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18 Wheeler - American Pro Trucker

From the guys behind Shenmue comes an arcade conversion that you don’t want to miss! A worthy rival to the fantastic ‘Crazy Taxi’ is finally here in the form of a truck driving game. Could you get your truck safely around the US of A within the time limit… and before your rival??? Well, I could, and so I thought I’d preview this nearly arcade perfect conversion for you. Read on…

ANOTHER arcade conversion?

Yes… but this one is cool! Well, all the arcade conversions we’ve seen so far from SEGA have been cool!

I guess so. Crazy Taxi was neat.

Yeah, it was. As was House of the Dead 2. SEGA are king when it comes to truly classic arcade games, and they’ve not proved us wrong yet. In fact, 18 Wheeler seems to be another great arcade game to add to their collection!

Cool! So… what’s this one all about then?

Well, you are an American truck driver. Your task – to carry your cargo to its destination within the time you are given and preferably ahead of your rivals. However, there are many obstacles in the way of your success as an ‘18 Wheeler Pro American Trucker’. The traffic is thick… and this traffic may damage your cargo, something you don’t want to happen (otherwise your potential earnings will go down). Trying to weave your way through this traffic is pretty hard… and you will find yourself smashing into cars quite a bit, making them explode and fly off down the road.

Wow! So, lots of destruction and stuff! Sounds good to me!

Well, you just have to be careful and attempt to get to the destination ahead of your rival, who is also carrying cargo to the same place. There are different routes to go in each track (usually just one extra route), and so sometimes losing your rival and driving well through till you meet again can pay off… as you drive off ahead of him! The detail in this game is just amazing too! 

The graphics do look very nice…

NICE?! That isn’t the word! This game is nearly arcade perfect, and the attention to detail is astounding! The in-truck view shows items on the dashboard moving from side to side as you turn corners and even items like fluffy dice move around. Outside the truck is beautiful also. The truck itself is always smooth and shiny… and the surroundings and other vehicles are just brilliant! So pain-stakingly detailed… but it’s a shame the tracks are too short and linear for my liking… 

What you mean?

Well, although what is there is great, I think that a few extra routes in each track and even longer tracks could have made it better. However, like I said, what is there is great! The detail is amazing and the tracks are well done. Controls are also good. Although they are a bit confusing at first, once you get the hang of it, you begin to drive your truck like a real pro! It’s just a shame that your truck can’t go much above 80 mph! 

What??? Isn’t that silly??? If you’re trying to get to your destination fast, shouldn’t the trucks be able to go faster?

Well, in AM2’s defence, I guess it is supposed to be pretty realistic… and if you went much faster you wouldn’t be able to control the vehicle very well and the tracks would be much shorter.

Ahhh… I see! Oh well. I guess that’s all right then!

Yeh. Still, it would be fun to have a really fast truck maybe, but we can’t have everything we want! However, something AM2 has no excuse for (thanks to Mikey for pointing this out to me) is the fact that the game runs at a measly 25-30fps… thus making the game a lot less smoother than it could be.

Eek! Sounds bad… but, do tell me more!

Well, as well as having to take cargo to different destinations around America, there are sub-games in-between missions in the arcade mode. Also, there is a versus mode so that you and a friend can try and beat each other to the finish line!

Hey! That sounds fun! Anything else worth mentioning at all?

Well, there is an actual mode that asks you to park the truck correctly which may keep you occupied for a few minutes… as well as a ‘score attack’ mode. This seems to be basically beating your scores on a track to try and get the best score possible. However, these few extra modes may not be able to distract you from the fact that this game will be pretty short. Also, the bastards at SEGA of Europe have decided to take out the online play originally planned, which could have boosted the lifespan.


Yes, hmmm…

So, is that about it then?

Yup. When I get the game, I’ll get a review up for you. Then you’ll see just what I think of the final version. However, while I’m impressed by the quality of the product AM2 have produced for us thus far, it does seem that an equal dash of quantity was missed from the mix. While quality is always preferred over quantity, sometimes we do need a little more.

Anticipation Rating: 3/5

Andrew Dickinson,

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Developer Am2
Publisher SEGA
Genre Driving
Players 1-2
Release 11th May



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