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Star Citizen and Euro Truck Sim collide in new space trucking game

Star Trucker is a unique trucking sim, RPG, and space game hybrid that’s heading to Steam later this year - and the demo’s out now.

A truck navigating space in Space Trucker.

Star Citizen and Euro Truck Simulator – what do they have in common? Well, not a whole lot, aside from perhaps the relaxing feel of heading out for a long-haul trek in your kitted-out and well-loved vehicle of choice. What if you stick an articulated truck in space? You get Star Trucker, and I had the pleasure of trying it out at the Raw Fury offices in Sweden.

Star Trucker is first and foremost a trucking simulator, though the space game element is far from just an aesthetic. It takes a lot of skill to maneuver an articulated vehicle with a 16-meter trailer around a bend at the best of times. Now, add futuristic maglock technology to that and – here’s the kicker – vertical and rotational movement. On the ground, you only really have to move along a horizontal axis. In space… well, at least no one can hear you curse.

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That’s not to say that driving is the only aspect of Star Trucker. Like other space games and truck simulators, there are a variety of jobs to complete to earn money for trick upgrades that then let you take on tougher jobs. Speaking with game producer Rasmus Lijenberg and assistant game producer Filip Zachrisson Hansen at the House of Fury, I’m told “These boards are refreshed all the time. You have an infinite amount of contracts.”

Job types and challenge levels seem varied, as does the game’s vast skill tree. While you can work to unlock every skill over time, your preferred playstyle should ultimately dictate your early-game picks. Maybe you want to improve your ability to transport precious goods, speed up your delivery times, or recruit an on-board mechanic, for example.

The driver's seat of a space truck in Space Trucker.

Again: do jobs, earn money, upgrade your truck – it’s pretty standard fare so far. That said, Lijenberg tells me you’ll also encounter NPCs during your adventures who’ll give you almost RPG-style quests. You’ll converse with them over CB radio, and their errands will, in time, tempt you further across space, unlocking new areas of the map as you go. As he shows me the map, Lijenberg explains that new equipment will allow you to travel to dangerous zones. One example he gives is the solar panel shutters you’ll need to source to survive the solar region.

All of these sectors look and feel different, and the game’s visuals are quite beautiful, from the space junk and stars surrounding you to the neon-lit stretches of ‘road’ guiding your way. You don’t have to take the road laid out in front of you – this is space, after all – but taking your own route increases the risk of collision with asteroids. Thankfully, a cute and handy indicator on your dash lets you know if you’re getting too close.

Jumping between sectors involves maneuvering your way up to a jump pad, and gravity levels must be maintained at all times to avoid cargo floating around your cabin. These small details lend Star Trucker a level of believability, creating a sense that you’re truly trucking through space.

Two space trucks passing by one another in Space Trucker.

As far as the Truck Simulator series goes, Star Trucker is perhaps closest to American Truck Simulator thanks to its authentic Americana feel, from the style of the trucks themselves to the gas stations and the music you can play in your cab. Switch on the radio above your head to hear over 15 original songs made just for the game, all with an enjoyably bluesy redneck vibe to them.

While we await Star Trucker’s September 3 release date, you can try the game for yourself by downloading its Steam demo right now. Alternatively, our list of the best racing games should help fill the gap while you wait for launch. Or perhaps you might instead like to try out a tractor in one of our favorite farming games.

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