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18 Wheels of Steel Across America for Trucking Fans

 
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18 Wheels of Steel Across America for Trucking Fans - 11/24/2007 1:27:42 AM   
ravinhood


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Anyone a trucking fan here? I always thought it would be kewl to be a trucker and after playing this game I was right. lol Ever since Mattel Intellivisons "Trucking" game which I played the life out of 2 or 3 intellivisions playing it I've always wanted one for the PC. I don't know how I missed this series in 2002 up to present. This is a rock solid trucking game of constant fun. It has that "just one more run" feeling to it and you can put hours upon hours into this game without realizing it till you stop, IF you can stop. lol

There's like 20 major cities from coast to coast and a chitload of materials just waiting to be transported. There's an economic game here vs 3 other computer players which on easy and normal are pretty easy to beat. It's that hard difficulty that's the challenge (for me). The harder the difficulty the less freight is worth and the amount of miles you must travel to get any value out of them. Traffic is miniscule on easy, normal it's about average and on hard it's all over the place just waiting to cause you an accident or slow you down.

Every game is random as far as jobs go from city to city. A city that might have been lucrative in your last game could be a pot hole in your next game. I like this about the game it keeps it from becoming stale with same paths and routes. Each game you can start in your choice of the 20 cities. Also there are five truck sales depots in the game, unfortunately these are not randomized every game and you are required to visit them to be able to upgrade your vehicle each new game. You start out with a clunker for sure which barely goes 50mph and if you hit an incline it'll take you some time to get up it.

Also, you can hire up to 7 computer truckers to run routes for you in certain scenarios. It's very detailed in the routes you can pick for them or you can let them pick their own. You'll pass them or meet them and others (both independent and the computer AI's team of trucks as well since they also can hire up to 7 computer AI truckers to work for them) going the other way as you travel your routes. You can talk to them on the CB which is basically for being able to hire them or your opponents truckers to your side. It's best to answer their requests and talke CB jargan with them. lol Each AI driver is rated by stars (prestige) and the more stars they have the better drivers they are and the better materials/routes they will use when getting to new cities.

The graphics are superb (fanboi talk there lol), but, they really are good. Landmark sights many of you are familar with you might see in the game from that round rock (like needle rock) sitting balanced on top of another rock that looks like a needle balancing a big rock to the Great Lakes, the Golden Gate bridge, to the Whitehouse and just many more things I'm sure you've seen in your time.

Of course gas stations are strategically placed around the map and there's tons of interstates and of course your old familar highways like HWY 60 and Florida Hwy 1. At each main service station you can repair your truck and get gas. This is the origional 18 Wheels and is pretty basic. I got it for like $3 bucks on AMazon recently and just ordered "18 Steel Wheels: CONVOY" Which has like 40 cities and tons more stuff and more detail on the loads you get where you have to compete more for it in bidding and delivery times etc.

The Law is pretty forgiving and you have to just really be a total ass in front of them to get a ticket. I've run red lights in cities right in front of them and they don't do a thing. But, let me hit some car or bus or whatever in front of one and I'll get a wreckless driving ticket. Let me pass a weigh station and here they come (and those tickets are EXPENSIVE) and of course the occassional speeding ticket. You have a radar or cop dector in your vehicle from the start and the BEEP starts slow and the closer you're getting to the cop the faster and louder it gets. Well, it's pretty easy to back off the pedal on the first beep. This they probably should have had as something you buy and it's not always effective.

The types of trucks and equipment you buy for them are pretty impressive. From Engines to Transmissions to wheels, stacks, horns, etc etc. Much of it is for looks, but, at least five of the items are pretty important for power and handling. You can eventually upgrade to the monster truck that goes way past the maxed out speed of 80mph and then you can also have fun out running the cops. There's several choices of custom paint jobs for each type of truck. There's also some mods you can download of skins as well.

The only real major exploit and probably an ironman rule everyone should use once they get used to the game is the passing on the shoulder ability. It's pretty easy to get past all the traffic jams and slowmobiles and anything that would normally slow you down by passing on the shoulder. The only disadvantage of using it is if the vehicle you are passing wants to take an EXIT and you happen to be passing at that time. He'll plow right into you, cause you to lose some percentage points on your load of value and/or cause the law to give you a ticket IF they happen to be there at that time also. Very rare and those accidents are very rare as well if you're watching out for them.

Some things of note I noticed is the truck AI drives slow as molasses if you happen to be behind one and want to just follow it to see where it goes. 30mph to 40mph tops while you are behind it. Also, I found they don't have to load and unload like you do. They get to the town of destiny and POOF they completed their run and have a load from there starting on another. Sometimes though you will see them pulling into a place you are going and they'll poof there as well. They just don't have to do the activity of loading an unloading like you do. Speaking of which you'll have to learn how to backup an 18 wheeler to load and unload trailers. Though there is an exploit to "unloading" them I'll let you figure out for yourself. It's another ironman rule that should be in place once you learn the ropes though. ;)

All n all for $3 bucks and excellent time consuming just one more run game. I like driving games with an economy vs driving games like GTA or Need for Speed. This one has it in spades. If you're into trucking like I am you might find yourself not being able to put this one down except to sleep for a few hours. Then it's back up in the big seat with pedal to the metal 18 wheels a rollin and East Bound and DOwn.! ;)
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RE: 18 Wheels of Steel Across America for Trucking Fans - 11/24/2007 1:36:05 AM   
Zap


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Seems it has some similarities to rail road tycoon.

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RE: 18 Wheels of Steel Across America for Trucking Fans - 11/24/2007 1:42:17 AM   
Veldor


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Can you fall asleep at the wheel and then plow through 6-10 cars stopped in traffic like they do here in Chicago? If so please post some links.

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RE: 18 Wheels of Steel Across America for Trucking Fans - 11/24/2007 1:50:13 AM   
Zap


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"The Law is pretty forgiving"


I wish that were the reality for my real life job (trucker). But not withstanding, that The game sounds like it could be fun even for a trucker like myself.

It would be a nice fantasy. To be able to drive down the road and not be worried about having an 80,000 pound (truck weight/load). And not have to cover up to $1,000,000,000 in liability insurance.

< Message edited by Zap -- 11/24/2007 2:52:14 AM >


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RE: 18 Wheels of Steel Across America for Trucking Fans - 11/24/2007 4:32:49 AM   
ravinhood


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Yes the accidents are forgiving as well. Cars just fly up and over your truck to disappear in the background somewhere. No smashing or bashing or bloody mess, but, YOUR truck takes a percentage of damage which effects it's power/handling abilities and plus you lose value on your cargo. That is the most I've seen happen. But, yeah you can smash through a bunch of cars in Chicago an keep on truckin in this game while you fall asleep at your keyboard or knod off from playing 20 hours straight. lol For me it's addicting. It's the freedom to be a trucker without most of the consequences. I would like to see a game more indepth though like Zap is talking about in real life. Doubt they'll make a game like that though since most games are made for relaxing and not stress and tension. Though there are those moments in this game when you're trying to make a perfect run and some idiot AI driver decides to pull in front of you on or near a bridge where there are only two lanes and no shoulders to save you. ;)

As for simular to RR Tycoon III yeah it has simularities but the graphics and what you see are much much much more indepth and worth looking at. Thing is in RRTIII all you could do is LOOK around, in this one you can do that plus drive and you don't have to stay between the lines. Each city is like a square box and the national map will change to a city map if you have the map up on your passengers side. There are four material depots sotospeak spread about the towns plus the towns graphics of basically their major landmarks. Not all depots will always have goods for transport some are just receiving depots, but, there are at least two in every city for pickup items and several places have the max. In each depot are up to four materials for transport to various places and various types. There are also special materials that popup from time to time to be picked up and delivered at a specific time, but, catching these bassturds are hard as heck. You literally have to camp in a city to catch one cause they only last about 2 hours of ingame time which is pretty fast. If you are camping in a city though you'll have time to find them and load them. Now, some cities like Dallas and Memphis have depots not quite inside the city, you have to get to them from off the interstates or highways. They will still be close to the cities but not directly in them. I'd say some coast to coast hauls take upwards of 15 minutes to complete. You can literally get road stare from these long runs and also it will mess with your eyes from driving so long. You know that still moving feeling you get from driving a long time in your truck Zap and then you stop for a bite to eat or gas? Welp you can get that same feeling from playing this game. It's like I said you can look up and literally hours and hours have gone by in real life and you're like "Oh man Just One More Run! lol And when you close your eyes to sleep you'll see moving road and traffic in your minds eye. lol

As a real trucker Zap you might find the game a bit gamey because of course of the physics. It's very forgiving driving in the snow and rain as well. I found it pretty funny barreling through Seattle area snowy roads at 70-80mph taking a sharp turn in the road and not sliding at all. No jackknifing in the game as far as I've seen at all either. It's pretty straight forward driving and only over driving could cause you an accident in most cases. For me though it's just the sheer beauty of the drive and working my way through the traffic. One thing of note when driving into any major city late at night from like 10pm on and there being hardly any or no traffic at all is just like I remember when I use to drive to Vegas. These guys modeled a lot that is just like it is in reality. I can't wait until the CONVOY game arrives of this series. It's the 4th and last one and they added a whole lot more to the game for challenge and strategy and of course 20 more cities and lots more materials to haul. Either way whichever you choose this is definitely a whole family type of game. There are women AI truckers in the game too. ;)

Also, take a look at some of these screenshots Gamespot

and these are from CONVOY Gamespot

< Message edited by ravinhood -- 11/24/2007 4:43:26 AM >

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RE: 18 Wheels of Steel Across America for Trucking Fans - 11/26/2007 9:02:20 PM   
Monkeys Brain


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Ravinhood, another truck sim lover here hehe

Well, the games you describe are OK but champions in truck sims are NSK Soft Lab / 1C.
In 2002. they have released King of the Road, before that Hard Truck games etc...

I am eagerly awaiting real king in truck sim - Rig'n'Roll. We threatened developers to release it in 1Q 2008 and they are listening.

This company makes those games but real leader is NSK Soft lab. Those Chezch guys like to copy ideas from NSK Softlab games.

So wait till RIG'N'ROLL hit the stores you will be blowed away.

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RE: 18 Wheels of Steel Across America for Trucking Fans - 11/26/2007 11:47:42 PM   
Doggie


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zap

"The Law is pretty forgiving"


I wish that were the reality for my real life job (trucker). But not withstanding, that The game sounds like it could be fun even for a trucker like myself.


Speaking as a former heavy haul trucker myself, I can't imagine where anybody got a silly ideaq like that. Every police agency in America looks at trucks like they were a big bag of money rolling through and they're entitled to a piece of it.

Then there's lying dispatchers, crooked brokers, on the take warehouse managers, weasels in suits everywhere, and weigh stations that issue citations on the basis of how likely you are to show up to court with that scale ticket that proves you're nowhere near max gross weight and that log book and reciepts that show you've been a motel for the last five days and couldn't possibly have exceeded your hours of service limits.


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RE: 18 Wheels of Steel Across America for Trucking Fans - 11/27/2007 12:47:46 PM   
ravinhood


Posts: 3891
Joined: 10/23/2003
Status: offline
I think Doggie it's because it's geared as a kids game and not real life reality. Comments about the game from customers seem to gear toward how educational it is and helps young kids learn where things are located in the US. From reading various reviews once a kid gets on this game it's hard to get them off. It's FUN to them and I guess that's the bottom line. Pretending to drive a big 18 wheel truck for some young kids would be a dream come true. I always thought as a kid truckers had the life, always on the road, getting to go all over the country and gettting to eat at those fancy truckers diners and makin it wit the waittresses. lol But, you guys paint a pretty bad picture of real life trucking and I don't think that kind of life would be fun afterall now. lol

The Valuesoft series is inexpensive now and I'd recommend this to anyone with kids interested in trucking and to even adults who like driving games. As I said above it's pretty easy to beat the AI, but, there are house rules you can make that makes it more challenging like not using the shoulder to pass everything. lol Or running red lights in the cities or driving on the wrong side of the road. These are the exploits that have made it easy for me to win. Had I played more like in real life it would have been much closer and harder to beat. ;) They should have made the AI block you on the shoulders and cops give you tickets when they "see" you do this. I've had cops see me run red lights and drive on the shoulder and just let me go on about my business like nothing happened. The only time cops will stop you is if they are taking pictures and then you do something wrong. It's almost hilarious that i can barrel through downtown cities at 70-80mph and nobody stops me. But, even so the game is entertaining. It's also addicting, I musta put in 50-60 hours in a weeks time already playing it. It does have that "just one more run" addiction to it. lol

That new game looks pretty kewl Monkey Brains. I notice it's California driving only though, but, if they spread the cities far enough apart and put in the detail that it shows to have in the screenshots that will still be a pretty kewl trucking game. It looks like it has elements of "Convoy" in that you have to get a job ticket and then deliver on time with few mistakes. The graphics also look really good. Only thing is I am so used to driving outside my truck on the roof if I have to use inside the cab only I'll be in BIGGGGGG trouble. lol

OHHHHHH thas another thing there's a view in the Valuesoft game that lets you drive the truck like a GO-KART hahah you can drive it from the front bumper headlights area. It's a blast to play from that view as well.

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RE: 18 Wheels of Steel Across America for Trucking Fans - 11/27/2007 2:53:17 PM   
Monkeys Brain


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Ravinhood, I understand your point but it was not NSK Soft Lab that was copying Valusoft but Valusoft copied everything from King of the Road games...

I played those games in 2002. And when I compared physics of King of the Road with some Valusoft title it was a joke.
Truck was moving in Valusoft game like ball on a pool table! It was ridiculous! Go to any truck sim forum and ask around.

But OK, your right to think what you want. Ende for me.

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