Tiny stunt racing in Pocket Trucks

Pocket Trucks is a new iOS game from Ganymede. It’s available now as a $0.99 paid app from the App Store, and runs on pretty much everything from an iPhone 3GS upwards.

Pocket Trucks is a side-on perspective stunt racing game similar to popular titles like Trials HD on consoles and Bike Baron on mobile. In each of the game’s levels, players must successfully navigate their toy truck from the left side of the level to the right while attempting not to run afoul of the numerous traps scattered over the course, and simultaneously attempting to collect as many bolts as possible. At the end of each course, the player is rewarded with between one and three stars according to how quickly they completed the level.

The game’s controls are handled by four fixed on-screen buttons — two on the right of the screen allow for acceleration and braking/reversing, while two on the left allow the truck’s weight to be shifted and rotated while it is in the air. If the player collects a powerup while traversing the course, an additional button appears to trigger the powerup. Powerups vary in functionality from speed boosters to wings that allow the truck to “jump” over an obstacle. Most levels contain several possible routes, some of which require powerups to access.

Between levels, players are able to use their collected bolts to upgrade their vehicle. New vehicles may be unlocked either via leveling up through good performance in the races or by expending the game’s hard currency coins, available via in-app purchase. Users may also customize their existing vehicle by purchasing parts with either hard or soft currency.

Pocket Trucks has an impressive amount of content on offer for its low price of admission — there are four “cups” for players to work through, each with at least 20 levels. As the player progresses through the game, new types of event open up, ranging from the simple time-trials the game opens with to races against computer-controlled opponents. There’s no live multiplayer mode, but achievement and leaderboard support via Game Center allows players to indirectly compete against one another — particularly now that iOS 6 has added the facility to share Game Center data via Facebook, Twitter, SMS and email or challenge opponents to complete a specific task. Unfortunately, the leaderboards have already fallen foul of hacking/cheating players, with the current No. 1 player listed as having 9,223,372,036,854,775,807 points, which is implausible if not completely impossible to attain.

Pocket Trucks is a decent game. While the concept of a stunt racer isn’t anything particularly new in the mobile space, it is executed well and the “toy truck” aesthetic puts an endearing “Micro Machines” twist on the gameplay. From the developers’ perspective, the game has strong monetization potential through its visual customization and upgrades, though dedicated players will not need to spend additional money on the game if they are willing to work at progressing. Overall, it’s a good quality package that fits in well with iOS growing game library, and will likely pick up a modest but dedicated following as time goes on — particularly if it is updated regularly with new content.

Pocket Trucks is currently ranked at No. 284 in the Top Paid iPad Games chart. It is not ranked in any other leaderboards at the time of writing. Follow its progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social games and developers.