American Truck Simulator was released in February 2016 by the developer and published by SCS Software. It is available in the platforms Microsoft Windows, OS X, and Linux. It can be played in single-player mode only, which is the first major drawback of the game. It stands as a major installment to the Truck Simulator Series next to Euro Truck Simulator 2. This time featuring places and vehicles from North America instead of Europe.
The gameplay structure of American Truck Simulator is both a vehicle driving simulator and business management simulator. It also has features of role-playing game and puzzle solving. The goal of the player is to start a freelancing career in driving trucks and delivering goods in exchange for money and experience points. Initially, the player will have to use trucks from other companies. Driving the truck and transporting the goods comes with a given amount of time thus the player must be able to deliver it speedily but with the least amount of damage to the goods as possible. Included too in the driving simulation are following stop lights in intersections, maneuvering the vehicle along highways along with other motorists, speed limits, parking the truck at its destination, etc. There are also features for when the player breaks these rules such as police and bank fines.
The money earned in the game can be used for purchasing the player’s own truck and buying upgrades on mechanics and aesthetics of the existing trucks including accessories, paint job, new doors, mirrors, and driving wheels. Owning a truck, however, entails more costs with its mechanical upgrades and refueling. The money earned will also be used to repay loans from a bank, hire drivers, and purchase garages. This money can be obtained by transporting goods which each have a different corresponding amount of experience points and earnings. Experience points stand as a currency as well to purchase perks for the drivers. This entails them more driving ability improving their skills and upgrading their payloads, such as chemicals and explosives.
The game also features business management simulator in the form a trucking business. The business can hire drivers and own properties. Drivers can perform deliveries by themselves adding income to the player. Drivers can also be trained on specific areas of driving to net more money. Player will not be able to buy on dealerships unless they drive past these in the cities first.
American Truck Simulator features various cities in North America which the player can expand to as their business grows. It features the states of California, Nevada, and Arizona. Each of the states has different scenic and highway features based on reality. The Golden Gate Bridge and Las Vegas City are both included in the game and players can drive through these. The game has a shrunken time scale and features a full day and night cycle as well. Sun rays can provide glares and rain and thunderstorms can also affect driving. Other notable game features are motorist’s’ response to horn honking, flashlights and headlights, GPS, and even cycling radio stations from online stations accurately based on geography.