I came across a “game” this weekend that ended up consuming much of my time. Technically, it’s not so much a game but a tech demo to help pave the way for a game in the near future. Going by the name Spin Tires, the tech demo puts you behind the wheel of some truly massive Russian style military vehicles as they traverse frame twisting forest trails, quick flowing rivers and copious amounts of mud. Oh the mud. More than anything this “game” really digitizes mud better than anything I have seen before. By default you start with one of three trucks, a Gaz, a Maz (seen below) and an Uaz.
The tech demo encourages you to take these trucks down roads that most of us would wisely avoid in real life. If you choose to be adventurous you will be greeted by the delightful sights and sounds of frame deep mud that slows your truck to crawl in moments. I was really taken by the realistic nature of the environment and the modeling of the trucks. Some roads have soft shoulders that if you venture to close to will suck you right in. You can watch at the tread of your tires quickly fill with mud eventually becoming worthless. If you happen to be on uneven terrain the wheels with lest resistance will spin wildy until you engage your differential lock. Yes, a game a that plays with differential locks! Finally! Of course there is also an All Wheel Drive option to engage in combo with the diff lock which is usually needed to get out of the deepest mud and up the steepest hills.
The vehicles themselves are highly, and I suspect, painfully detailed. The engines sounds are terrific. Under full throttle you treated to black diesel smoke that turns white as the truck gets underway. There is fantastic turbo whistle sound. Even the exhaust stack shakes around on startup. The suspension travel on each truck is nothing short of amazing. They simply look like and act like the real thing. Even the creaking and rattle sounds of equipment being pushed to the max are included.
As mentioned above you start with three basic trucks but that can be changed by visiting the very active community based around the tech demo. I’ve downloaded a few additional vehicles among which are a Hayes WHDX, a 79 Chevy Pickup, the Oshkosk HEMTT, Tatras, Jeeps, functional log trailers and even rally cars. Incredible considering Spin Tires is not even a fully functional game yet.
If you like to play around with computer games I highly recommend you spend a few minutes to check out Spin Tires. The software it self ran beautifully on my four year old Windows Vista laptop which tells you something right there. If you want to use any of the mods to the demo make sure you download the Developer Version by visiting the Spin Tires website located here.