Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing is a racing game for the PC, developed and released by Stellar Stone in 2003. It has been widely lampooned and ridiculed in the online community for its highly dysfunctional programming, and being virtually devoid of any proper gameplay elements.
The object of the game is to race your selected semi-trailer truck to the finish line before your opponent, while passing through each checkpoint on the track. While the game is sufficiently functional to allow the player to drive the truck, it does not contain an AI to control the opponent's truck, which negates the alleged "racing" aspect of the game.
Despite the stopwatch displayed in the corner of the racing screen, there is no further mechanism for tracking the player's race times, providing little motivation to reach the finish line in a timely manner. Physics and collision detection were likewise not implemented, so the player doesn't need to stick to the course either.
Given the above, there's no way to physically lose the "race" either the player crosses the finish line and wins, or they get sick of the game and quit. This effectively negates the "game" aspect of the... software application. In fact, the sheer outrageous-ness that a game in this condition could actually be published and sold in stores is essentially the only reason this game gained any sort of publicity. See it for yourself.
This "game" provides examples of:
- Advanced Movement Technique: There is no acceleration limit when moving backwards. This means that your truck going in reverse can theoretically reach infinite speeds, easily moving several times faster than light. Of course, this also means not being able to see where you're going... thankfully, there's no collision detection, and therefore no risk of crashing into anything.
- Aluminum Christmas Trees: Opponents in an automobile race that never leave the fucking starting line is clearly just a catastrophic programming failure, right? Actually, there were real NASCAR "racing" teams during a period from 2009-2012 who practiced a slightly downplayed version of more-or-less this exact strategy, showing up at the track, qualifying for the race, and then retiring after only a few laps without crossing the finish line so they could collect the prize money for the last place positions. This practice is referred to as "start-and-park" by NASCAR fans, for obvious reasons.
- And Now for Someone Completely Different: It's actually possible to take control of your opponent in the middle of the race by pressing tab twice. This is pretty much the only way for that poor driver to win the game. Not that it matters for you, as you still get the "YOU'RE WINNER !" trophy.
- Artificial Stupidity: In the base game there is absolutely no AI at all. If you download the patch, the opponent rig will move... at a fixed speed of 1 MPH, and then stop short of the finish line because there is no code for what happens when you lose a race. If anyone but the player happened to win, the game would crash.
- Artistic License Physics: Countless examples, but most notably what happens when you throw your rig into reverse. Your truck will gradually accelerate faster and faster as you hold the reverse button - way beyond the 60 miles per hour limit of going forward. After almost an hour of holding that button down, you will eventually reach the golden speed of 12.3 undecillion (1.23E37) miles per hournote . To put this in perspective, the speed of light in a vacuum is only 671 million (6.71E8) miles per hour, meaning that you are travelling approximately an almighty 18.3 OCTILLION (1.83e+29) TIMES FASTER THAN LIGHT. If you were travelling at the top speed a truck in the game can reverse, you could cross the entire known universe in under 160 picoseconds (and destroy it as well). And yet, your truck will stop on a dime, inertia be damned to hell, if you lift your finger off the reverse button at any point in your dimension-killing faster-than-light backwards trucking adventure.
- Ascended Meme: Inverted. After "YOU'RE WINNER !" became a meme, the developers took the hint that this was a sign of the game's overall low quality and replaced it with "YOU WIN!" in a patch.
- Awesome, but Impractical: If you accelerate backwards to 12.3 undecillionnote miles per hour, all checkpoints light up and you automatically win, as you are now going so fast the game considers you to be in every spot simultaneously. But considering it takes almost an hour of continuously holding the reverse button to reach that speed, coupled with the fact that it's impossible to lose anyway... Incredibly, this might be the closest the game comes to actual physics, as destroying the universe is technically one way to be in every spot in it at once.
- Bladder of Steel: An odd subversion. While you can pause the game, the game is so broken that even the pause feature doesn't work properly; after unpausing the game, the time will have jumped ahead, and if you are playing on a later patch, the opponent will have moved on from where they were when you paused. This does not matter though, as the opponent will never cross the finish line and the game has no time limit.
- Broke the Rating Scale: The problem encountered by persons who try to review Big Rigs is that, to even review it under normal constraints, one must acknowledge that it is in fact a "game". As explained in the description, Big Rigs deviates so far from the expected function of a video game that it becomes difficult to categorize as a game in the first place, as opposed to a work-in-progress game engine with a few assets that somehow ended up on store shelves. As such, there is no metric that can sufficiently describe it.
- GameSpot reviewer Alex Navarro kept his rating within bounds. He commented that the only reason the game received a 1.0 out of 10 (the lowest score ever given by GameSpot) was because they couldn't go any lower. His video review grants the "No. Just... No" Reaction rating as well."We don't hand out zeroes, but maybe we should have for Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing"
- Net Jack apparently rewrote its code so it could award the game a zero.
- X-Play refused to rate the game. They didn't have a zero, and they were unwilling to give this game anything higher. As such it never received an actual review, but it was spotlighted in a segment on games that would have gotten a zero if allowed.
- Some Call Me Johnny also refused to give this game a score.Johnny: We're not going to give it a score, it doesn't deserve one.
- The Angry Video Game Nerd is reduced to corpsing, at the most egregious flaws, particularly at the "YOU'RE WINNER !" screen, which nearly reduces him to tears. He called it the most unplayable game he's ever reviewed."'YOU'RE WINNER ' is the kind of stuff that turns horrible games into legends. It's the cherry on top of the diarrhea shake."
- GameSpot reviewer Alex Navarro kept his rating within bounds. He commented that the only reason the game received a 1.0 out of 10 (the lowest score ever given by GameSpot) was because they couldn't go any lower. His video review grants the "No. Just... No" Reaction rating as well.
- Covers Always Lie: A truck with flamesnote spouting from it rammingnote a police carnote with the tagline "18 Wheelsnote Of Thundernote ." Even the concept of this game as carrying cargo is debatable, as all vehicles end where they start. The back of the box has advertising so blatantly false you'd almost think it was satire. It mentions "features" such as "three levels of difficulty" and avoiding police, neither of which are in the game. The screenshots are also obvious mockups if you have seen any actual pictures of the game. The most laughable thing, however, has to be its mention of the AI that will supposedly challenge the most experienced driver (hint: read the rest of the page). About the only thing it actually gets right is the environments it lists off, and even that's making an exception for the track that will always cause the game to crash when it's selected. Also somewhat true is its claim that you stay "One step ahead of the law", which is true; assuming it refers to the laws of physics.
- Driving Up a Wall: Since the game cannot simulate gravity, the player can easily drive up vertical cliffs.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Well, you ARE a big rig, racing over the road. The back of the box, on the other hand...
- The "racing" part is debatable, since there's no way you can lose to the other car.
- So's the "Over the road" part, considering the game's rather cavalier attitude towards the road's tangibility at times.
- Faster-Than-Light Travel: What you eventually achieve if you continuously accelerate in reverse. And when you release the reverse key, you stop on a dime.
- Foregone Victory:
- It is completely impossible to lose the "game", as the opponent racer does not move. Even if you download the patch to make the opponent rig move, it still stops short of the finish line. If it does somehow manage to cross it, the game crashes (or sometimes does nothing at all and still has you win) because there is no programmed failure state.
- Sometimes the game's code has trouble distinguishing between starting and finishing, so you might win the race the moment you begin.
- Game-Breaking Bug: So many that it would be easier to count which things work properly than things that don't.
- Acceleration and maximum velocity work more-or-less as you'd expect, if you're driving forward.
- Most of the time, you won't fall through the ground into the endless void below.
- The other racer does correctly follow the track, if you've downloaded the patch that allows them to move at all.
- Gravity Barrier: Averted, as gravity doesn't work—you can actually gain more speed by going up a hill instead of down.
- Invisible Wall: Non-existent. You can drive off the edge of the world and stay there.
- The Juggernaut: The player's truck. Quite literally nothing can stop it or even slow it down in any way and it can't be damaged; even going/phasing through buildings or the other truck. Stopping the truck suddenly while going faster than the speed of light has no effect on it whatsoever.
- Long Song, Short Scene: The game contains some surprisingly catchy music... if it plays.
- Ludicrous Speed: Just how fast can your truck go in reverse? It depends entirely on how long you're willing to keep your finger on the Down Arrow. According to one curious user on YouTube, gameplay ends at 12.3 undecillion MPH (that's about 36 zeroes in that number). At that speed the truck can traverse the diameter of the observable universe in under 160 picoseconds. At that point the vehicle is traveling so fast the game considers it everywhere at once, so it trips the finish flag—including the checkpoints—and ends the race.
- Obvious Beta: More like Obvious Alpha. Programming-wise, this "game" represents less than a day's work for an experienced developer. The game is completely devoid of collision detection, and aside of the ground itself, you can drive through anything you encounter. This includes even bridges, which should allow you to drive on them, but instead you just sink into them and drive on the bottom of the dry lake.
- To add insult to injury, the game is an utter memory vampire - if you pull up Task Manager, you'll see that the game somehow uses 50% of available memory, way more than it should.
- In a desperate further attempt to pass it off as a real game, the devs released a patch fixing the opponent trucks' immobility and a broken map... and nothing else. The opponent trucks still stop before they reach the finish line, and the "fixed" map only turned it into a mirror of the first map.
- Unwinnable: Inverted. The developers did not program a losing condition into the game, and your opponent doesn't move at all in the original release. Although they created a patch that animates your opponent's truck, they never did insert the losing condition, so the model of your opponent's vehicle still stops short of the finish line after circling the track. If you force the opponent to win through mods, the game will crash.
- Unwinnable by Mistake: Selecting the "Random Race" option on the main menu will frequently render a race impossible to complete — as the game will try to increase the number of laps, but cannot register you driving through any checkpoint more than once: causing the race to never end. Effectively, you cannot win if this happens (for once), but you still cannot lose.
- Very False Advertising: The back of the box. See it for yourself.◊
- Violation of Common Sense: You can go impossibly fast by driving backwards.
- A Winner Is You: The three-handled "YOU'RE WINNER !" trophy. It doesn't even spin: Rather than a 3D model, it's a static image. And the entire game (including the audio) pauses when it appears.
- Wins by Doing Absolutely Nothing: On occasion, the software will fail to differentiate between the starting line and the finish line, and the game will declare you WINNER as soon as the race starts. This usually happens if you decide to start a race after having previously completed a race.
- Zero-Effort Boss: In the original release, your opponent doesn't move at all. Even when it does move with the patch, it can't be interacted with and stops short of the finish line, meaning you literally cannot lose to it. Due to yet another bug, the game may declare you WINNER ! the moment the race starts.
YOU'RE WINNER !