Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPod touch 4G
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Earlier this year, you may have heard of a game called Smuggle Truck; this game was designed as a comment on illegal immigration, as you raced a smuggler's truck containing illegal immigrants to the border. The game is presented in a comedic way, featuring cartoony characters and even babies that you can to catch along the way. While Smuggle Truck has been rejected for iOS (flinging babies is generally a no-no), the game lives on as Snuggle Truck, which has you transporting animals into a zoo. You do this by driving your truck through perilous landscapes, trying to keep the animals from flying out. Along the way, you'll have to avoid boxes of TNT, cave ceilings, and random rocks in the road that might send your animals out of the truck, lest you be careful to avoid them.
Snuggle Truck may be ridiculous, but it's fun. The gameplay requires a balance between careful driving and speed that you must learn to master in order to succeed at the game. Snuggle Truck's artwork is great - the backgrounds were designed by Bill Tiller, former LucasArts artist, who's worked on such games like the Monkey Island series, and the influence shows. The game runs with Retina Display graphics, as well.The game also features great replay value - not only are there over 40 levels, there are 5 medals per level, and it's not just a case of completing the levels quickly to get all the medals. The bronze/silver/gold medals demand that you complete the level in under a certain amount of time with a minimum number of animals. However, the Ark Medal requires you to save at least 9 animals, but there's no minimum time to finish in. Meanwhile, the Speed Run medal only demands that you complete the level with 1 animal, but in a time faster than even the gold medal time. The game is promising plenty of future content as well, including community-designed levels, the ability to play the PC/Mac version using your iOS device as a wireless controller, and a level editor coming to the iPad version.
Snuggle Truck isn't really a game for people who like to be challenged by their games - it's not that hard to simply beat the levels, the challenge comes from getting medals, although getting multiple medals on levels is necessary to unlock later content. The game also only supports leaderboards for 25 of the levels; this is not a fault against the game itself, as this is a Game Center restriction on the maximum number of leaderboards.
Snuggle Truck may have lost some of its message in its style transition, but the game is still incredibly fun. Give these animals the ride they're looking for.