Review: Spintires: Mudrunner – American Wilds (Nintendo Switch)

spintires switchAs with the PC and other console versions, Spintires: Mudrunner – American Wilds ($39.99) on the Switch is a pretty outstanding technical achievement, although this latest version isn’t without a few caveats. Packing in all the original game’s content along with the American Wilds expansion, it’s pretty amazing to see this simulation arrive on Nintendo’s hybrid looking and playing so well. Granted, it’s running at half the frame rate of the PC version and you’ll likely enjoy docked mode more than handheld mode if you’re a total visual purist. But it’s still amazing to see the Switch pumping out everything the more powerful consoles can with mostly relative ease.

If you’re new to the game, expect a hefty challenge the simple and quick tutorial deftly dances around because the game is meant to hook you in and have you figure out what you can do at your own pace.  This isn’t some fast-paced arcade monster truck fest with power-ups or turbo boosts galore. Nope, it’s a methodically paced simulation that demands practice and patience galore, but despite the learning curve manages to be incredibly fun and rewarding when all is said and done.

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“Keep on truckin’, baby…. you got to keep on… truckin…”

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Review: Spintires: MudRunner

Spintires_MudRunner_logo (Custom)

Spintires_MudRunner_Pack2D_PS4Taking the wheel from original developer Oovee Game Studios, the talented team at Saber Interactive has brought an expanded and even better SPINTIRES experience to consoles and PC with an excellent, highly challenging, and quite rewarding driving game that’s going to baffle some gamers while it pleases a certain bunch of folks who love to play in the mud.

Interestingly enough, Spintires: MudRunner (or MudRunner: A Spintires Game) also works supremely well as a hybrid driving/puzzle game where the environment is your worst and sole enemy as you attempt to simply drive from Point A to Point B or just try to enjoy exploring the massive, gorgeously detailed maps. This isn’t a game about speed at all, folks. It’s more about control and the ensuing chaos when that control is lost.

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MudRunner adds a new (shorter) tutorial, a new sandbox map, a Challenge mode and ups the truck count from 6 to 19. While it has a “casual” mode, this clearly isn’t a game for those who want to hop in and get blazing down a dirt road taking corners with powerslides. Here, you’ll rarely get above 20mph, the paved roads aren’t the widest you’ll drive on, and that mud? It’s practically got a life of its own thanks to an amazing physics engine that’s been tweaked even more from the PC original.

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Review: SPINTIRES

Spintires_manualDeveloper: Oovee Game Studios

Publisher: IMGN.PRO

# of Players: 1-4 (co-op)

ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)

Official Site

Score: A- (90%)

 

Not that this will happen any time soon, but if someone ever decides to make a video game based on Henri-Georges Clouzot’s 1953 masterpiece The Wages of Fear, they’d better ring up UK-based developer Oovee and beg them to do the driving portions. I’m saying that while SPINTIRES is paused below this tab and I’m writing up this review of the PC game. While I generally love to complete a game before sitting down to type up impressions, After a few days of playing this indie gem, I can very safely say it’s one of the nicer surprises of the year and well worth the $29.99 price point. I’ll defend that price point in detail below, but in short, why pay the same (or more) for a game that’s going to be JUST like the games you’ve played to death when here you’ll get something you’ll very likely enjoy MORE because it’s fresh and actually more challenging than you’re used to?

Yeah, I thought so. Read on for more reasons you at least need to take this for a spin… Continue reading

SPINTIRES: Your “Hey, This Is REALLY Cool!” Sleeper of the Month…

spintires_logoJust look at that trailer and let your mind expand a bit. When I first heard of SPINTIRES, I thought it was yet another racing game clogging up an already crowded field and yep, I’d planned to skip it. But that was before I saw it in action and realized it’s one of those weird indie simulation games that would wrap me up for hours because it does a LOT of things RIGHT. Low system requirements, supports K/M play or an Xbox 360 controller, has some innovative and realistic terrain deformation you rarely see in off-road vehicle games and it’s got those wonderfully boxy, beautiful Russian trucks that look like something out of a sci-fi film because Russians think of the future all the time (but in the weirdest places). Anyway, this one’s on Steam now or you can snap it up from the official site AND get a free Steam Key as well! I just downloaded this, so it’s off to play for a bit in the mud and get a review posted sometime next week.