Review: Big Mutha Truckers

Remarkably, Big Motha Truckers is not the only haulage inspired title on the GameCube, the early days of the console saw Acclaim release arcade favorite '18-Wheeler', which got a rather lukewarm response with critics complaining about the game's length and its lack of extra features for the home console version. Clearly BMT, being an original license, doesn't have that problem but it does have an upward struggle convincing driving fans that invested in 18-Wheeler that not all trucking games are shallow on gameplay and low on features. So, Yorkie in one hand, unwashed baseball cap in the other and smelly mutt next to me (all good truckers have a smelly mutt which appears to be older and wiser than they are) it's on with the review...


Although the visuals are hardly going to win any awards, they do perfectly complement the style of gameplay. There is, however, an excellent FMV intro, which manages to capture the game's theme whilst introducing you to the various Trucking misfits. After that it's into the game where, though the design and overall presentation is well above average, the environments may leave some gamers a little disappointed. This however can be put down to the rather surreal arcade niche BMT fills and should be exactly what you were expecting if you've paid any attention at all to just how unconventional this Southern family.

There are some problems with the more technical side of things as most of the characters you'll encounter make absolutely no attempt to lip-sync the dialogue and the camera angles can occasionally be a little frustrating. To be honest though this is usually the driver's (or your) fault if you've tried to take a rather sharp corner at 90 mph only to jackknife off the opposite wall. It doesn't happen often but you really are better off just hitting the restart button when you're trying to rectify this kind of situation with the timer ticking down and the camera angle more of a hindrance than a help.


BMT audio can be neatly divided into two separate departments: the sound effects and the soundtrack. The former is well above average with some wonderful audio accompanying your truck every time you smash into that defenseless car that just happens to be in your way. This is in addition to the standard engine noises, tires skidding and horn blowing that you'd expect from a game of this type.

Better still is the soundtrack, which is in the form of Radio Stations. There are five of these to choose from covering most styles of music and whilst the various tunes are really quite good it's the presenters that manage to raise most of the laughs as they taunt their guests and give downright ridiculous advice to their phone-in listeners. These are all selectable too and pressing the pause button at any time allows you to change stations, a much safer method than how many of us do it in real life.


BMT is roughly split into two different modes: Trial By Truckin' and a Mission Section. As the former is really at the heart of the game we'll deal with that first. The plot involves Ma Jackson announcing to her four kids that she intends to sell the haulage business to the highest bidder and it's up to you to earn as much money as you can in a 60 day period. It's then a case of selecting one of the four family members to play as and you're off. This is a purely cosmetic decision, as the trucks appear fairly similar in the way they perform.

Money is earned in a variety of ways ranging from brute force to clever strategy. Smashing into things such as cars and other trucks will reward you with money although it's advisable to keep an eye on just who you're roughing up. Hit too many cops for example and they'll start pursuing you with capture resulting in a fine. Worse still is upsetting one of the many biker gangs you encounter on the highway who'll try and shoot out your tires before hi-jacking your truck. It goes without saying that you'll need to keep an eye on your damage meter because if it reaches empty you will be towed back to your point of origin and charged for the pleasure. You must pay for repairs and re-fueling although this is also a chance to add enhancements to your truck, funds permitting. You'll also be challenged to races by other truckers, which is a quick way to earn extra cash if you win but as the opposition is generally quite tough it's not always advisable.

You're likely to earn most of your riches using trading strategy. Buying low and selling high is always a sound business decision. Listening into conversation in bars can give you valuable information on just what goods are fetching a high price and it's also a good place to get loans although they tend to come with ludicrous interest rates and repayment terms. On the subject of bars you'll almost always find a gambling machine of some description but playing is not recommended to increase your riches. We can say this from experience after one session where we went from top spot to groveling for a loan in a matter of 15 minutes. Proof, we think, that the house really does always win. When reaching any journey within the time limit you will also be challenged to park in the garage in record time. This is all a little startling initially as a cash counter starts to tick down before you even locate where you're meant to park however a little practice can reward you with sizeable cash rewards.

The Mission Section is less immersive than Trial By Truckin' but that doesn't mean it's less enjoyable. Simply put this is a series of time and objective based pursuits where you must complete a range of truck-based criteria before the timer reaches zero. At the beginning you must knock over an allotted number of newsstands to cover up an untrue story about the family then you move onto delivering gifts and museum artifacts without damaging them. In one of the stranger sections you are in a tug of war with another truck pressing the 'A' button repeatedly to build up your revs.

Like in Trial By Truckin' there is no map but rather the direction you must take next flashes up. This doesn't always work well as there's usually no indication when they'll appear and they're not repeated. There's also the minor problem that they're not always the correct sign so occasionally you'll be shown a 'hard right' turn when you're actually joining a highway from the left. You do get used to all this but it's a little confusing at first.


One thing you can't accuse BMT of being is complicated and even the most novice of gamers will be roaring around the various highways in no time at all. Handling wise it's not too easy initially though and if you're used to smaller F1 or Sports Cars you'll find the 18-wheelers a lot more difficult to navigate as the trailers sway about if you even attempt to make any erratic movements. The trading has also been kept incredibly simple with hints every step of the way cleverly avoiding any notion of BMT being bogged down by statistics.


Whether you engage in the Mission Section or the Trial By Truckin' there's more than enough to keep you occupied and justify the asking price. In fact there's so much that you might even become a little bored by the whole thing before you actually complete it. It's not a huge problem as BMT is still great fun for a quick spin for an hour or so but like real Trucking it takes a special kind of endurance and considerable time to see the whole game through.

Final Say:

There's no escaping the fact that BMT is an entertaining game even if that means only popping it into your GameCube when you fancy some mindless driving entertainment. The strategy elements add a much-needed additional theme to the package but it remains to be seen if the same type of gamer who's interested in reckless driving is also into trading commodities. It does suffer a little too from not having a multiplayer option and the addition of this feature would have raised the mark slightly higher regardless of the various modes available. Even so it's undoubtedly successful in what it sets out to do which is to provide a humorous, no nonsense and most of all fun driving experience and those radio shows are real howlers.

N-Europe Final Verdict

Initially great fun for all but only the true truckers amongst you will stick it out for the whole trip.

  • Gameplay4
  • Playability4
  • Visuals4
  • Audio4
  • Lifespan4
Final Score



Low Price Point
Great Title
The Radio Stations


Can Be Repetitive
Only Single Player

© Copyright 2024 - Independent Nintendo Coverage Back to the Top