As a genre, there seems to be a simulator for just about everything. American Truck Simulator seems to be a popular game amongst people I know. At the creepier end of the spectrum, Shower With Your Dad Simulator somehow became a thing several years ago. There is a rather wide variety of games available in this genre of games
It should then be no surprise that Garbage Truck Simulator is a thing. Such a mundane activity seems such an odd concept that it’s worth playing at least once to see how it stacks up against competing games in this genre. Let’s see what the game has to offer.
The game play is really very simple. In the default game mode, you are up against the clock. You must drive down the street and collect as much garbage as possible and put it into your truck. Once you start the truck’s compactor, you get paid for the garbage you have collected. The goal is to make as much money as you can before the timer reaches zero.
Once you have earned your money, your score is ranked amongst other players of the game.
There are also a few other alternate maps to choose from. An alternate game mode some maps offer allows you to clear out an office of garbage in the shortest time possible, and again you are ranked against others. This adds a little variety to the game play, though every map falls into one of these two game modes.
I hope the number of maps expands somewhat. Having such a small number makes me concerned, as it would be easy to get bored with such a limited variety. Add to this there’s no gameplay beyond picking up garbage, and there’s no multiplayer so you can’t play against your friends, this is not likely to be a game you’ll be sinking hours into. This would hurt replayability a lot.
The controls are a little bit tricky to get the hang of initially. It can be a little tricky to get the garbage in the truck if you’re standing too close. The controls to move your truck are also a little different from those to move your character. This took me some time to get used to, though luckily there are on-screen prompts to help you along. I would have liked to see the movement controls a little more consistent, as switching between the two is sometimes confusing.
The big omission to the game seems to be multiplayer. If you’ve ever seen American Truck Simulator, you’d know a lot of effort has gone into making the game multiplayer friendly. A multiplayer option would really add a competitive component to the game which I think it sorely needs. This would add a certain social aspect to the game, as well as add more competition.
Once you get past all of this, it’s a reasonable first effort. I would hope though that there are a few update cycles coming to add some further content to help with replayability.
The graphics have been obviously simplified to a degree to target slightly older hardware. The quality of graphics in other games I’ve tried have been variable when they’ve done this simplification.
The graphics here though are very passable. For such a silly little game, the graphics are actually quite impressive. For the game that it is, the graphics are at the better end of the scale. It’s very impressive that they’ve managed to keep a certain amount of detail despite trying to target hardware that is now several generations old.
Developers of games that target older hardware should take note of what they’ve done with Garbage Truck Simulator. It’s an example of how to do simplified graphics well.
The game is a very solid first effort. It’s a fun little diversion to sink a bit of time into and the graphics are surprisingly decent.
What hurts it is a lack of maps limiting the amount of content available. I also think adding a multiplayer option would add a social element to the game. Making these improvements would make this a significantly better game.