What started out as a game with a bit of social commentary on America’s immigration policies ended up being a funny commentary on Apple’s integration policies. Owlchemy Labs may have had to take the “Smuggle” out of Snuggle Truck, but I’d argue that it only made the game that much better. Now more family friendly and still just as much fun, Snuggle Truck certainly delivers a good deal of entertainment.
If you haven’t played Snuggle Truck yet, it is a quirky and cute physics-based driving game where you must safely deliver a truck-bed full of cute and colorful animals, known as fuzzies, to the zoo where they can get proper health care, while driving across bumpy terrain that will cause the animals to fly from the back of the truck if you aren’t careful.
Essentially Snuggle Truck is a level-based side-scrolling speed run with fairly simple controls, allowing for quick pick up and play fun. You drive the truck by pressing your finger on either the left or right side of the screen and the truck moves in that direction. The forward or backward tilt of your truck as you are flying through the air or going up or down hills is controlled by tilting your device. There is a boost that can be picked up in some levels and this is triggered by shaking the device. While you are boosting your current fuzzy passengers are kept in place via a temporary cargo net that appears on your truck bed. This device shaking method of boosting (my one and only real sore point about the game) is far too disruptive. Fortunately an alternative method of boosting, a double-tap, is being added in an upcoming update for the game and having already gotten a chance to try it out, I can say that it makes the gameplay much smoother!
One of the coolest aspects of the game (and a brilliant design decision by the Owlchemy team) is the game’s medal system. There are five different medals which can be earned on each level and they reward different styles of gameplay. The Bronze/Silver/Gold medals are awarded for saving increasingly higher numbers of passengers in shorter and shorter periods of time. The Ark medal is awarded for saving 9 passengers or more, but there is no time requirement.
Finally, The Speed Run medal only requires that you save at least one fuzzy, but has the shortest time constraint. While it is possible to earn all 5 medals in a single run through a level, odds are you have to replay levels multiple times, adopting slightly different tactics to earn them all. Since you must reach certain medal milestones to unlock additional levels, dividing them up in this manner helps out players of all skill levels. If you are someone who is really good at speeding through the track, but can’t hold onto more than a couple fuzzies, you’ll earn one subset of the medals, while someone who is a bit slower has the potential of earning a different subset, but both players can still unlock all the levels,
Another fun and unique game feature is available to players who also buy the PC/Mac version of the game. Owlchemy Labs has integrated the Brass Monkey SDK into the Snuggle Truck, allowing players to use their iPhone (or iPad) as a wireless game controller. I tried this out and it was pretty cool, but I did notice a slight lag in responsiveness to tilt actions.
While already a fantastic game, with loads of gameplay and replayability due the aforementioned medals and the Game Center leaderboards on some of the levels, Snuggle Truck promises to get exponentially more fun very soon. For you see, with the next update (due in a few weeks) the game will be getting a full level editor and the ability to play user generated content from around the world. I have had a good deal of hands on experience with this and it is absolutely brilliant in it’s simplicity.
Snuggle Truck is a fun game that players of all ages will definitely enjoy. With over 40 levels of varying difficulty, many of which have their own Game Center leaderboards, as well as an unlimited number of community developed levels (on the horizon), there is a ton of gameplay to be had for just $1.99. If you are looking for a great escape, with beautiful graphics and even a bit of strategy, then definitely check this one out.