Trucks and Skulls Exclusive Hands-On Preview

Everyone’s still chasing after Angry Birds, and Zombie Pizza developer Appy Entertainment is doing it in a flame-painted monster truck. Instead of cute and cuddly cartoon characters, their upcoming game Trucks and Skulls is about driving into explosions with death metal playing in the background.

The gameplay mechanics are nearly identical to Angry Birds, which Appy considers the pioneer of a new genre of launching physics puzzlers. In Trucks and Skulls, you pull back on a lever to aim a launcher loaded with one of six different kinds of trucks. In mid-air, you can tap the screen to perform a special move, like a turbo boost or bomb drop.

Screenshots are from an alpha iPad build.

The goal is to crush the skulls with glowing eyes that are protected by various materials. Some of these are made-up metals like indestructium, while others are more easily destroyed, like ice. Ramps, lava, and TNT will also litter many levels. One nice feature is that your trucks can actually drive along the ground, instead of crashing and burning like the birds in that other game.

Besides the death-metal theme, which is pretty rad, Trucks and Skulls has one major advantage over Angry Birds. On the iPad, the game will launch with a full level editor– the same one that was used to design the game’s 100+ levels. You’ll be able to email these levels to a friend, and Appy is looking at more ways to share custom levels with other users. Unfortunately, the iPhone version will not include the level editor due to its smaller screen size.

From our time with Trucks and Skulls, we can say that it is obviously derivative of Angry Birds, but the cool aesthetics and iPad level editor are two notable distinctions. We love the way skulls explode in an evil-belching puff of smoke, and the game’s theme is slightly edgy without being inappropriate for young kids. We also put in a request to face down Truckosaurus, but we might have to make that beast ourselves in the level editor. Trucks and Skulls will be submitted to Apple in a few weeks.

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