Garbage Truck Simulator review

Toss your high-vis jacket to the side and sit down at your computer, you won't need to make do with the harsh smells of the road, flick the dirt out of your hair and boot up Garbage Truck Simulator because you needn't keep pretending to be a bin man. No, thanks to Excalibur Publishing and Astragon, Garbage Truck Simulator is now available in the UK, so you can stop tailing your rubbish collectors for tips; you've got all the reference material you would ever need.

In the vast town you’ll have a whole list of jobs lined up for you, however it is important to note that each job will reward you with a certain amount of cash, which is determined by the length of the route, and the amount of rubbish needed collected. When you start out you’ll only own one depot, so it’s best to check the specific details of each job, or you’ll find yourself driving for miles just to get to your next job, each job doesn’t take very long and can range from 5-20 minutes.

Out on the job you'll find that being a bin man is not too difficult, each job has a main location where you must collect rubbish, this can range from an industrial area to a residential street, you might be picking up recycling materials, or organic waste. When you arrive at your location you'll need to park up near to your designated bins, and switch control to your crewman perched on the back of your truck. Then comes the task of driving the bins to the back of the truck where you will have to load them into the mechanism and shake them empty. Driving to your closest bin you will need to constantly switch between driver and crewman, however unfortunately they don't operate dustcarts like they do in the UK. So as the driver you can't crawl along the road at a steady pace as the crew men throw sacks into the back, in Garbage Truck Simulator we do things by the book, which may seem slightly arduous to some.

Every so often you’ll be able to buy a new truck, provided you have racked up enough dough for one, when you purchase a truck you can modify it to your liking, including the transmission, whether its petrol or diesel engine, down to the colour that you feel is just right.

Once you’ve decided on your truck and made your first purchase in the world of garbage collection you’ve even more options available to your truck, including filling her up, maintaining any damage caused, and purchasing ad space. Then if you’ve got even more money to burn, you can upgrade your depots by adding a garage or petrol station; perhaps if you own too many trucks, then you can even buy more parking spaces.

It’s the little things that boost the experience of games like Garbage Truck Simulator, little things like the option to change the colour of the different rubbish collections, or the brilliant cockpit view that allows you to put down your sun visor in harsh sunlight. The only personalisation that’s missing is discarded soft toys impaled on your truck.

If you are a bit of an expert when it comes to simulators then you might just notice that Garbage Truck Simulator is run in the same engine as the recent Bus Simulator 2, this allows Garbage Truck Sim to function as both an effective simulator, and semi-tycoon title with a wealth of admin abilities, this also means that the actions menu is back, giving you all the control of your truck with the touch of a button. Unfortunately this also means that the ‘dynamic loading’ is present, and will occasionally throw you into a loading screen when you pass through a particular section of the map, grinding you to a halt unexpectedly and is always unwanted when it occurs.

As with most simulators, Garbage Truck Simulator likes its law abiding truck drivers, so prepare to be fined for the smallest bump and scratch as you drive around on your route. Oh, and don’t think about running any red lights! Thankfully Garbage Truck Sim is not as particular about your traffic violations as other sims like Driving Simulator, so you’ll be alright not stopping at stop signs, and forgetting to use your indicator will not get you in trouble with the law.

When you play a simulator there is always one aspect that deserves to shine above the rest is the driving, and unlike most titles, Garbage Truck does appear to have the driving balanced very well. A dream come true for such a heavy vehicle simulator, and the cockpit view makes the experience even better, there is one problem however. Whilst Garbage Truck Simulator might have some fantastic driving, the pathfinding on the traffic throughout the city is terrible, and you will find yourself constantly fined whilst out on a job because some lunatic rams into you whilst you are making a turning.

The game isn’t perfect; there is no tutorial to ease you in, the trucks are far too shiny, the traffic is suicidal, and the map waypoint system is bizarre. But if you like simulators you know that they are never perfect, and Garbage Truck Simulator serves a proper niche, and does it in the most effective way possible, the allure of collecting peoples rubbish is just too strange to miss out on.

The business side of the game is definitely its saving grace, and without it Garbage Truck Simulator would be an empty shell of a simulator. As it stands, Garbage Truck Simulator is a true niche of a game in a sea full of white fluffy sheep, it may not be your cup of tea, and it has its faults, but a fan of simulators will find an absolute goldmine here.

four stars

Garbage Truck Simulator is available now for the SRP of £24.99 from all good retailers.