I’m continuing my experimentation with racing games today with the kind of fast paced high speed maximum velocity racing game that makes NASCAR fans hearts beat faster. American Truck Simulator! This game simulates being a truck driver. You get to stay inside the lines, keep under the speed limit, and corner very carefully so as not to damage your cargo. My adrenaline is pumping just thinking about it!
Hauling some kind of construction equipment down a little side street is pretty challenging, those little roads are narrow and full of turns.
Okay, this game isn’t an adrenaline junkies wet dream. But as a generally nervous person this is my dream. Peacefully driving down the highway, in a virtual world where crashing will have no consequences, I can achieve a relaxed state of mind. I can “zone out” while hauling a trailer across California. In short, this game is turbo chill.
There is some beautiful scenery to enjoy, but remember to keep your eyes on the road.
A lot of people drive in real life for fun and relaxation. I’ve always struggled with that, driving is stressful for me. It makes me nervous. But I think I can achieve a similar effect to that of people who drive to relax in real life by driving in the video game world. I find that distracting part of mind with the menial task of keeping the vehicle inside my lane and gently turning around the corners frees up another part of my mind to wander a bit. But not the way I disappear completely into my imagination when I’m daydreaming in a boring meeting or something, the need to pay a little bit of attention to playing the game or driving the vehicle keeps me anchored a bit. It helps me think about stuff in a way that other activities don’t.
You can haul a big, rectangular trailer. But I find hauling construction equipment looks cooler when I pause the game to take pictures.
If you want you can run a company, hire workers, plan routes to maximize profits, buy better trucks and trick them out. There’s a lot “under the hood” if you want. And you can chose to play it very realistically, manually shifting gears, signalling your turns, always staying within the speed limit. Or you can get a bit silly, pass people on the shoulder, drive into oncoming traffic, or see how fast you can go while hauling construction equipment. And there is a lot of challenge there, can you drive cargo from Los Angeles to Las Vegas without a single speeding ticket, collision, or without running a single red light? You have the freedom to play how you want. And for me playing it *pretty much* realistically is what makes it peaceful and fun.
In closing, American Truck Simulator is not really a racing game. But whatever kind of game it is, it’s a good one.
Here’s a YouTube video I made of me actually playing the game.