Rigs of Rods 0.38


Figs and Nods

I'm no stranger to sandbox games, but I must admit that the breadth and width of Rigs of Rods are rather impressive. Despite the god-awful title, this "game" has been developed by a single man. I used the inverted commas because technically, the sandbox concept is an activity, not a game. Rigs of Rods has no scenarios, no objectives, and no progression mechanics whatsoever.

Rigs of Rods

Why would I appreciate it then? Well, because I can fly a Cessna airplane over a big sand hill, then get in a semi and drive to a depot, where I pick-up a cargo trailer, delivering it to a cargo ship, where from I can set sail and patrol the shores in a speedboat. Essentially, Rigs of Rods boils down to choosing a vehicle and exploring the map at your leisure.

Your avatar inside the world map is a regular bloke who can be controlled much like any action character from an early noughties video game. I was reminded of Gothic, excellent game. From a top-down menu, you can select to spawn any vehicle at your location. Of course, if you want a plane, then you should best be near a runway. Also, ships don't do well on dry land. However, mistakes are not an issue in Rigs of Rods. You can quickly re-set vehicles to their initial orientation or location (very useful if you managed to slide into a ditch). These commands will also repair it. Yes, vehicles get damaged. As you bump into buildings, hills, or other stuff, your model will bend and twist accordingly. The funniest meta-game fix is that you can also tether your vehicle in any direction by using the mouse, as this feature makes you feel like you're playing with toys instead of playing a simulator.

Rigs of Rods

Of course, the physics in Rigs of Rods aren't perfect, and you will sometimes experience hilarious vehicle behaviors, from cars turning into polygon blobs after a powerful collision and planes wiggling their tails as you're banking left and right. There is also a fair amount of annoying graphical bugs, but since this was a one-man army development effort, it's highly excusable.

To fully experience Rigs of Rods, you will need to get accustomed to the controls of every vehicle type. The program does not feature any tutorial, so you should at least go and read the Beginner's Guide before launching a map. It also doesn't hurt to note down the controls, if you want to avoid switching windows frequently.

Rigs of Rods

The core application comes with a handful of maps, of which only one is remotely interesting. The others being a small city block, a Baja course, and several flat terrain maps. The vehicle park and fleet are also limited. But there are plenty of extra content created by the community to satisfy almost any type of commuting fantasy.

Rigs of Rods also supports multiplayer play. There are several open servers that you can join. Good luck finding other players.

The main program also seems to feature a vehicle editor. Unfortunately, I was not able to launch it. I'd say designing vehicles and maps is half the fun of Rigs of Rods. But since I've only skimmed through this application, I cannot tell exactly. The screenshots that appear on the main menu and on the Rigs of Rods website suggest that the engine is capable of generating rich content in both vehicles and terrain.

Final Thoughts

Even if you don't enjoy playing around in a sandbox, I'd say you can still draw some satisfaction from driving a loaded trailer up a serpentine road, or flying a double engine plane right through a skyscraper, just like in that famous 9/11 movie.

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Users Rating:  
  3.9/5     100
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Downloads last week: 31
Release Date: 2011-06-18
Publisher: www.rigsofrods.com
Operating System: linux
Type: Free