|Genres||Simulation games, Racing video games|
|First release||Hard Truck
April 20, 1998
|Latest release||Hard Truck: 18 Wheels of Steel|
|Spin-offs||Hard Truck Apocalypse|
The original Hard Truck was developed by Russian developer SoftLab-NSK published by Buka Entertainment, and released on April 20, 1998. It emphasized truck racing, although it had a mode where the player could deliver cargo. The maps were simple, usually with 2 or 3 routes to reach the destination, and had no traffic model.
Hard Truck 2
Similar to the original, but more of an emphasis on delivery of goods. Police are added to the maps. Interestingly, the police only give chase for a limited time period, after which they simply give up and dispatch a machine gun helicopter to attempt to slow the player down. Once they've demolished the player's truck, they write the player out a simple ticket.
Hard Truck: 18 Wheels of Steel
In this installment, developed by SCS Software, the racing option is removed completely and, instead, the game focuses on delivery of goods. A traffic model is added and the game also features a simple business management simulation, where drivers can be hired and routes set up to make a profit.
There are three maps, each depicting an area of the United States, including:
- Phoenix, Arizona
- Los Angeles, California
- San Francisco, California
- Denver, Colorado
- Boise, Idaho
- Chicago, Illinois
- Louisville, Kentucky
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Helena, Montana
- Reno, Nevada
- Salt Lake City, Utah
- Cheyenne, Wyoming
- Cincinnati, Ohio
- Detroit, Michigan
- Indianapolis, Indiana
The following trucks include:
- Rusty (based on the truck from Spielberg's Duel)
- Glutton [was either an update or the only thing you can unlock in the game]
Notices: Some versions of the game didn't have timed loads like the European version but the North American version did have timed loads. Also, when you hit traffic AI they slide out of the way.
All further trucking simulations from ValuSoft are in the series 18 Wheels of Steel.
Spin off: Hard Truck Apocalypse
Hard Truck Apocalypse shares the same name, but is in actuality a standalone game.
A completely different take on the hard truck games, developed by the Russian developer Targem Games, released on June 26, 2006, this game takes place in an apocalyptic, Mad Max-like future. A disaster occurred and everyone on Earth has to wear special masks to survive. Trade runs between villages to make money can still be done but the main method for making money is to loot destroyed enemies of cargo and weapons.
The game takes place in an apocalyptic version of Europe, with different zones depicting countries like Germany, France, England, and many more. Five vehicles, from a simple van to the gigantic BelAZ, are available to drive. The guns vary from roof-mounted machine guns, shotguns, and mortars to laser and energy weapons.
The game was soon followed by Hard Truck Apocalypse: Rise of Clans, The official standalone expansion to Hard Truck Apocalypse, also developed by Targem Games. It has not been released in western stores yet, but can be purchased and downloaded online at GamersGate. It takes place in an apocalyptic version of North America. In the game the player is a vagrant, a strong loner who is searching for the mythical city of Edmonton in "le canada".
The game reuses a lot of material from Hard Truck Apocalypse but most of the vehicles, weapons, and enemies are the same. There are four new zones and a whole new storyline.