Pass the Beer and Pork Rinds!
Yes, folks, it's time for some low-class, unintellectual, completely testosterone-induced entertainment! If you are an avid gamer, or simply a more serious-minded computer user with a need for a raucous diversion, then this game is for you. You though all they made was Windows 95? Microsoft's Monster Truck Madness will teach you differently.
You have the option of playing one of nine different trucks, from the famous Bigfoot to the funky Gravedigger. As far as arenas, the options are truly numerous. There are drag races in arenas, with the required plethora of ancient automobiles to smash, circuit courses with lots of mud and mayhem, and the marathon rallies, which take place in exotic locales on truly innovative and challenging terrain.
Surprisingly, this game is honestly one of the prettiest things to appear on the PC screen for quite some time. Driving around one of the circuits is truly a treat for one's eyes, as the player is shown billboards, crowd-filled stands, sideline vehicles, and of course, the motley collection of barbecue pits and Winnebagoes that line the course at different locations.
Gameplay is very simple to get the hang of. The computer can be told to shift gears automatically so that the only player control is over steering and acceleration. There are different choices of detours and off-the-course routes that can be taken, in fact, the most enjoyable thing to do is steer off the beaten path only to come out farther ahead on the course than the other trucks. When they catch up, everyone jockeys for the first place position in a free-for-all of collisions and side-swiping. The dust literally flies and the beautifully rendered sounds of crunches and grinding metal is truly gratifying to he who is stressed out by life. Again, this is a great game to play when one needs only a short time for some excitement.
Some of the negative aspects of this game are those inherent in all driving games. Realism is always compromised by the lack of a steering wheel and gas pedals. Racing games are inherently short and lack the overall depth that say, a roleplaying or even a flight simulator might have. Yet, this game is a gem, a little piece of American white trash entertainment that even Einstein might have enjoyed between lectures and his musings on relativity. Someone pass me a Bud Lite!