Monster Truck Madness 64 offers a total of 19 trucks to plow through three modes of play: Exhibition, Circuit and Battle Game. Exhibition has you competing against up to three opponents (computer or human) as you cross multiple checkpoints in an attempt to finish first. Although you are free to take shortcuts across the varied terrain, you must pass through each checkpoint in numerical order if you plan on continuing the race.
Also on hand are eight different power-ups to influence play; simply run over an icon found along the road and you’ll have the item ready to use whenever you press the Z button. The power-ups are as follows: homing missiles, shields, shrink bombs, nitros, hovers (allowing your vehicle to temporarily float over water or other difficult terrain), super jumps, invisibility and oil slicks. Only one power-up can be stored at any given time, however.
Exhibition mode also lets players choose the time of the race (day, dusk, night or pitch black) and weather (clear, rain, fog or snow) to find the right combination that best suits their ability or preference. Once players have learned the ropes in Exhibition mode, they’ll be prepared to enter the Circuit, which is a series of ten races (on ten different courses) that has them trying to finish first so they can advance to the next track. Once all ten races are completed, the Circuit mode is over.
The action doesn’t have to end there, however. Monster Truck Madness 64 also features a Battle Game consisting of four multi-player competitions. The four games included are King of the Hill, Chase, Tag, Monster Truck Hockey and Monster Truck Soccer. King of the Hill has players driving up embankments in order to land on a platform in the middle of an arena.
For every second they remain on the platform, ten points are added to their score; for every second they are off the platform, one point is deducted. Sound easy? If another player knocks your truck off the platform, then you’ll automatically lose 50 points! The player who has the highest score at the end of five minutes is considered the winner.
Chase involves one player trying to outrun the law, or in this case, Monster Trucks with police logos. One player chooses to be the “bad guy,” while the remaining players (up to three) attempt to pin him or her before the vehicle reaches the finish line. Tag involves one player becoming a chicken on wheels as he or she desperately tries to touch another vehicle to revert back to normal. The longer a truck avoids being tagged, the more points it will receive during the five minutes of play. The player with the most points at the end of the five minutes is considered the winner.
Rounding out the multi-player games are Monster Truck Hockey and Monster Truck Soccer. Both games involve using your truck to put a giant ball or tire (in lieu of a puck) into one of the two goals on opposite sides of a stadium. The only difference between the events is the surface you’ll be playing on: slippery ice or artificial turf. Up to four players can compete simultaneously for five minutes in both events.
Should either game end in a tie, Sudden Death will kick in (the first one to score wins the game). Monster Truck Madness 64 also offers password support to continue the Circuit mode and allows players to use Rumble Paks for vibration feedback. After all, what good is driving a Monster Truck if you can’t feel its power?