Big Rigs Over The Road Racing

Review by Chris Swartz

Review A Bad Game Day is finally upon us and boy, do I have a good..errr bad one for you! For my inaugural entry, I have chosen Big Rigs Over the Road Racing for the PC. There are bad games and there are really bad games, and then there is Big Rigs. I have seen a number of bad games in my day, some of them would excel in one particular area, but completely fail in another. And then there are those games that are so unbelievably bad, that they are sort of fun..good even! Big Rigs Over the Road Racing is not one of those games. The only area where Big Rigs excels is in its ability to baffle the mind with it’s utter terribleness.


Big Rigs Over the Road Racing is disappointing in so many ways. The worst of which has to be that this game was actually for money. I feel bad for the 20,000 or so unsuspecting big rig gaming enthusiasts who, while perusing the shelves at his or her local big box store, stumbled across this gem. There should be some sort of class action lawsuit for reparations to those that paid their hard earned money for this steaming pile of code.  


It is important to note that this game was made in 2003; a time in which the general gaming public had at least a basic understanding of Newton’s Laws of Motion. The developers over at Stellar Stone (or at least their outsourced Ukrainian counterparts) did not. The physics (if we can even call them that) are mostly non-existent. The times that Newton’s laws do present themselves are often nonsensical and hilarious. One example, is that rather than crashing or stopping when presented with a 90 degree incline, the truck magically scales a mountain without losing speed and then the track disappears and you are in an area not unlike the Construct from the Matrix.  


I have looked at a few “worst game” lists and this was settled in the middle of most. To provide my own unbiased review, I did not read about what made this game so bad until after I had already installed and started playing it. I had initially thought it was just a bad/corrupt install; how else could it be so broken? I attempted to reinstall it and was met with the same problems. I wonder what kind of turmoil this company could have been in if they could have looked at this game and considered it a finished product worthy of selling to unsuspecting gamers. I have seen early access Alpha games with more playability than this mess!


According to Wikipedia, this game was supposedly made with a story about smuggling goods while being chased by police. This is extremely misleading since there is no indication of a story whatsoever. Apart from the broken AI opponent at the start of each race, there are no other vehicles/animals/Ukrainians to interact with. In fact, the only other objects that I came across are random road signs that appear to be in the middle of the track for no apparent reason. Oh, and that one weird broken down military helicopter sitting on the side of the road, but I guess that might be business as usual over in Ukraine?


If for some reason you actually decide to follow the track instead of taking the scenic route, you have access to something in your HUD called UltraNav. I could not find anything in the game that explains what the UltraNav does but I have noticed that it turns green or red depending on which direction you are going? maybe? I think? You will come across buildings and other obstacles in this game. Well, they look like obstacles at least. I think to qualify as an obstacle, the object must challenge or impede you in some way. The buildings in Big Rigs seem built out of some mysterious material that allows all objects to pass through them. This isn't unique to the buildings, the bridges, trees, and cars are also made from this magical element.


The only thing that is even mildly entertaining about this game are the reverse mechanics...or lack therof? Acceleration takes an average 8-10 seconds to reach a top speed of about 70 MPH. However, you can reverse much faster and there is no top speed. I gave it a go and reached about 17,000 MPH before I got bored. A quick YouTube search led me to someone with way too much time on their hands who attained 190 Billion MPH. Yes, billion...with a B. This small distraction in no way redeems such an awful game, but is fun to show off to others as an example of how broken the game is.


This game deserves a special place in gaming Hell. It should be played by inmates as punishment for the most heinous of crimes. I would recommend this game to anyone who hates fun and wants to cry. If you have made it this far in life without playing Big Rigs, then good for you- YOU’RE WINNER*.




*In the event you actually complete a race you will be met with the hilariously YOU'RE WINNER trophy screen.



See more great retro gaming content from Chris Swartz at 1 More Castle

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