Being a trucker is about a lot more than merely hopping into your rig and taking off across the country with precious cargo in tow. Like any industry, the business of hauling freight is just that: a business. Important decisions all come down to dollars and cents, and keeping the books free of red ink while growing in size and scope is the number one priority. Road to Riches 2 may take a colorful, buoyant, and friendly approach to the world of trucking, but at its heart, it’s a heavy-duty mix of time management and business simulation.
After spending many years serving his country in the military, John decides it’s time to call it quits and return to civilian life. In search of a new direction, he visits his sister and stumbles across a business opportunity that’s too good to pass up. John’s sister and her husband run a wildly successful trucking company and offer to help him get started with his own fledgling truck hauling business.
Road to Riches 2‘s gameplay revolves around you working to help John get his company off the ground by managing numerous aspects of his business. Since running a company is a lot of work and can be extremely overwhelming, everything starts off slow to bring you up to speed before additional tasks to handle are layered on. The game progresses one day at a time, and you’re free to work towards accomplishing objectives for a specific level over the course of multiple days.
Starting with just a single truck capable of only hauling certain goods, you’ll seek out work opportunities and send John around the city each day to transport goods for customers. Clicking on a custom hotspot sends your highlighted truck chugging towards its destination on the map. Once there, the clock temporarily stops and you’re offered a transport job that you can accept or reject. The details for each job show the pickup and drop off locations, travel distance, your fee, the deliver deadline, and other important information.
Not every job route is worth taking, since your income ticks down a little bit every second you drive along. Making late deliveries or failing to complete jobs you’ve taken on by the time the day ends will cost you a percentage of your profit or your entire fee. You also have to keep an eye on the condition of your vehicles and the status of your crew, since breakdowns and sleepy drivers cause major problems.
The flow of time moves along at a slow, plodding pace by default, though it can be sped up with a quick button press. Watching your trucks zip around the map to and from jobs at a breakneck speed works well when you’re handling a small number of vehicles and can keep up with everything. But it’s definitely overstimulating when you have more on your plate to manage. Thankfully, there’s a pause button that gives you a moment to step back, consider your options, and queue up routes without losing precious time on the clock.
As you eventually gain enough income to purchase a trucking depot and pick up additional vehicles, the business management aspect of Road to Riches 2 really kicks into high gear. The downtime in-between work days quickly becomes filled with the drudgery of poring over business documents, buying trucks, hiring drivers, putting out ads, juggling contracts, upgrading equipment, and making sure you’re not spending more than you’re able to take in at any given time. This can be both daunting and exhausting. And as the business end of things grows, the time management gameplay becomes more chaotic. Managing half-a-dozen trucks traveling numerous routes on a time crunch just isn’t much fun unless you’re a glutton for punishment or a micromanaging control freak.
Achieving predetermined goals lets you advance further in the game, but the fact it often takes many virtual days of hard work to reach these objectives makes everything feel drawn out. On the upside, meeting certain benchmarks unlocks additional play modes that let you strive to break the bank by earning an absurd amount of money, dominate the market by amassing contracts and beating out the competition, and pursue other specific goals. You can’t access these separate modes at the start of the game, so it does give you something extra to strive for.
There’s not much to the presentation besides a big animated map you can zoom in and out of and some sporadic well-drawn cutscenes. Everything else is a deluge of lists, menus, and charts. What Road to Riches 2 lacks in graphical and audio bells and whistles it attempts to makes up for with excessive volumes of data to process and moving parts to manage. Some may find the deep trucking business simulation and involved time management aspects to be a great fit. However, if you’re seeking a casual way to unwind, de-stress, and take a load off, this is absolutely not the game for you.