Excite Truck is fun. That’s it. This is the type of game where the only thing you need to know are those four simple words that started this review. Aside from a rather lacking feature set, Excite Truck is a wonderful Wii showcase racer.
Taking it’s name from the classic Excite Bike (and later butchered Nintendo 64 update), Excite Truck becomes the insane, over-the-top racing game for the Wii that fits nicely into an unfilled niche. There is little focus on crashing, physics or even finishing first. It’s about being as stupid as possible when flying (literally) around the courses and making it through with style.
The game works because of its simplicity. The only modifications to slowly unlocked trucks are paint jobs and color swaps. There is no career mode, no online play and the game is devoid of any sort of license.
Maybe it’s the glut of racing games on the market that do provide all of that which makes Excite Truck feel fresh. You start, you race, you finish, you move on. Rather obviously focusing on racing trucks, a simple variety of tricks and boosts are they key to mastering the wonderfully varied tracks in record time. Excite Truck is also attractive aside from some ugly weather effects.
As stated above, finishing first is not a requirement to win. You can finish dead last and still walk away with a passing grade. Excite Truck is about earning stars, and it’s worth noting finishing higher grants more stars as a bonus.
You do so in an incredible amount of ways, from gaining airtime to plowing through a forest and coming out unscathed. Boosting is critical and as in Excite Bike, you need to watch your temperature gauge to ensure you’re not pushing your vehicle too hard.
You can cool off faster in shallow water or in the air. Tilting the Wii Remote takes care of the control set up almost entirely. You’ll hold your controller sideways, moving it up and down to subsequently move left or right. In the air, tilting it towards or away from you will lift or lower the trucj respectively.