Hearing the title Spintires never really explained anything to me, and even after reading up on the game, I still felt a little clueless as to what it was about. It wasn’t until I played Oovee Game Studios’ quirky niche title that I gained a very good understanding ofSpintires.
The core of the game revolves around some fairly simple tasks using some seriously rugged Russian off-roaders – pick up lumber and deliver it to the objective location, don’t run out of fuel, and don’t get stuck. While the first two seem simple enough, it’s the getting stuck part that really sticks in Spintires. The game uses a pretty heavy real-time system that allows the terrain to deform and considering its all one giant mud bowl, it deforms pretty quickly.
Understanding the controls for the game is a bit difficult. I had to refer back to the options screen multiple times to figure out how to use the winch or change my view mode. While there isn’t a ton to remember, the lack of any sort of tutorial or guide made it a rough beginning. Until I joined an online game, I didn’t really understand the deep plot of the game. Apparently it’s something about needing to deliver supplies…and, OK, I’m actually lying. There is no plot, but I still had zero clue what I was doing initially.
While that is bothersome, it’s liberating in a sense. There’s no real requirement to the game and you can just sputter around the muddy countryside as much as you want. Overcoming those steep hills and messy terrain is a Zen thing in itself, but it’s hard to really explain attempting to drive a five ton vehicle out of a bunch of taffy. Thankfully, the game offers some amazing landscapes to get stuck in. There’s a mixture of forests, roads, volcanic areas, and more across a number of maps. The maps themselves are dotted with garages and fueling stations, as well as additional vehicles, allowing you to recharge and switch over to new vehicles as you progress.
One of the best aspects of the game aside from delivering lumber by yourself is the ability to deliver lumber with friends. The game offers multiplayer and from what I’ve seen of it, it’s always a cooperative experience in a way. Players can split up to find garages, the lumber, and begin uncovering the map, working together to ultimately get that lumber back home.
Spintires, while seemingly an oddball game, is quite fun to play. It’s challenging and frustrating in equal measures, but managing to overcome nature and continue on with your giant Soviet-era tank is fun as hell. Even using the winch when necessary to drag yourself out of the deep stuff can be interesting, if a bit confusing on the control side of it. Thankfully, even with my older PC, I didn’t experience a ton of issues within the game either. For those looking for that different type of game, this is it.
Note: The Spintires review was written based on a digital PC version of the game.