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Throw Trucks With Your Mind – Previewed

By Nathaniel Liles

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This is the headset, right here, and it works much better than you think it will.
This is the headset, right here, and it works much better than you think it will.

I think we can all agree that the Jedi Counsel is a pretty cool crowd, and pretty much anyone with a decent midi-chlorean count can, at very least, do a cool trick or two. I grew up with parents who were both very firm believers that the Star Wars trilogy was the single best piece of media to expose me to at a young age, and they were right. I was even young and stupid enough in 1999 to appreciate Episode 1, and ever since I first saw that beautiful yellow crawl of text, I’ve wanted to be a Jedi, but unfortunately, the technology to lift something with brain power alone hasn’t quite arrived yet… Yeah, that’s what I thought. That’s exactly what I thought. Turns out, it’s not true. I’ve been throwing trucks with my mind all damn day.

Here's Lat Ware himself, modeling the headset and a fine Slenderman shirt.
Here’s Lat Ware himself, modeling the headset and a fine Slenderman shirt.

I’ve been waiting to play Throw Trucks with Your Mind for a very long time, and actually heard of such plans before the developers at Crooked tree Studios started their Kickstarter. We’ve wanted to control video games with our brainmeat for a very long time now, and until very recently, that hasn’t even been a remote possibility. The technology is here now, albeit in its early forms, and to test out Throw Trucks with Your Mind properly, I was actually sent a NeuroSky MindWave EEG headset, a piece of technology that measures electrical activity in your brain as it fluctuates. The software that came packaged with it is cool as a cucumber, but we’re not here to talk about boring measuring tools. We’re here to talk about Throw Trucks with Your Mind. How was it? Did it control well? What’s this EEG nonsense all about? Well, I’ll tell you.

Here are the first five playable characters.
Here are the first five playable characters.

 

There’s some big science in this shit. I mean it, Throw Trucks with Your Mind isn’t just a cute little idea, it’s a full-on breakthrough. By utilizing just enough futuristic technology, Crooked Tree has created an exciting and interesting experience. In Throw Trucks with Your Mind, you… Well, that. You’re placed in an arena with a ton of objects, and FPS control scheme, a nice physics engine, and the ability to pick up, pull, push, and stop objects using the power of your mind. It’s exactly as cool, fun, and refreshing as it sounds, and even though it takes practice, I never felt like the technology was “bugging out on me”. Everything works the way it should. Here’s an example: Say I want to pick up and throw a traffic cone. Not too heavy, no big deal. Run over to it, point, click, and you can push it around all day long with just the standard amount of concentration it takes to play a video game or… Ya know, exist. However, say I want to pick up a car. I click on it, my little mind-laser fires at it, but it won’t budge. What do you do to fix this dilemma? F*cking concentrate. Simple as that. It will rise up off of the ground, and if you lose focus, it will fall. The technology works, the game is fun (even in lonely pre-multiplayer sandbox beta), and Throw Trucks with Your Mind has convinced me of a very real potential for brain-powered gaming.

Here's what the gameplay looks like. Cartoony, fun, and appealing.
Here’s what the gameplay looks like. Cartoony, fun, and appealing.

Throw Trucks with Your Mind is an extremely interesting and well-executed game. The graphics are cartoony and stylized, but appealing and fine. The FPS style controls are perfectly adequate and smooth, and the integration of the NeuroSky MindWave headset is very well done. Also, be warned that this device does, in fact, work on a scientific level. The Amazon reviews that’ve given it such a low rating are from people who didn’t install the drivers right. It’s a finicky piece of hardware, but once you figure it out, it’s reliable, responsive, useful, and fun, and Throw Trucks with Your Mind is a game that I eagerly anticipate being completed and released. The price point of the headset is a little high right now, but if this game gets the support it deserves, it may be a bit of a game-changer, no pun intended.

You can learn more about Throw Trucks With Your Mind on its official website, while you’re there you can pre-order it as well.

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[author image=”http://cliqist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/nathaniel.jpg” ] Nathaniel Liles is a freelance writer, writing major, and indie musician based in Southern Indiana. While procrastinating or avoiding real-world responsibility, Nathaniel enjoys playing rhythm games, action RPGs, and very colorful games with many bright, flashing lights. You can listen to Nathaniel sing songs or download his music for free at http://nathanielliles.bandcamp.com/.  [/author]

Nathaniel Liles
Nathaniel Liles is a freelance writer, writing major, and indie musician based in Southern Indiana. While procrastinating or avoiding real-world responsibility, Nathaniel enjoys playing rhythm games, action RPGs, and very colorful games with many bright, flashing lights. You can listen to Nathaniel sing songs or download his music for free at http://nathanielliles.bandcamp.com/.
Nathaniel Liles