Drive cross-country around the world with Cross Car Chung

Walk, drive, or fly around various types of terrain with this free 3D sim game.

Cross Car Chung is a simple, free 3D driving and flight simulation by Nguyen Chung. It's written in compiled FreeBASIC using gui_chung and OpenGL. It lets you simulate a cross-country drive over a variety of types of terrain as well as other forms of locomotion, from foot to jet. You can configure lots of options, such as the height of the grass and number of animals, and save and load your settings. It includes maps based on real satellite topographical data for England, France, Israel, and other countries. While hardly the most realistic 3D sim you can find, it's a whole lot of fun to mess around with. It's compatible with Windows XP, Vista, and 7, both 32-bit and 64-bit versions, and it requires no game controllers or specialized hardware, though it does support joystick and gamepad operation. Cross Car Chung is also totally portable.

Cross Car Chung's interface opens with a view through the windshield of a safari car, with a steering wheel that you control with your keyboard's right and left arrows. The up arrow is the gas pedal. A small map in the upper left corner shows the scene's location, and a compass rose on the right gives orientation. Along the bottom, a simple suite of controls let us Quit, Save, and Load the program and select a variety of options related to the grass, sky, maps, and terrain, as well as a list of travel modes, beginning with foot and including aircraft and several different cars. The grass, trees, and buildings in each scene are hardly cinematic in quality, but the quality is actually not bad.

We started by pressing the right and up arrows simultaneously, which enabled us to accelerate and steer around obstacles. We could pause the scene by pressing Esc, which exited the program, too. Clicking inside a circle defining regions on the selection map alters the view instantly, making it possible to tour and tramp (or drive) the terrain in any of maps.

We'd like to be able to resize the window, but we won't start wishing for bells and whistles when Cross Car Chung offers good basic fun as it is.

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