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Subject: Truckin' America - a thrift shop review rss

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D Fed
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California
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Truckin’ America was a thrift shop find (still in shrink), bought in hopes of securing a few laughs with the expected light game play. It was developed by a trucker named Harold T. Odell. The box says "Experience the true to life daily trials of the American trucker." If Mr. Odell does indeed succeed in showing us this life, the life of an American trucker sucks.

In Truckin’ America, you draw a card which tells you which city you are to pick up your load from, where you need to deliver it, and how much the load will pay. You roll dice to move along the highways from city to city. About two thirds of the spaces are blank with the other producing some king of action, either paying for gas, etc. directly as a result or drawing an inspection or warning card. Unfortunately, most of these cards are all negative requiring you to pay a fee. The good cards merely let you go for free - there are no positive rewards of any sort. Therein lies the problem. Either you land on a blank space and do nothing, or you land on a negative. Even worse, the cards are so unbalanced that one of the players on his second turn drew a card which bankrupted him (you are allowed one additional loan on top of your starting loan). When you finally reach the destination city, you then need to draw a card to see if you actually get the full amount listed on the shipment card - often times you only get 50% and sometimes nothing as the shipment is "damaged."

If this weren’t enough the most problematic part of the game is the four lottery spaces on the board - the only positive ones. If you land on one of these you gain $5000. The amounts on our shipment cards (the intended point of the game) ranged from $2000-$3600 and remember most of the time you don’t get that full amount. You start with $2000 and to win the game you need $30,000, but this was for 2 to 3 hours, so we modified it to $10,000. After dropping off one shipment I had in between $2000 and $3000. I then was able to land on a lottery spot if I veered off my intended route. Looking at the rules it said I couldn’t just turn around to rejoin my route, but had to advance to the next intersection first. On my next turn I advanced to the intersection turned around and landed on the lottery spot again. Winner. It was so absurd I actually was laughing hysterically at this point. Even if we played to $30,000, the preferred strategy would be to bounce back and forth between intersections trying to hit the lottery rather than ever pick up and deliver any goods. And perhaps that is the preferred strategy of the real life American trucker, who knows.

When I buy, play, review a thrift shop game, I approach it very differently than a "serious" game (something like BattleLore for me). Basically I am looking for a few laughs and expect very little from the actual game other than something about it that the players can make fun if they choose to. I can honestly say Truckin’ America is one of the worst games I have ever played that is not intended for children. Some of the language on the cards "Smokie done got me again," etc. was worth a laugh, but that only goes so far. The laughs were far and few - the biggest one due to the absurdity of how terrible the game was.
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Adam Cuthbertson
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Lynnwood
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Hopefully there's an expansion in the works which includes lot lizards.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Lot Lizard: trashy, street-level, female prostitutes who frequent some truck-stop parking lots and rest areas at night. Most lot lizards openly "advertise" using CB radios; others boldly walk from truck to truck randomly knocking on doors.

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D Fed
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We did try out a crystal meth bonus house rule, but it just led to players alternately trying to land on the "lottery" and then "8-ball" spaces. :)
 
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Amanda Tidwell
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My husbands grandfather created this game, we’ve somehow managed to lose every copy and he has since passed away. I would love to buy a cop if anyone has one they are not attached to and would be willing to sell it would make for a pretty awesome surprise for my husband! He found a copy a while back but the person never shipped it. Mrs.amandatidwell@gmail.com please email me if you have one you’d be willing to part with!
 
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