April Fool’s Day is the one time of the year when everyone becomes highly sceptical of everything and anyone around them. Or maybe that’s just me and my chronic paranoia. In the videogame industry it’s possibly the most annoying  time of year as every little announcement inevitably comes under close scrutiny in case it’s a just a cruel attempt by developers to troll us. But there are some developers that take the annual day of fools and make it completely their own by doing something fun and wacky that we can all enjoy.

For example CD Projekt Red, who made The Witcher 3, gave us a hilarious YouTube video based on the game’s best and buggiest character, Roach the horse. There was a trailer for a VHS horror movie spoof of Dark Souls III, and the developers of Arma released a video about an Arma themed perfume they were supposedly working on. But one team that went above and beyond were developers Landfall Games and their publishers TinyBuild, who released a game lampooning the popular first-person action game Superhot.

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Dubbed Super Truck, this simple little game takes Superhot’s familiar aesthetic of red objects set against white backgrounds, but instead of fighting enemies with swords and guns you have to reach the end of the level without touching the ground. You manage this by jumping along the backs of trucks that are barrelling along towards the goal, but since they used the Unreal 4 engine there’s a lot of object physics involved, so the trucks bounce off one another. Quite a lot.

I lost count of the number of times I thought I was safe standing on the back of a truck only to have another one suddenly mount it from behind like a dog in heat and either flatten me or send me comically rocketing skyward in the process.

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Another feature they’ve taken from Superhot is the concept that time only moves when you move. I get that this is to allow you to look around and plan your next jump to another truck, but it’s often more effective  to just bolt from one truck to another as quick as you can before they all pile up on one another. Plus, when you build up enough speed in your jumps you can propel yourself quite a fair distance, which is pretty handy when the trucks up ahead start to crash and create a spontaneous blockade. However, while you could potentially catapult yourself through the game’s 14 levels, each one is completely different and it might not always work out in your favour.  For example, in one of the early levels you have to jump from one stampeding row of trucks up to another high above you before the ones you’re standing on speed off a cliff. It took me a few tries to beat it but it was incredibly satisfying and felt pretty cool to jump off the back of one truck, land on the revolving side of another, then use the momentum of the spin to arc up to the next row. It reminded me of all those super slick slow-mo cutscenes you see in action games where the character jumps from point A to point B using falling platforms as their steps. One of those moments where you can’t help but do a little fist-pump at how awesome the thing you just did was.

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Some of the later levels also employ traps like gigantic swinging hammers, spikes that jut out of the walls, UFO’s that suck up trucks, and flipper pads that can either destroy large groups of trucks or work in your favour to catapult you further ahead if you time it right.

With so many hazards to contend with you will often find yourself having to come up with a specific plan for each trap to get to the goal at the end of the level. Or in my case, you could try flinging yourself headlong into the level like a lemming and hope that the Unreal 4 physics engine throws you in the right direction It usually doesn’t.

Super Truck was a perfect exercise in controlled chaos as every session I had with it left me either in hysterics at the game’s insane physics or at my own ineptitude to accurately judge distances as I slammed into a wall at Mach 5 for the hundredth time.

The trucks in this game crash into each other in a chaotic, yet fluid kind of way and they never spawn in the same places in each level. So you could time a jump perfectly in one attempt, make a mistake and reload to find that the trucks you landed on last time are in a completely different position than last time.

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From the thumping techno music that kept me constantly upbeat as I leapt around the polygonal platforming game, to the little subtle jokes they had, there’s nice little touches throughout. Like the graphics menu having “Fantastic” as it’s only setting, the random level numbering, and the reference to all the featured Superhot abilities on their Steam page.

It was obvious that when they set out to make this game they had the whole spirit of April Fool’s Day in mind. They didn’t take themselves too seriously and they clearly had as much fun making this game as I did playing it. It’s something I personally think more developers should try and do if only to stretch their creative legs for a bit –  just go all out and make something wacky and fun that people will enjoy playing and will hopefully go tell some of their friends about like I did. On a day when people aren’t supposed to take themselves so seriously, it’s refreshing to see something like this being made. TinyBuild always push the boat out when it comes to their games and it’s great to see that they continue to do that, even with something they won’t make any money on, and is mostly there for a bit of fun.

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Although it’s incredibly short – I blew through it in a  modest 63 minutes and 12 seconds according to the game’s “Time to Beat” timer – Super Truck was a fun, light-hearted platforming game that I’ll probably go back to from time to time when I’m looking for a laugh or two. Plus, it’s free.

Now if only it came with VR support..

About The Author

Contributor

A self-described child of the 90s, Matt is obsessed with everything nerdy in that era from Transformers to G.I Joe. Found inside a bargain bin of Doctor Who DVD's, he was quickly adopted by the Indie Haven team and tasked with writing humorous articles.

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  • Haha. Love the “VR support” tie-in. That’d be intense. You jumping on that train? er Truck? The VR truck, that is?