The World of Simulators
There are simulator games with millions in fan base and I have never understood the fascination behind simulators.
Look at The Sims; With more than 200 million copies sold by The Sims franchise, it is no wonder that simulators have a big die hard fan followings. Their first Sims dropped in 2000, and since then there have been four main Sims games, six spin-off Sims games, and six consoles and handheld Sims games. Not to mention the numerous DLCs and expansion packs for each individual Sims game.
Similarly, let us look at Euro Truck Simulator 2 released in 2013. The direct sequel to Euro Truck Simulator (2008), the truck simulator has sold over 4.5 million units on Steam (a digital distribution platform, where gaming, streaming and social media are combined).
It is hard to imagine the reason for the huge number of following that these simulator games have. In this game, players drive trucks across Europe, picking up cargo from various locations and delivering it. As the game progresses and you earn enough money, you can buy more vehicles, depots as well as hire other drivers to work for you. So these simulators are more than just driving across highways and is a culmination of driving, management, and business game.
Euro Truck Simulator 2 is available on laptops and PC, so why not give it a try? However, If you do not have the time or resource for Euro Truck Simulator 2, worry not.
Truck Simulator USA
Almost everyone owns a smartphone. Give Truck Simulator USA a try. With a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Play Store, 4 stars and ranked 68th under Racing Games on the Apple App Store, you know you gotta trust the masses. The game especially has a huge fan base in India, South Africa, and Romania.
The game is a truck simulator developed by Ovidiu Pop, a German-based developer team for mobile devices. Their introductory line for the game app is “Want to know what driving an 18 Wheeler feels like?” and it is a very apt line because you are getting exactly the answer to this question.
While not being a fan of simulators, I have been hooked on the game for the past two weeks. People who have not yet acquired the taste for these simulators will find nothing new with Truck Simulator USA.
Their argument, “Who would want to spend hours driving cargo across lonely stretches of highway and freeways?” and as a result, most assume that such simulator games are boring.
To admit the truth, even I felt the same before playing the game. However, these assumptions have been shattered upon a few hours of a playthrough of Truck Simulator USA. I have moved from bored to intrigued to finally addicted at the moment. Currently, I am spending close to two hours a day playing Truck Simulator USA.
There is an unprecedented joy and calmness as you are driving your truck across the scenic routes, from desert, snow, rain to sun. Sure there are moments of frustration like trying to park in various metropolitan cities in the USA or backing your truck to the exact trailer spot to load up cargo.
Download and Installation
Truck Simulator USA can be easily downloaded and installed. For Android phone users, click here to download Truck Simulator USA from the Google Play Store. For iOS phone users, click here to download Truck Simulator USA from the Apple App Store.
Truck Simulator USA is a very high-quality game. Not only is the graphics great, the controls are smooth and the interface is intuitive. I had a blast playing the game and you will too. To take a glimpse at some of the features that this game has to offer.
Choice of Point of view:
In the game, you have full customizability with regards to the point of view that you wish to drive your 18 wheeler in. Whether you are comfortable in first person mode, third-person mode or you can only truly drive when you are in the driver’s seat, Truck Simulator USA has it all.
First person mode:
Third person mode:
In the Driver’s Seat:
Setting as you like:
Truck Simulator USA has a very simple yet intuitive settings option. You can change the driving mode as you wish, whether you are a gyroscopic control maestro or a touch control expert, the choice is up to you.
You can further, change your transmission mode from automatic to manual. You have a choice of the metric system that is being used: MPH or KmPH. You can choose the quality of the graphics from very low, low, medium, high or ultra.
You can change the tilt sensitivity, the language of the game as well as whether you want slider pedals (for the acceleration and brake from tap to sliders) to be there or not.
Controls made easy
When you look at the screenshot of the game, you will find various icons on the left and the right side of the snapshots. While these controls are easy and instinctual, I have further elaborated on what they do.
Starting from the top left side, on the first row, we have the pause button on the left side. On the right side, the first button shows you your side mirrors. The third button switches between the various modes of the point of view.
On the second row, we have the headlights button. When you have your headlights turned on, you can further do headlight flashing. To the right side, we have your wipers which you can switch on when it rains.
On the third row, we have the horn, followed by the alert symbol (both side indicators blink at the same time). To the right side, we have the Driving mode (automatic transmission only). On the fourth row, we have the left indicator and the right indicator. On the right side, we have the Reverse mode (automatic transmission only).
Remember that if you are using manual transmission, the driving mode and the reverse mode will instead show you the gearbox where you have to manually shift up or down.
On the fifth row, the first button brings up your radio, where you can ask about the weather and traffic condition to your destination. Sometimes, other 18 wheeler drivers will radio you asking for the traffic and weather condition, make sure to reply to them. The second icon is hand brakes (no you cannot drift in the game, we tried). On the right side, we have Jake Brakes followed by the Cruise control button.
Beware of Infractions
Now, it is very unlikely that most of us who plays or will play Truck Simulator USA are actually 18 wheeler truck drivers. I am sure that most of us do not know the rules and regulations regarding transporting cargo on an 18 wheeler truck.
No red Light jumping, doing so will land you a traffic fee of US 100. Jumping a red light in
Truck Simulator USA:
Every time you cross states, you will need to do a weight check. If you look closely at the map in the screenshot below, you will see the greyish icons on both sides of the road, you have to do your weight check. Failure to do so will land you a hefty fee of USD 1500. Remember that you only earn USD 7000 to USD 8000 per job is done. Losing the USD 1500 will cost you immensely.
Missing a Weight Check
When you are driving down the highway, you need to adhere to the speed limit. Failure to do so will land you another USD 500 for overspeeding.
Tip: Remember that whenever you see a police vehicle parked by the side of the highway, immediately lower your speed to below 60 MPH. You will be able to slow down in time so keep this tip in mind.
Save that money
For every successful cargo transferred, you will earn close to USD 8000. Try to save as much as possible. Besides paying for gas, vehicle checkup and your motel expenses (You can actually exit the 18 wheelers and spend the night at a motel).
As long as you drive safely, follow traffic rules and try not to get caught speeding, you will be able to net a profit of USD 5000 – USD 6000 per trip. You can use this fund to upgrade your existing 18 wheelers, buy new 18 wheelers or hire drivers who will passively earn for you per day.
There is a wide variety of new 18 wheelers available that you can purchase and new trucks, as well as locations and feature, are added with every update.
The game is free to download and is great fun to play. The one problem that I have with the game is the fact that there are banner ads in the game. It occupies the top part of your screen and I know that this can turn most people off the game.
Well, developers are human as well and they need to eat too. Besides, you can get used to the ads after a few attempts at the game and you will not notice the ad after some time. (the ad will still be there, you will find it easier to ignore it later on).