Trailmakers for Xbox and PC fuses alien environments with customizable vehicles

Trailmakers is a vehicle-building adventure from developers at Flashbulb Games who have worked for Press Play, Rare, and Square Enix in the past. The game is now available on Steam Early Access with an Xbox Game Preview release scheduled for later this year. In Trailmakers, gamers journey to a hazardous alien world where every mountain, river and ramp is a playground. You might remember Trailmakers as Project Karoo, which was conceptualized as an Xbox One exclusive under Press Play in years past.

According to the developer, you have to piece together completely customizable vehicles from the most basic of essentials and scrounge around the region for more parts to "mod that jalopy into a rocket-powered racer, fighter jet, or whatever else you can dream up". The best part is that the game features a Minecraft-like "Creative Mode" where players can tinker with limitless resources to craft crazy machines.

Building a vehicle is usually quite challenging in other games but Trailmakers employs a "snap" interface. You can easily join parts together like off-roading wheels and wings by putting them close to each other. However, keep in mind that each part is governed by the rules of physics and you have to take its shape and weight into account. You can't add a heavy item on a flimsy frame and expect it to function.

Trailmakers also features a single-player "Expedition Mode" which starts players with only four wheels, a seat, a frame, and an engine. You have to get to a destination on the other side of the island but resources and other parts are scattered around the map. For example, you may need a more powerful engine to climb up certain hills or even rockets to cross canyons. Unfortunately, you'll have to find these parts before you can use them.

It's worth noting that Trailmakers isn't just about driving. You can even build aircraft if you have the right tools. However, an aircraft might not be feasible when you're first starting out due to the complexity of the parts required. Despite that, it's still good to know that the choice is there if you need it. Sometimes flying or gliding over obstacles is much easier than driving over them.

There is a surprising amount of content in Trailmakers because it also contains a competitive multiplayer mode. "Dethrone Mode" is a high-impact fusion of "Capture the Flag" and "King of the Hill". More multiplayer modes, as well as skins and vehicle parts, are in the works and we'll keep you posted as soon as we know more about the game's post-launch support.

Trailmakers is currently available on Steam Early Access for $19.99. However, there's a week-long promotion going on which lowers the price to $17.99 for early adopters.

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Asher Madan

Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.