From the “Why Does This Exist?” Department: History Channel’s ‘Ice Road Truckers’

642358I somehow just caught wind of the iPhone game for the History Channel show, Ice Road Truckers [App Store]. Ice Road Truckers is a documentary-style reality series that is on season 3 now, with the first show airing all the way back in 2007. And, up front, if you’ve never seen the show, you’re going to have a hard time appreciating the absurdity of this iPhone title.

The show chronicles the amazing risks that these truck drivers take traversing a series of frozen lakes that double as roads in the winter of northern North America. Thin ice, mechanical problems from sub-zero temperatures, and human fatigue are just a few of the things these truckers need to contend with while making runs down the ice road. The show really is pretty interesting, and worth catching a few episodes if you’re in to the kind of shows History Channel airs.

Here’s a trailer for the most recent season of the show:

So how does the show translate to the iPhone game? In a word, it’s awesome. As a fan of the show, I know it’s an extremely dangerous journey and these truckers risk their lives doing what they do. I really don’t mean to trivialize their efforts at all because I would never have the guts to drive down the ice road, but the game just comes off as so absurd that much like Enviro-Bear 2010 [App Store], I couldn’t help but be smiling ear to ear playing it.


The game starts out with a suspenseful full motion video intro, then you select one of five trucks. As you earn bronze, silver, and gold tires, the other four trucks unlock, each having slightly better acceleration, speed, and handling than the last. After that, you choose one of eleven ice roads to race down, which also unlock as you play through the game.

So what’s so great about the Ice Road Truckers game? Well, in the show they’re constantly cutting to commercial in dramatic moments, suggesting all the dangers of the ice road, hinting that the particular driver you’re watching could go plummeting through the ice at any time, and other things like that. If you’ve watched any History or Discovery channel reality show, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

642358_4Yeah, all that? Nowhere to be found in the game. Instead, you literally race to the finish, drifting around corners and getting air off hills. Getting air? Yes. Seriously, the first hill you come to in the first track you can jump your eighteen wheeler filled with cargo off of. Not only that, but there’s also other trucks on the ice road that are going so slow that you just completely blow by them as you’re flooring your truck through the track.

To further add to the ridiculousness, the first ice road is 85 miles long according to the track selection screen. You finish it in a little over three minutes. That means your truck is traveling down the ice road at twice the speed of sound. There are some parts where you have to drive across thin ice, and during these portions of the game you have to keep your truck within a certain speed range indicated by a green area on your speedometer. Otherwise, it’s pedal to the metal mach 2 all the way to the finish line.

Please, if you’ve watched the show, download the lite version of the game. It’s so unintentionally hilarious when compared to the show it’s supposed to be based on that I’m sitting here laughing just writing about it. And really, it’s not that terrible of a game either if you completely dismiss the fact that it’s supposed to be simulating the treacherous journey down the ice road, but it’s sure to strike a chord if you’re a fan of the show. Meanwhile, if you’ve never watched the show, you can safely skip this one.

App Store Link: Ice Road Truckers, $3.99Ice Road Truckers Lite, Free