Thunderbolt logo

Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing

I’ve never played a game like Big Rigs. It’s a racing game, with trucks. You may first think that it’s simply an 18 Wheeler: American Pro Trucker rip-off. If it tries to be, it’s not. Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing is honestly one of the worst games in all of history, for a variety of reasons that make themselves clear from the moment the game is started. I thought I knew what I was in for when I started up the game, because Iíd read all the reviews for it beforehand: many calling it the worst game ever made. I was terribly understating the pain I was about to endure.

I don’t think that we should technically classify Big Rigs as a racing game. Racing games usually involve some sort of competition. Big Rigs does not offer any sort of competition, as your opponent never actually moves. He just sits there as you race. So no matter how good you are, or how bad you are, youíre not going to lose, ever. There’s simply no way.

Expecting that, you’d at least think that the racing mechanics would be decent. Guess what, they aren’t either. Driving along, you have absolutely no sense of speed. You race from behind in a third-person view behind the truck. When youíre doing so, the game’s graphics engine stutters, and you go from feeling like youíre moving way too fast to feeling like youíre moving way too slow. And this continues throughout the entire race. There are five courses and four different rigs in Custom Race mode. Alternately play Random Race mode, which just gets rid of your options.

Then, you still have to deal with the frustrating controls. Youíll push left, and the vehicle wonít move, but then suddenly you’ll make an almost ninety degree turn. The same for when you turn right. Then try stopping: you slam on the breaks and you hardly stop when moving forward, but once youíre going in reverse you completely stop moving. Oh yeah, and if you keep holding down reverse, your rig just keeps accelerating, to well over 1,000MPH. You still stop completely if you let go though.

Making it even easier (as if that was possible in a game that you always win in), there’s no environmental collision. Go through a house, fence, lamp post ñ you name it. And itís a good thing the vehicles fail to slow down on grass or rocks or moving uphill. With such excellent design, Big Rigs is hard to pass up (NOTE: SARCASM).

Graphically, you’re looking at an awful game. As you drive your mighty vessel down the road, the road randomly breaks and fractures, only to reappear a dozen feet or so away from you. The rigs themselves don’t look all that bad, but they look like they were designed with a 1979 graphics engine. The time keeper, which tells you how long you’ve been racing, doesn’t even fit properly into the box they designed for it! Every single texture in the game looks pixelated and grainy. But what can you expect from a company that advertises that they can make a game in under $15,000?

As for sound, the music is just 30 or so notes playing over and over again. But once you get too far in the race, it just completely stops all together. It’s not such a big loss, but considering that the rigs donít make any noise themselves, it makes for a lackluster last few minutes of racing.

In the end, Big Rigs is only good as a joke. If you hate someone, and I mean HATE someone, give them this game as a gift, in the hopes that they’ll play it, because that way you can say to them, “haha, youíre an idiot who plays Big Rigs!” I wish I could think of some redeeming factors for the game, but there simply aren’t any. There isn’t even a manual! The game is just that bad.

1 out of 10

The author of this fine article

is an Associate Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in February 2003.

Gentle persuasion

Think you can do better? Write for us.