Last week I mentioned the 2.0 update of one of the most surprising and popular physics games on the App Store. Now renamed Truck & Skulls Nitro, the game has introduced a virtual currency to unlock upgrades and add en extra layer of customisation to refresh the whole experience.
If you haven't heard about the game you can read the review I wrote when I tried the iPad version and its level editor back in February. Describing it in one line is a simple as saying its an Angry Birds clone where birds and pigs are replaced by trucks and skulls.
With all the hype surrounding freemium apps and some developers reporting epic revenue streams from in-app-purchases, it was only a matter of time until Appy Entertainment joined the group with one of its more recognised titles.
Unlike other controversial updates that I have talked about in the past where the developer just threw in a harsh pay wall, Trucks & Skulls won't upset gamers who already own the app. To start with, the update brings 15 new levels for a new world called Iceopolis. Considering that you can also design your own levels on the iPad version, it adds more replay value to the title.
The implementation of the game currency is quite smart and seems to take into account those gamers who are not comfortable buying credits regularly to play a game. In fact, you can obtain gold—the game's virtual currency—just playing the game as you would normally do and unlocking new levels. There are rewards for gamers who launch the app every day and gold for levels you already have completed.
Instead of using gold to purchase new levels, you can use it to customise the game in pretty badass ways. The smartest of them is the ability to mod your trucks with wacky themes and special abilities. The green dragon skins increases damage bonus, the hot rod mod increases speed and the bling one gives you more points for every remaining truck.
When I first saw the update on the App Store I though these changes were merely aesthetic, but after playing with Zombies and Bling mods I noticed that the game menus and sounds changed too. The guitar riffs are still there, but when you play a level with your truck mods, the background music and effects change. Want some hip-hop rhythms? Then go for the bling theme.
There are other goodies you can buy with gold, such as keys to unlock harder levels and wallpapers that are linked to achievements. Since the app already has a feature to take screenshots to share them with friends, you will get your exclusive artwork there too.
Overall, the NITRO update is great news for fans of Truck & Skulls players and a good reason to replay the app if you already had finished all the levels. From a gamer point of view, it's always good news to get free content and I particularly liked the way in-app-purchases are implemented here, although you will need to spend some money if you want to get serious about modding.