Let's say you make a video game that involves driving illegal immigrants across protected borders, a game that's deemed "disgraceful" and in "poor taste" before it's even been released. That game, Smuggle Truck, is then submitted to the iTunes App Store. It is, unsurprisingly, rejected. What do you do? Make Snuggle Truck - swapping the "m" for an "n" - a cuter, cuddlier and less controversial game.
What was once Smuggle Truck, a parody game involving the over-the-top, physics-based, Flash game-style transport of illegal immigrants, has seen its humans replaced with stuffed animals, brightly coloured bears, ponies and bunnies. Instead of human beings seeking asylum in another country, the stuffed and oppressed animals of Snuggle Truck want to reach the safety of a zoo.
Owlchemy Labs released Snuggle Truck on the iTunes App Store today for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. It's a simple affair: touch the right side of the touchscreen to accelerate, touch the left side to decelerate. Tilt your iOS device to balance the truck for safe landings and shake it to engage power-ups, like a high-speed rocket boost.
As your Snuggle Truck speeds over rocky and pitted terrain, the stuffed animals will bounce to and fro in the bed of your rickety, rusty truck. Tread carefully, avoiding pits, moose and TNT-filled crates, lest you lose your living cargo. And watch out for the Fuzzies that launch onto your path, for if you catch them, you'll receive a bonus.
There are more than 40 levels in Snuggle Truck, each with medal-based challenges that will ensure plenty of replayability as things ramp up from easy to hard to extreme. This is a game where beating your best time and transporting your cargo safely is the goal.
And while Owlchemy modified Smuggle Truck to be more iTunes friendly, less potentially offensive, it also released a Mac and PC version of the game today. That release lets you play both the adorable Smuggle Truck version or the original, ire-raising Smuggle Truck, which sees you transporting humans over dangerous terrain. Smuggle Truck also launches swaddled babies instead of Fuzzies, which might not sit right with some people.
But the PC and Mac release of Smuggle Truck has a unique feature that the snugglier version doesn't. Legal Immigration mode lets you emigrate the official way. It just takes 19 years worth of waiting to "beat."
(The Mac/Windows release also lets you use your iPhone as a wireless remote control, by the way, if tilting your iDevice feels more natural.)
For simple arcade-style fun with a fair amount of challenge and value, Snuggle Truck is a solid little investment, an amusing inside joke that you can while away the minutes with. It's beautifully rendered, with bright, cartoonish graphics that separate it from the graphically simple Flash games to which it might draw comparisons. The iPhone and iPod touch version runs $2.49. Snuggle Truck HD for iPad costs $3.99.
The Smuggle Truck PC and Mac bundle will set you back $5.99. Grab it at SmuggleTruck.com.