Happy Truck is a nicely animated Windows Phone 8 game that calls on you to safely deliver produce from the farm to market. In your way is a bumpy road that would make the largest Monster Truck cringe. You have to navigate across the rigid terrain, keeping your load safe from spilling out of your truck.
Happy Truck has had a bit of success over on iOS and Android but may have a rough road to travel here on the Windows Phone platform. The game has potential but is held back by a few bugs that makes the game more frustrating than enjoyable.
Happy Truck's resolution issues on first release
The first release of Happy Truck had resolution issues that made the game unplayable. After a few weeks, the developers updated the game to correct the resolution issues but overlooked a few additional bugs that makes the game a little frustrating to play. It also appears that they still have a little work to be done with regards to resolution. There's still a black border that runs along the top and bottom of the screen. It may be intended or that the screen resolution issues weren't fully addressed.
Regardless of what work is still needed, Happy Truck has twenty-seven levels of play where you have to safely transport farm produce to the market. You have a treacherous road to travel which will do it's best to bounce your cargo off your truck.
Happy Truck Main Menu
From the main menu you can access the game's garage where you can customize the truck wheels and body. It does not appear that these customizations do anything more than change the appearance of your truck. Some of the truck bodies have higher cargo walls which helps slightly but nothing of significance.
Happy Truck Garage
Gaming controls are simple. Tap the right side of the game screen to move forward, tap the left to move backwards and use the Windows Phone tilt sensors to keep your truck balanced. You'll need to use the tilt controls not only to keep things balanced as you fly through the air but also to overcome the more rigid bumps in the road. Lean forward to apply more power to your front wheels, lean back to apply more power to your rear wheels.
Across the top of the gaming screen you will find controls to return to the menu, restart the level, your produce count/goal, your timer, and your score. Across the bottom of the screen is a progress bar for the current level, a pause button and mute button. The mute button does not hold in that once you leave the gaming screen, the music resumes. The button will read "mute" but you have to un-mute, then mute again to get it to stick. This can be a real pain if you're enjoying a game in a quiet atmosphere (say a library, a wedding, a doctor's office waiting room) and all of a sudden the jingling music strikes up.
Happy Truck Loading Dock
Each level starts with your truck being loaded from a conveyor belt. You will have to inch your truck forward or the produce will bounce off the roof of your truck and on to the ground. Once the produce hits the ground, it's a lost cause. From there you are faced with conquering the rugged road. While there is temptation to crawl your way to market, you have to get there before the timer strikes zero. And while it's always best to keep all four wheels on the road, there will be times you'll have to go airborne and staying balanced in flight is key.
Once you arrive at market and deliver the minimum required amount of produce, you can advance to the next level. Bonus points are awarded for time left on the clock and produce over the minimum amount.
Happy Truck, Catching Some Air
Happy Truck has potential but needs some fine tuning. The tilt sensors aren't always responsive, there isn't a help section, you lack any options to have the music confidently muted, and the sound effects' timing are about half a second late (e.g. truck crashes, half a second later you hear the boom).
It appears this is the developers first venture into the Windows Phone market and based on the high marks their games get on other platforms, it's a little surprising how half-baked this game comes across. What may hurt Happy Truck the most is the lack of a trial version. Without a trial version, I'd give the developer a chance to update it one more time before taking the risk. I think Happy Truck has a chance of succeeding but it needs to be polished up a bit first.
Happy Truck is currently running $.99, is available for Windows Phone 8 and can find Happy Truck here in the Windows Phone Store.
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