It’s taken a while for this coin-op to reach the Dreamcast, but 18 Wheeler is worth the wait and has some bonus stages on top of the arcade version.
Quite simply, it’s a racing game but in a huge truck – hence the title – and there are times when I like to take a break from racing Porsches and Lamborghinis and would rather cause some mayhem on the road instead. There are four to choose from, each with their own speed limits and handling.
When I first played this in the arcade I preferred to ignore the principle of getting past your opponent and just smashed into as many cars as possible.
The four stages take you driving from New York to Key West, then from St. Petersburg to Dallas, the third moves you from Dallas to Las Vegas and finally from Las Vegas off to San Francisco, each of which contains two or three check-points to pass, but you’ll be hard pressed to do so if that damn rival of yours keeps cutting you up or you miss the chance to smash into the “+3” van which adds three seconds to your time – and believe me when I say these are important. So often will you be close to zero when you cross the line.
Once past the initial stage, you have a choice of cargo – the heavier one will mean more difficult driving but the $$$$$ rewards are higher. Beat the rival and you’ll get a chance to boost your coffers with a bonus parking round.
Parking practice also comes in one of the supplemental rounds as you get to test your skill behaving yourself for a change. As well as a two-player option, the Score Attack mode means that points make prizes as you circle the track three times as you gain cash from a bash.
It looks arcade perfect, it sounds the same but there’s not a great deal to get excited about and handling the truck is fine once you get used to it.
While I’ve enjoyed this game now, the incessant playing makes thisa short-lived experience like Confidential Mission as I progressed quickly through the levels and completed it in an afternoon while watching Big Brother 2 on E4. By the way, when it came to the fourth and final stage, I got through it in one go!
Oh, and ignore the “online gaming” on the cover artwork. There is none.
- Publisher: Sega
- Players: 1 or 2
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.