Monster Truck Madness
Review by Alfred Giovetti
Price: $45
Genre: Polygon racing simulator
Release: fall 1996
Developer: Terminal Reality
Publisher: Microsoft Games
Phone: 2068828080
Requirements: Windows 95, Pentium processor , 8 MB of RAM (12 MB Recommended), 20 MB available hard disk space for compact install (100 MB for typical install), 2x CD-ROM drive (not necessary for trial version), 256-color, 640 x 480 display, Audio board plus speakers or headphones (required to hear audio), Hayes-compatible modem --14.4Kbps for head-to-head play, (9600 kbps or higher recommended for connection to the Monster Truck Web Stop site), Recommended: A joystick or compatible device (optional, race car controller also supported), Microsoft mouse or compatible pointing device, For best play, 12 MB (or more) RAM, Additional supported or suggested hardware: ThrustMaster T1 and T2 race car controllers (steering wheels and pedals), 3D accelerator board via Direct 3-D, Gamepad

Company line: You've stepped into the world of monster trucks! Now you can race the vehicle you wish you had while sitting in rush-hour traffic. Monster Truck MadnessTM provides an exhilarating off-road driving experience by offering various racing modes across rugged and challenging terrain. Monster Truck Madness is the most radical and outrageous racing simulation available!

The Penda Point Series is the official racing series for monster trucks. A point series is a group of several racing events in which competitors earn points according to how they place in each event. The Penda Point Series for monster trucks operates on a yearly basis: The total points awarded to each monster truck in a minimum of 15 racing events each year are tallied at year-end to determine the final winner.

Winning any sort of race is rarely the work of only one person, and monster trucks are no exception although the teams are small, and often the owner and driver are the same person. In addition, the trucks are generally custom-built chassis with a special modified body and heavy-duty components.

MTRA stands for Monster Truck Racing Association. The MTRA was formed by Bob Chandler when monster trucks began to race, back in the old days -- 1988. The first marriage of truck and giant tires was in 1974, of course, when Bob created what was to become the first Bigfoot. Make sure to check out "Great Moments in Monster Truck History" in the "Cool Stuff" book of the Monster Manual (online Help) when you play the game -- especially the footage of Bigfoot racing a paddlewheel steamboat in the water!

History: Microsoft has a spotty track record with games. And while this one was a darling at the 1996 Los Angles E3, Electronic Entertainment Expo, we reserve judgment until the shrink wrapped product comes out.

Plot: One of the darling products previewed at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, called by insiders E3, was the Microsoft Monster Truck Madness Game. It is a lot of fun to get out and watch someone crush or actually crush yourself tons of other lesser cars under a humongous set of wheels. This is really a first person perspective driving simulator and online encyclopedia of monster truck racing including footage of some of "the most spectacular crashes in history."

Vehicles you drive: monster trucks including: "BigFoot¨, Snake Bite¨ and Gravedigger¨ Monster Truck Madness drivers can select their vehicles from 12 different real-life monster truck models and modify handling characteristics by making adjustments in the Garage. Monster Truck Madness vehicles are modeled after actual monster trucks, including Bigfoot and Snake Bite, to incorporate the most accurate physics and provide the bone-jarring sensation of controlling these powerful off-road monsters. The monster trucks feature four-wheel steering and multi-dimensional movement, giving players a sense of jumping, bouncing and rolling as if they were behind the wheel of a real monster truck. Trucks can be adjusted to optimally tackle various elements, including mud, grass, asphalt, sand, and water.

Game play: Skilled drivers can choose to stay on course or attempt off-road shortcuts as they race from checkpoint to checkpoint.

Tracks: There are thirteen tracks which include a desert track which is a road that runs along a sea shore and a lush green hilly muddy track. The tracks have jumps, 90-degree turns, and different types of terrain.

You drive: You choose from twelve trucks modeled after monster trucks (see above).

Perspectives: First person and third person.

Difficulty matrix: Various levels of realism can increase the speed but little is known about these other features. Choose your racing skill level -- rookie, intermediate, or professional (watch out, there's no more Mr. Nice Guy from your opponents when you're a professional)! Use the easy mode to get used to the tracks. Whatever your skill level or difficulty is, that is the skill level or difficulty setting of your opponent. A better situation would have allowed you to set these separately.

Graphics: The use of DirectDraw and Direct3D make the animation highly detailed and realistic. The mud on the ground is a little spotchy and blockey looking, while the truck details are brisk, clean, and highly detailed.

Animation: There are videos of huge monster trucks smashing everything.

Music: This game has loud rock music.

Sound: "The gunning motors and cries of twisted metal are the real things, too - recorded and digitized from actual monster truck races. Narrating the drive to victory is the voice of Armey Armstrong, beloved by millions of monster-truck-racing fans everywhere." Microsoft

Multi-player: Monster truck racing will be accessable on the new Microsoft Internet Gaming Zone, where you can race up to eight human players (opponents) head to head over the internet or LAN. Supports two players over null or phone modem.

Next Generation, volume 2, June, 196, pg. 54.
Rebecca Anderson,
T. Nguyen, Computer Gaming World, number 146, September, 1996, pg. 46.
Rebecca B. Anderson,, (73%).
Arnie Katz,, 3/5, (60%).
Bernard Dy, Computer Player, volume 3, number 7, December, 1996, pg. 70, (80%).
Rob Smith, PC GAmes, volume 3, number 12, December, 1996, 82%.