Growing up, I never had any burning desire to be a trucker or anything like that. I mean, driving all over the country and the allure and mystery of the open road has a certain appeal to it, no doubt, but it was never something that spoke to me specifically. I think the closest I came to being a part of that world was in the late ’70s when CB (citizens band) radios were a popular fad for like three months. I recall talking to a woman in the Midwestern United States who christened me with the handle of “Scarecrow Jr.” which I thought was pretty damn cool at the time. What is also pretty damn cool is Truckers of Europe 3—a game I thought I wouldn’t be into, but oddly enough I am. I’ve been driving since I was seventeen years old, and ever since I started driving in real life, I lost all interest in driving games—unless I could also shoot something (or perform some other random act of violence, as in Road Rash) while driving. You don’t do anything like that in Truckers of Europe, as it is a pretty straightforward experience, but it’s still rather engaging.
This new release from Wanda Software features improved graphics and many enhancements to the experience that makes it one of the best mobile driving sims I’ve played. Though it’s the third game in the series, having knowledge of the other two Truckers of Europe games isn’t necessary to get into this title. That said, there aren’t any tutorials at the outset either. This is something that would typically annoy me, as games like this can be an intimidating experience for a complete novice to driving a big rig. However, despite Truckers of Europe 3’s share of generously detailed control schemes and inputs to best simulate a truck-driving experience, its core mechanics of providing pick-up and delivery services is as simple as it comes.
Before you hit the road though, I would strongly recommend checking out and adjusting the overall truck setup and the controls. There are several options that affect how you control the truck and how it will respond. The most important are the steering controls which by default have a rotating wheel on the left side of the screen. You can also set up the buttons for braking and acceleration as you wish, or decide on device tilting. There are even gamepad options available, but I found the touch controls to work just fine...which is odd for me. The actual driving controls themselves are complex and can be a bit daunting at first blush, so taking a few test spins around the parking lot until you are comfortable controlling a vehicle of this size with those controls is something I highly recommend as well.
I found the camera modes listed in the “Gameplay” section to be important as well. You can turn on all five camera options (Look At, Trailer, Wheel Side, Roof, and Back) at the same time to give them a go and see what works best for you, and then turn off those that you don't plan to use while driving to keep the gameplay streamlined. Another important tweak I implemented was dialing down traffic intensity, especially in the beginning—unless of course you prefer a more realistic experience in how traffic responds to your rig.
Once all your settings are in place, Truckers of Europe 3 is all about completing jobs and earning money. Play carefully, avoid problems, and make sure to fulfill the deliveries—it’s as simple as that. Later on, I unlocked an option to hire drivers and assign jobs to them to partially automate the business, but at the start I needed to make the trips myself to fill my coffers. One nice thing I specifically enjoyed is that there was no rush once I was behind the wheel of my rig. There are no benefits or bonuses for completing jobs quickly, and there’s no time limit or clock to beat, so I could take my time to ensure the goods I was hauling arrived at the delivery point safe and sound.
Learning to drive well and mastering the controls as I mentioned above was important to avoid damage on the road and any serious issues that could have caused me to abandon a job, but if I followed my GPS route carefully all was well. And that leads to one minor sticking point I have with Truckers of Europe 3: the GPS display was rather small on my screen, and I really needed to keep a close eye on it to ensure that I didn’t end up wasting time and fuel. I also had to be sure to take advantage of refueling opportunities when they cropped up, because running out of fuel was, well, quite the bitch. I found that out the hard way on one rather long haul into Germany.
Who knew I’d have such a good time with a trucking game? I sure didn’t. Even though I was inundated by commercials for trucking schools on a daily basis when I was a lad, I somehow managed to avoid the profession. I must say that after playing Truckers of Europe 3, I feel that I may have missed my calling. I now have a rather distinct urge to get out on the highway behind the wheel of my very own 18-wheeler...but only if my old Scarecrow Jr. handle is still available.
SCORE: 4 STARS OUT OF 5
PLAY IF YOU LIKE:
• Truck Driving Race 2: Ice Road. Give Truckers of Europe 3 a spin if you are thirsty for more truck drivin’ action...but with the added hazards of snow and ice! • USA Truck Driving School: Off-Road Transport Games. Truckers of Europe 3 is a bit more simulation-focused than Wacky Studio’s offering, but it most certainly scratches that truck drivin’ itch.
💬 Have you played Truckers of Europe 3? Let us know what you think of it in the comments! Even if you haven't played it, leave a comment sharing your thoughts on your favorite driving games!
CHECK OUT SOME OTHER RECENT REVIEWS FROM TAPTAP:
Throwing Everything at the Wall - Ys Online: The Ark of Napishtim Review | TapTap
Saving the Cosmos with Gacha Waifus - Space Leaper: Cocoon Review | TapTap
For Fans of Artsy Adventure Games - Grayland Review | TapTap