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I have no real depth of knowledge when it comes to monster trucks. Near as I can tell, after seeing them on the TV, it seems to be a matter of mashing the gas and aiming. Thanks to this nifty little Xbox game that landed on my doorstep called Monster Truck Championship, I now have a much better idea.
. . . and then, seemingly very far away from you, two toilets flush simultaneously, dumping about eight gallons of high-test into a supercharger the size of a microwave that’s bolted to a block the size of a washing machine.
It works like this. You mash on the gas . . .
Like a Flintlock Pistol
The resulting eight successive mortar blasts fire pistons as big as a man’s thigh and with near-diesel levels of compression up navel artillery comparable bores, transmitting crushing levels of force through femur-sized con-rods to a crankshaft that has to be out of an ocean-going tug.
Then there’s a clutch in there somewhere and a bunch of whirling transmission bits and such. Then onto drivelines – one fore, one aft – before finally, what your foot asked for anywhere from 0.000001 seconds to 71 hours earlier is transmitted into the dirt via tires the size of hot tubs.
Have you ever fired a flintlock? It’s sort of like that. There is a huge and seemingly endless chain of events from when you squeeze the trigger to when you hear and feel the “whoomph!” And, much to the credit of Monster Truck Championship, the game faithfully seem to reproduce that (I was playing on my Logitech G920 Racing Wheel).
Monster Truck Championship Features
Online mode for up to 8 players.
16 customizable vehicles with over 50 options.
25 circuits in different cities across the United States.
5 types of events: Race, Time-Trial, Drag Races, Freestyle, and Destruction!!
Realistic driving and physics, including independent front- and rear-wheel control.
Adjustment of different mechanical elements, including the engine and suspension.
Manage your truck, sponsors, and technicians to improve performances and earnings.
All About The Money!!
The game is relatively tech-heavy, which is great. You get to (actually have to) fiddle with your truck. Improve this, tweak that, and so on, or you won’t win. And if you are not winning, that also corresponds to you not earning that cold hard cash.
See, Monster Truck Championship isn’t just about driving monster trucks. The keyword here is Championship. After starting at a beginner level, the goal is to work your way up. And, like in any other form of Motorsports, speed equals money. So, with your monster truck and its delayed set of reactions and big spongy tires, and mountainous levels of power and torque, you have to go out and win. Take home the iron, then put the scratch back into the truck and back into the team.
You get to hire team personnel along the way and deal with sponsors. It’s been said that Motorsports sponsorship is a shallow fetid bog swimming with vipers and rank with the lowest forms of life, and this may be true, but there’s also a downside. Luckily this game is focused more on driving and having fun with your truck than dealing with sponsors.
Monster Truck Championship Gameplay
This is where Monster Truck Championship has another technical card dealt in its favor. They don’t have to map out miles of sky, like in a flight sim, or miles and miles of track, like in a driving sim. So Monster Truck Championship gets to focus more processing power on what that infernal contraption you’re trying to control is doing.
However, there’s a balance point somewhere beyond the horizon, which is tough to master, but when you do, look out. In Monster Truck Championship, there is a spot where the impending forward thrust will meet the steering angle, and it will happily agree with things like your current body roll and weight transfer. When that happens, Monster Truck Championship will Hook. You. Up. and you will go downrange like a missile (if missiles had big tires).
And you must have the hand/eye coordination to aim (or possibly steer) your monster truck where you want it to go. It’s not easy, but it is rewarding.
I could get three, sometimes three-and-a-half corners in a row before spearing off in a given direction, flopping onto my side, or pulling a wheelie that stood the truck on its tailgate. But to be fair, the developers say you need to do more than punch the gas if you expect to pull off any cool aerial stunts or reach the game’s ultimate prize of becoming the Professional League Champion at the Monster Truck Finals.
Should You Buy Monster Truck Championship?
If you are into things like Monster Jam, you will have a blast with this game. You have plenty of options for tinkering with the trucks, modding them, and making them faster. You also get to name your truck and paint it all goofy, which only adds to the fun. But best of all, with Monster Truck Championship, you won’t risk doing anything stupid like killing yourself at the fairgrounds.
Monster Truck Championship is available on Amazon for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. At the time of this writing, it’s between $20 and $30 on Amazon, depending on which gaming platform you have. It’s an inexpensive way to have fun if you are looking for a game a little out of the ordinary.
Longtime Automoblog writer Tony Borroz has worked on popular driving games as a content expert, in addition to working for aerospace companies, software giants, and as a movie stuntman. He lives in the northeast corner of the northwestern-most part of the Pacific Northwest.