for each level you could squeeze a little extra time out of the game. But the game is only 80 MSP, so if you'd like to see a second, more feature rich version of the game, I would recommend supporting Maximinus, as they do have a track record of releasing updated version of their games, so a second one isn't out of the question.

Also, I forgot to mention over the weekend that the winner of my Johnny Carnage high score contest went to lPayneToTheMaxl who scored an INSANE 4,250,520 points, saving 129 girls and making it to room 14 with 2449 kills. Comparatively I was in second place with 1,437,540 points with 83 girls saved on room 9 and 733 kills. Good job lPayneToTheMaxl! He received 400 Microsoft Points as a prize! I had a lot of fun with that contest and I think I'll do one each month going forward. I'd love to give away indie games when I can, and this review is another chance for that. Leave a comment on this review with your gamertag and I'll select a comment at random in Friday November 30th and send you a code via Xbox Live for a free copy of Avatar Monster Truck.


  1. You pay for the whole seat, but you'll only need the edge!

    1. SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Great. Monster Truck Games is a great game. I like the game very much. I have played this game online. I love to play this game.