Trucks & Skulls Nitro HD smashes barriers of fun

Spoiler alert! Angry Birds is for wimps and little girls who want to pet things with soft feathers. Trucks & Skulls Nitro HD goes nuclear. Literally. Best Buy.


For the record, I’m no fan of heavy metal. I wasn’t a fan of Ten Years After or even Led Zeppelin before they called power chords heavy metal. I didn’t realize I wasn’t really a Zeppelin fan until I was looking through my iTunes playlist and realized that my favorite Zeppelin song wasn’t even by Led Zeppelin. (No, it isn’t Stairway to Heaven although, after my revelation, that one’s now my third favorite Zeppelin song).This isn’t a universal disdain. I love ZZ Top for no reason that I can explain. They are, to me, the Beach Boys of power rock. Both sing about fast cars and girls and should they ever add a Theramin to one of their tracks they would run it through the fuzz pedal and blow the walls off.I do, however, prefer Heavy Metal to monster trucks. Listening to unmuffled exhaust pipes, squealing tires, and metal smashing in a crowd full of drunk girls spilling beer on me and screaming about the love life of the Mac truck and my mother leaves me cold. If I had to choose between monster trucks and listening to another Republican primary debate, it would be no contest, even if Rick Perry lost his head completely and it rolled under Herman Cain to suffer abuse and sexual innuendo.In all fairness, my visceral reaction may not be the fault of the trucks or their drivers (who, admittedly, are pretty much the same guys who beat the crap out of me in high school). It started when I was living in Detroit in the coldest week of February, suffering with a major bronchial infection and running a 108 degree fever. My girlfriend Margaret called to ask if I minded her going to a monster truck rally with the guy who lived next door rather than coming to visit me.I knew, in that moment, that I hated monster trucks and that I would need to look for a new girlfriend as soon as the antibiotics took effect and I quit coughing my lungs up. Those were powerful antibiotics too. I could take them while listening to Brian Eno and feel like I was launching into warp speed. Who needed the rush from monster trucks?This is why I found myself surprised by how much I enjoyed playing Trucks & Skulls Nitro HD. It isn’t just monster trucks, it’s Angry Birds gone nuclear. In fact, the best way to describe Trucks & Skulls Nitro HD is to call it Angry Birds with chrome rims.

Trucks & Skulls Nitro HD is all about demolition and destruction. This is one game whose name describes game play perfectly.

Forget birds and pigs. We’re talking chrome trucks and missiles against chrome skulls with a sound track of G Major power chords. Some skulls can be destroyed by direct contact, others need TNT, and some can only be destroyed by nuclear annihilation or death by lava. The pigs wouldn’t have made it through the first round. The angry birds would have smashed themselves to death against steel girders on the first wave.This may sound heartless and cruel, but (let’s face it) those are the feelings evoked by monster truck and Republican rallies. First and foremost, Trucks & Skulls Nitro HD is about noise and explosions.The game play is remarkably similar. In fact, if you’ve played Angry Birds, you probably know most of the moves. Some trucks smash into objects head on, so you may want to topple indestructible objects onto smaller, more difficult targets. Some trucks accelerate, some split into three trucks and some are little more than gas filled tankers that blow up everything on contact. You can also shoot missiles and direct them to target.The real joy, however, comes from engaging the nuclear reactors. By stage four you can try to knock any piece of debris into a reactor and create a nuclear meltdown that annihilates everything.

The nuclear reactors destroy everything on the level if you can introduce contaminants. This is far more difficult than you might imagine.

If it sounds like Trucks & Skulls Nitro HD is simply Angry Birds with noise, you would be right. But that’s the fun of the game. On the other hand, you don’t have to pay five dollars and then an additional dollar for the monster eagle truck to finish difficult levels. Trucks & Skulls Nitro HD is (currently) free and you can move onto the next level with three unsuccessful tries.You can also unlock every level at once with a five dollar in app purchase. Or, if you’re cheap, you can earn coins by destroying everything in a level and downloading trial apps. Four hundred in game coins unlock every level and you can accumulate that many in a week or less without spending real money. Coins also buy custom trucks that accelerate faster or destroy things more quickly.

Unlike other games, there is nothing you can buy with in-app purchases that you can’t earn with a little patience. Purchases buy coins, but you can collect coins by blowing up every thing on a level, or downloading free apps to sample.

Appy, the Trucks & Skulls Nitro HD developer, also allows players to build their own custom levels and share them with friends. They even pick one new layer a week for players to download directly into the game. This is where I ran into the one problem with the game. One of the custom levels reset my game to the starting point and erased all of my unlocked levels and accumulated coins. I contacted the developer and, rather than having to wait several days to exchange emails (or weeks, in the case of Zynga who still is “tracking the problem” that won’t let me open Cityville), Appy simply credited the coins I purchased back into my account.I still had to replay the levels, but I enjoyed the challenge as much the second time as I did this first.

Jenny Manytoes rates Trucks & Skulls Nitro HD

Jenny Manytoes would make biscuits all over Trucks & Skulls Nitro HD. She likes it when things go boom and they go boom nonstop on every level. It’s definitely a best buy, even with the in-app coin purchases (which only unlock levels more quickly than you would if you earned the coins yourself, unlike almost every other game I’ve played).

The Jenny Manytoes Rating System

Jenny Manytoes, our polydactyl cat
  • When Jenny makes biscuits on a product she thinks she’s in heaven.
  • When Jenny purrs over a product she’s very happy.
  • When Jenny naps next to a product it’s okay with her.
  • When Jenny bunches her tail she can live with a product, but she has higher expectations.
  • When Jenny leaves it in the litter box….I don’t think I need to explain this one.

 

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About Phillip T Stephens

Phillip T. Stephens disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle twenty years before he was born, creating a time travel paradox so confusing it remains unspoken between physicists and sci-fi writers to this day. Follow @stephens_pt
This entry was posted in 5 Stars + Best Buy, Entertainment, Games, In-App Purchases and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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