Motor Town: Behind The Wheel
Available on: PC
Pick up passengers as a taxi driver, save stuck vehicles with a tow truck, or pull people over for breaking the law as a police officer. That’s just a sampling of what you can do in Motor Town: Behind The Wheel. There is so much chill fun to have in Motor Town that I am surprised that it hasn’t gotten more attention. The cars all feel and drive differently, upgrades can drastically change the way a vehicle responds, and each job type feels rewarding in some way. It’s got the capability to have up to 10 players on one map, so you can easily get the whole group together in one game. It almost always gets hectic and will have everyone laughing at the ridiculousness..
Motor Town: Behind The Wheel is, what I can best describe as, an arcade simulator. Each of the vehicles acts as it should but the stylized graphics and sometimes outrageous predicaments you find yourself in don’t fit a regular “simulation” style game. There are tons of things to do keeping you invested and playing longer than you otherwise might.
My favorite thing about Motor Town is the fact that you can have so many people in the world. I generally play with friends but leave the lobby open so that random people can join. The community has been great. There has only been one person kicked for being a jerk. Everyone else joined to have fun. The in-game chat makes it easy to help each other out. I, or a few of us, have helped people out of jam a couple of times.
Two of my most memorable experiences, I’ve had were when I found a school bus stuck way out in the grass. I wasn’t a high enough level to drive a tow truck yet, but my friend was. He came out to hook the school bus up but it was so far out in the wilderness that I needed to get a truck to winch him along . After rescuing the bus he almost immediately took a corner too fast, flipping himself and the bus. So, we had to break the winch out again and pull the vehicles back upright. While trying to do this, there were a bunch of cars blocking us or rolling his tow truck back on its side. It was frustrating and hilarious. The second was when a guy was running from a player police officer who was not willing to give up. The player who was being chased got stuck and had to abandon the car, so I and a few other players decided to help out and towed his car free. He was then able to continue the chase in a car and not on foot. Almost immediately, he got it stuck between a guardrail and a tree on his way down the mountain. Again, we all had a lot of laughs as he was avoiding a measly $300 ticket.
There have been some other amazing moments including spontaneous races, NPC cops trolling players, and, of course, the struggle to get a semi-truck up the mountain. For each job, you collect a little more money and in some cases a lot of money. When you are starting out, I suggest doing a short bus route. It makes a good amount of money and gets decent experience to unlock new vehicles and subsequently new jobs. Each job type even has its own experience, so you will have to hit an overall level and a specialty level. If you are looking to haul massive cargo with a semi-truck, then you need to start with a small truck and later you can attach a small trailer. Once you get your delivery level up to 15 you can basically deliver anything. However, I would suggest renting a vehicle, if possible since just taking a car means you must give between 30% to 50% of your profit to the vehicle owner. Renting it can be a lot more profitable since you pay per hour instead of by job.
This is just one of the many specializations you can do and each has to be leveled up. You can drive an ambulance, pick up hitch hikers, deliver goods, race, and many other things. Each of them will have to be leveled up to unlock more and more jobs/experiences. That might sound daunting, but I promise every job is fun and it doesn’t take a ton of grinding to level up. The game has good pacing, and you don’t ever feel overwhelmed except for maybe at the start. The tutorial is a little confusing, but I think it will get better as Motor Town gets to its official release.
There are also very clearly plans to expand what can be done on the island and, perhaps, the addition of more than the one map that is currently offered. There is an airport with a small plane sitting on it and, to me, that hints at a piloting job in the future. That would not only be cool cause I like flying but being able to see the island from a bird’s eye view would be awesome. It also looks like they may add boats down by the docks, but I am unsure. It seems obvious that they are already planning on expanding the map selection s since the is a menu for map choices although only the one is available at this time.
The music selection is good with many different radio stations, even offering the BBC as a selection. What surprised me is that it’s actually the BBC not just a spoof. There were updates on current world events and everything. I found it both funny and calming. The sound design is pretty good but you’re going to want to have the radio on because just engine noise can be irritating. All of the other stuff like crashes and damage to the vehicle are well done. If you hit something head on it can damage the radiator causing your vehicle to easily overheat. Or if you get hit it can cause the car to pull to one side or not drive smoothly. It’s a nice addition and makes taking care of your vehicle important. If you do damage your vehicle, you’ll have to find a garage and pay for the repairs. It can get costly, so be careful, especially early on when you have very little cash available.
The only real problem I have with Motor Town is sometimes missions can be way out in the wilderness and after spending a lot of time getting to the location, it’s either impossible to complete or it disappears by the time you reach it. Climbing the mountain with any vehicle is difficult and many times the tow truck will have work up there and it’s nearly impossible to reach the area even with the upgrades. A much smaller but annoying issue is not being able to drive manually. It is a selection in the menu but, even when selected, if the vehicle hits high revs the car automatically shifts. This makes getting up hills or the mountain difficult. It’s not the end of the world but it makes the semi-truck crawl up the mountain because there isn’t enough horsepower to get it up the steep switchbacks with a full load. Being in a lower gear would at least get you some extra power to crawl up the hill.
Some things that I generally don’t think about when playing games is whether or not it is fun for kids but in this case my good friend who suggested Motor Town to me plays with his five-year-old son and his wife. They all have a blast and it is both fun for kids and adults. The kid mostly likes to cause havoc but it’s good clean havoc and it’s funny as heck when he tows his mom’s vehicle away to be a jerk. So, if you are looking for a game to play with your kids, this is a great one on that front too. As they continue to play more stuff will be unlocked keeping them entertained longer.
I, thoroughly, enjoyed the time that I spent with Motor Town: Behind the Wheel. It offers a ton of customization and a variety of jobs to do. You can change the paint on your cars, upgrade basically every part of a vehicle to suit your needs/wants. The jobs range from driving a bus to busting speeders on the highway. The graphics and music engross you in the game world. It’s family friendly and allows up to 10 players on one island so you can include the whole group. The developers haven’t finished with all the
content and Motor Town is already worth the money to pick it up now. If you are looking for a chill game to unwind with, I highly suggest Motor Town: Behind the Wheel