Some of the simplest simulators are the most effective, and Excalibur Publishing’s Extra Play range is a fantastic way to find those hidden gems of the simulator world at an affordable price, and if you want to be a fan of Truck simulators; travelling from point A to B, but cannot put up with the long haul, say hello to Utility Vehicle Simulator, shortening the distance so that you can go that extra mile with your clients.
Utility Vehicle Simulator mashes together some very niche vehicular fun into one neat and tidy package, and works similarly to the infamous Street Cleaning Simulator, and you work out of a small office scouting for odd jobs in the town whilst keeping an eye on your income and expenditures using the same office and PDA interface as Street Cleaner.
Those unfamiliar with its workings; your office is open 8-6, between these times you can accept and take on as many jobs as you can handle using a range of odd-job vehicles whilst paying close attention to your fuel usage and road safety – lest you take a hefty fine. In this day-and-age cars do not run on magic, so in order to keep your van or other vehicles on the road you’ll have to part with your hard earned cash to refuel at your closest petrol station, and try not to get too excited at the price of €1.52 a litre!
Everyone starts at the bottom of the ladder even those in the Utility Vehicle business, and with only €5000 to your company its time you made a name for yourself with your handy all-purpose van. With the van you’ll find yourself carrying out routine courier operations taking package A to location B, occasionally stopping at warehouse C before the job is done. You even have to physically pick up the parcels and load them into your van with the true grace of a courier, unfortunately there's no penalty for negligence of your packages though!
With little skill required, tedious jobs using the van pay humbly, and you will not begin getting jobs involving the more lucrative vehicles; the work platform or the road sweeper for quite some time, however in comparison the van is beautifully simple to control and takes no time to learn unlike getting used to the crane of the work platform, or learning the right angle for your brushes on the road sweeper.
The modestly built town that your office is situated in, is testament to the fact that long gone are the days of deserted ghost towns in simulators, and as you drive from job to job you’ll find yourself getting in the midday rush, and stopping suddenly for ignorant pedestrians walking the streets, there is also a day and night cycle present, but no extreme weather conditions; the bane of the true utility vehicle user.
To accept a job it’s as simple as a trip to the office, or just bring up your PDA. If at any time you wish to cancel a job your clients will not look down upon you. However take care not to take a job too late in the day, you aren’t paid to perform overtime, and if you’re halfway through a job when it hits 6, you can say goodbye to your potential earnings, unless it is a night job of course, but they don't come up very often.
When you’ve finished all your tasks for a job don’t expect your money to start rolling in; an invoice must be sent to your clients before they pay up, but don’t worry, they’re all good for their word, and if you like receiving your money in big chunks, just keep taking jobs and wait for that total invoice to rack up like a true payday.
Unfortunately Utility Vehicle Simulator does not support Xbox 360 gamepads, however the controls are comprehensive enough for a keyboard. With some of the more complex vehicles like the road sweeper or even the van, you can bring up the controls in a handy little window when driving along, just in case you don’t know how to get your brushes going, or to extend your Work Platform’s supports.
Your biggest adversary in Utility Vehicle Sim is not a rival company, but yourself! Unless you're a truly competent driver, it takes a lot to ensure that no damages come to your vehicles, and that you do not injure members of the public! Don’t forget it’s not your fault if you run into someone when they start walking out into the middle of the road, but it is your fault if you continue to run them down!
Whilst I could personally carry out courier jobs until the cows come home, Utility Vehicle Sim does offer far more unique experiences with the work platform and road sweeper. Whilst the work platform is easily affordable from the start of the game at €5000, the road sweeper will take a bit of saving up at €10,000. There are also accessories available; such as the trimmers used to trim tall obstructions with the work platform or the traffic cones that you will utilise with the van for cordoning off roads. Both cost miniscule amounts of money, but offer a more niche experience, unfortunately you won't be able to simply go around trimming people's hedges though, this isn't a Gardening Simulator after all.
Unfortunately despite slowly climbing the ladder, you will never truly get away from courier jobs, and as soon as you purchase the other vehicles jobs will crop up for them, but there’s no stopping your roots getting through, so amongst fixing lights, cleaning stretches of road and trimming trees you’ll continue to lay traffic cones, pick up old pumps and deliver televisions.
Utility Vehicle Simulator offers basically Street Cleaning Simulator 2.0; courier jobs are the most basic of simulator roles that almost every game utilises but in a sugar-coated manner, then there are the work platforms that offer a true niche unavailable elsewhere. Supplying three vehicles in such a small package is utterly fantastic, and there is little wrong with this compilation of utility vehicles!
Utility Vehicle Simulator is available now for the meagre SRP of £9.99 and is available in all good stores and online retailers.