Scania Truck Driving Simulator (STDS), plain and simple: Do you need help handling your truck? STDS is a game dedicated to helping improve your understanding of truck and trailer handling. If that doesn't interest you, well, I can't make you stay. The rest of the review will be about the gameplay, so buckle up. Or get ready for a nap.
Most of you here must've played Euro Truck Simulator 2 (ETS2) to even be remotely interested in this. Don't be ashamed, this game was mostly forgotten when Euro Truck Simulator 2 came out. Why buy this when ETS2 is obviously newer and better? However, it will be on sale until 15th July, 2014, so if you play Euro Truck Simulator 2, you won't regret buying this.
First, the gameplay. The gameplay varies from simple driving tutorials to driving on dangerous mountain roads. The game gives you thorough practice on the art of trailer reversing, so if you're struggling with that in Euro Truck Simulator 2 (especially multiplayer mod!) then I will recommend this game for you. But do not think you are playing ETS2. Play the game, how you would any other new game. Expect a new game. Obvious, but true.
The handling of the truck (Scania R-series) is different to that in ETS2. The truck feels heavy, underpowered. In fact it might be. But the game isn't about power, or speed. It is about precision and agility, or sometimes even pure luck. Speed is not a big factor in the game. It is perfect if you need to learn about how your trailer behaves on and off the road, whether you try to turn a tight corner or reverse into a loading dock.
That was for comparison to ETS2. Now, onto the game itself. I will recommend you go from top to bottom of the menu list, after adjusting the options.
Driving Licence gives you basic tutorial lessons on truck driving. If you are new to trucking games, this will be a quick introduction, and it can be challenging. If you are confident with your driving skills (looking at you, ETS2 players), play this section regardless. While ETS2 focuses more on freeroaming and company-building, STDS focuses on handling and precision driving (not necessarily at speeds), and the two games are different based on those values.
Driver Competition would be next in line after you finish Driving Licence. You are entered into a competition where you must complete tasks in a showground, while getting around lots of obstacles and without collisions. It will test what you learned previously, and it will also test your patience to the max. Of course, if you're not a perfectionist, things can be a bit less annoying for you.
Dangerous Drives feature a range of locations with real-world challenges, from natural disasters to manmade ones. There are a few hours of content in the section, again, depending on whether you want to perfect every challenge or not.
Freeform Driving is self explanatory, you can deliver cargo in a freeroaming, exploring manner, although the area is not quite as big as other open-world trucking games in the SCS family. It is not the game's primary focus.
Time Reaction Test is also self explanatory, in this section you can test your reaction times. How quickly can you step on the brake pedal when the unexpected occurs?
Overall, the game is a content-rich tutorial into the world of trucking. If you are unfamiliar with how trailers behave when you travel in reverse, or to get a feel of the size of trucks (believe me, you'd be surprised at how much space you actually have), or just plain driving for the fun (and thrill of it!), then I recommend this game for you.