Unfortunately, Big Mutha Truckers falls short of successfully achieving its goals, and thus, never fully reaches its potential.
Though there haven't been a great number of games about the world of professional trucking, recent years have seen a notable increase in the number of truck driving games for both consoles and the PC. Most of these games, however, tend to revolve around truck racing and never really dive into the fascinating lifestyle of the pro trucker. Big Mutha Truckers, a game by UK-based developer Eutechnyx, tries to remedy this by combining a simulation-style, economy-based gameplay system with the campy, over-the-top characters and storylines that have been so prevalent in previous trucking games. Unfortunately, Big Mutha Truckers falls short of successfully achieving this goal and thus never fully reaches its potential.
The story of Big Mutha Truckers goes something like this: Ma Jackson, an over-50 renowned and well-respected trucker, is finally retiring from her longtime profession. Now that she has chosen to hang up the old gearshift, however, she has to find someone to take over the highly successful family trucking business. Ma Jackson has decided that one of her four children (each apparently from a different father) will take the reins of the business, and she wants to hold a contest to see who is most worthy. Each of her kids must set out on a 60-day trek throughout the game's various cities, delivering items and making as much money as possible. The one with the most money at the end of the game is the winner and gets ownership of the business.
You begin the game by selecting one of Ma's four kids--Rawkus, a slick, well-dressed ladies' man; Bobbie Sue, the daisy-dukes-sporting daughter; Earl, a gruff and slovenly sufferer of an apparent overeating disorder; and Cletus, the slack-jawed dimwit. Once you've chosen your trucker, Ma will give you a brief tutorial on how the game works. To earn cash, your job will be to haul merchandise between the game's cities; but it isn't as simple as just picking up items and then driving to the next town. In order to make a profit, you'll have to keep tabs on what sort of merchandise is popular (or in some cases, direly needed) in each town.
To do this, each time you make a delivery, you'll want to stop by a local bar before leaving town. The bartender always recognizes you and, after a bit of chitchat, will slip you a tip on what kind of merchandise you should pick up and where you can sell it off for the highest profit. Aside from the standard delivery missions, bartenders will also occasionally charge you with a special mission from one of their regular customers. These are usually time-based missions, where you'll have to go deliver a certain number of packages or destroy a set number of cars before time runs out. Some of these missions can also be played out separately in the game's mission mode, but really, once you've done them in the story mode, there isn't much need to do them again.
Purchasing and selling merchandise is done at each city's local store. Here you can buy any number of things, ranging from refrigerated products, to cattle and hogs, to cell phones, to pesticides. Each store is different in terms of its pricing, both for items sold and items purchased there. Obviously the goal is to buy as low as possible and then sell high, so in order to monitor pricing, the game uses an arrow system to let you know how that store measures up against the competition. Green arrows indicate good selling prices but bad buying prices, and red arrows indicate the opposite. If you find yourself without enough cash to buy a needed item, there are various loan sharks and other types of financial planners hanging about at the local bars, who will gladly dish out some instant cash, but at an extremely high interest rate. You can also play slot machines at the bars, but only for minimal amounts of money.
Aside from just amassing loads of money, you'll also have the option to purchase upgrades for your truck at each town's resident garage. There are multiple types of upgrades to choose from, including fuel savers, better air brakes, bigger cargo holds, better shock absorbers, louder horns, and a rather large spoiler, just to name a few. Aside from standard upgrades, you'll also be purchasing fuel at the local garages, as well as repairs for damage sustained while driving and custom logos for your truck (including ones you can design yourself), and you can trade in your trailer for another, depending on what type of cargo you're transporting--liquid cargo requires a tanker, while perishable items will need a refrigerated trailer.