1. Cross Country Canada
Anyone in, or with children in, the Canadian public school system in the early 1990’s has probably come across Cross Country Canada. Part of that 90s “Edutainment” craze for making games that were fun and educational, this 1991 gem could be called Canada’s answer to Oregon Trail. Players enter text commands in order to drive their rig around the country picking up and dropping off loads. The graphics leave a lot to the imagination even for 1991, but in an attempt to help kids learn their geography it put trucking in front of a lot of school students. If it actually inspired anyone to get behind the wheel to make a living is a different question. If you are interested in some serious early 90’s trucking simulation you can play Cross Country Canada for free online here.
2. Scania Truck Driving Simulator
This is probably as realistic as it gets for trucking games when it comes to both graphics and physics. Made with input from the Swedish truck manufacturer, this simulator gives a pretty accurate sense of what it is like to drive a truck without the risk of pancaking a Volvo. Have a look at this video of the simulator, it may make you want to get a little practice on it.
3. 18 Wheels of Steel
18 Wheels of Steel isn’t a single game but a series of trucking simulation games that have taken player across 4 continents. The most recent versions of the game, Extreme Trucker and Extreme Trucker 2, have added some of the worlds most dangerous roads for people to attempt including the Yungas Road sometimes referred to as the Bolivian Death Road. If you want to see just why they call it that take a look at this video.
4. Desert Bus
OK this one isn’t technically truck driving. Desert Bus was actually a mini-game within the unreleased Sega game Penn & Teller’s Smoke and Mirrors. Meant to be a cruel joke, the name of the game is pretty accurate with the objective being to drive a bus through the desert from Tucson, Arizona to Vegas. That is around 400 miles and the game plays it out in real time with the bus having a speed limit of 45 mph. This means that completing the game requires you to play for over 8 hours without the ability to pause. I guess you have to give them credit for replicating what that drive would actually be like but as a game it probably wouldn’t catch most people’s eye. If you really need the experience you can watch the full 8 hours of gameplay here, but it will take a while.
This is just a short list of some of the more interesting games I have come across. If you have a favourite driving game not on the list leave a comment below.