Designed by Rick Levine
and published by Imagic
in 1983, Truckin' is a truck driving simulator that puts players behind a 18-wheeler semi truck. A network of 68 cities and 59 interstate routes are available to travel solo or with another person. An accelerated day-night cycle is also featured, with a full 24 hours taking two minutes in real time.
When starting the game, two game modes are available: Interstate Race, and Hauling Cargo. Players can either play solo and try to earn the best time/score, or compete head-to-head with a friend in split-screen with the orange truck versus the grey truck. In solo mode, the screen remains split, the unused truck remains at the starting point, and the side of the screen not in use displays information such as time and date. The second player can join in at any time after the game's start if desired.
In Interstate Race, eight cities are selected as checkpoints: San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, Portland, Chicago, Detroit, and Boston. To finish the race, all eight cities must be visited in any order. The trucks start by default in San Diego, but this may be changed before either truck exits the game menu.
Players start off with a balance of $1500 in Interstate Race, no fuel, and no cargo. Refueling can be done in any major city, and costs $120 for a full tank. Truckers will also get tired after extended driving or crashing, causing their possible top speed to decrease. Refreshing a trucker involves stopping on the side of the road and resting for a period of time. If this is done anywhere outside of a forest or park, it costs $30.
No cargo hauling is done in Interstate Race, so the only other problems truckers face are other truckers, state police, and ghost truckers. Computer controlled truckers are psychotic fiends with no regard for human safety, and will weave all over the road and across lanes regardless of the direction they are traveling. Colliding with these horrible monstrosities will cost $50 and a few seconds for repairs. State police will sometimes tail the player truckers if they exceed the local speed limit, and if the player does not hammer the brake and slow down below the limit within a few seconds, the cop could stop the player for a few seconds and issue a fine as high as $200. Finally, the player, in experiencing the natural delusions of life on the road, may witness computer controlled truckers that suddenly disappear. While the game manual for Truckin' passes these off as hallucinations, it may be a known bug that was rationalized rather than fixed.
In the depressing event sixty days pass before the race is completed, the race simply ends.
In Cargo Hauling, players are given $500 to start, and within a set time limit must pick up, transport, and deliver as many loads of cargo as possible to earn the most money. The time limit is five days by default, but can be altered anywhere between one to sixty days if desired (two minutes to two hours in real time).
The cargo available for transport includes milk, cattle, corn, and gravel. Multiple loads of some commodities can be carried at once, such as gravel, corn, gravel and corn, or gravel and milk. The reward for a successful delivery ranges from $280 for a single load of gravel to $1000 for a load of cattle. Truckers can also call ahead to upcoming cities to see what transport jobs they have available, which may be handy for filling out the cargo and planning future routes.
In either mode, the game does not end if the player runs out of money -- monetary penalties are not incurred when broke. If the player runs out of fuel outside a city, they will receive a complimentary quarter-tank at midnight to get them moving again. This costs $30, or nothing if the player is completely broke.