From Flashbulb Games comes TrailMakers, a sandbox game where you build vehicles, like cars, trucks, boats and planes, with an almost infinite level of creative freedom. For fans of LEGOs, or lapsed LEGO fans like myself, TrailMakers looks to be a childhood dream.
In TrailMakers, there are two modes — a sandbox mode similar to Minecraft’s Creative Mode and sort of survival mode where you have to find supplies and level up before you can make certain kinds of vehicles. I got to play around in the sandbox mode, and as someone who gets overwhelmed with too many creative choices, it was a lot. But for everyone else that’s going to be a good thing and I appreciated that. I was also shown some pre-made vehicles that I was told were made by members of the community and they were incredible. There were spider walkers, helicopters and massive trucks that were all pretty unique. The number of possibilities and variations was quite impressive.
The building mechanic itself is intuitive as well. When you drive around and smash into something, your car will break apart and you’ll fly out of the cockpit. To fix it, you just have to hold R on the keyboard. Then, if you want to change you vehicle, you press F, and you’re able to access different engines and parts that can you can place and rotate and make perfect. But while you really can put any part wherever you want, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll want to. Weight distribution and aerodynamics matter in TrailMakers and will affect the physics of your vehicle. This is especially important when in the air, whether you got there by jumping off a ramp or because you’ve made yourself a quad-copter, a bad weight distribution could make you tip over and crash. If you want your plane to actually fly, you’ll have to make it a little less boxy and a little more streamlined if you want to get it in the air. In this way it’s a bit like Kebal Space Program, so if you’re into that kind of problem solving, TrailMakers is the vehicular sandbox for you.
I can see TrailMakers gaining a big audience with people who like Minecraft, the Kerbal Space Program and other creative games that aim to be limitless. It’s got systems that are easy to use and encourage problem solving. It reminds me a lot of LEGOs in the sense of being able to build any kind of vehicle you want and then getting to test it out. Its physics based world makes crashing and wrecking your creations even more fun. I’ll be excited to see what more the campaign mode has to offer, and the guys and girls at Flashbulb games also mentioned wanting to bring TrailMakers to Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and possibly even the Nintendo Switch. TrailMakers will be available on Steam Early Access later this Fall and they want to release the full game in coordination with their console release.