At this point in my journalistic career, it may be evident that I am and have always been a fan of battle style racers. From the ever so classic Mario Kart series, to others that I have had the pleasure of reviewing like Super Toy Cars and Gas Guzzlers Extreme, I have had lots of good experiences with the genre. Table Top Racing World Tour is here and it continues that good standing with me, offering a compact car racing simulator that brings the fun in large heaps. Packed in these tiny cars and their surrounding package is plenty of depth, modes, and variety. With prior releases of the game featuring DLC, the Xbox One version is the most complete and full packaged release yet, featuring all prior DLC with a few tweaks as well. Welcome to the world tour, let’s get those engines started shall we?
Right from the get-go, TTR World Tour’s title screen is a foreshadowing of the fun you are to have with the title. It features a flashy, miniature car and some electrifying but fun songs to get you pumped up to race. A brief tutorial will show you the ropes, allowing you to get a feel of how these Hot-Wheel sized cars are going to handle, as well as allowing you to test out their combat capabilities. After that, you are free to do as you please. There are three modes of play, with the first being Championships. These are your standard career paths that many games in the genre feature, allowing you to climb the ranks, get money, and improve your cars and add to your garages collection. There are three tiers (amateur, pro, and expert), each of which feature select cars that can be used within them. Each tier has a set amount of races for you to place top three in before competing in the actual championship, which you must also place top three in to unlock the next set of events. A variety of races can be found here, ranging from standard circuit races, eliminations, time trials, and even drift events. As you progress through the ranks, the difficulty will increase and your skills will most certainly by challenged. If you like a challenge, you most certainly will be a fan of the games second main offering which is “Special Events.” Here you take part in specialty races that feature specific rules and restrictions. A lot of these are challenging and allow you to gradually earn new events by way of leveling up. This makes the experience system have a reason behind it and gives players the chance to effectively earn new pieces of the game.
The third and final mode is multiplayer, which is sadly online only. I went into the game expecting to have some split-screen fun, but alas was disappointed to see that I cannot play locally. Online works just fine though, playing like the bulk of the game but with set racing options by whoever is hosting. Online play is typically not my cup of tea, but if it is yours, there is fun to be had in this mode as well. I have very few gripes with this game, the lack of multiplayer being one of them, but in addition to that there are a few very minor technical hiccups as well. The main issue I found was a sort of registry issue, with your car either hitting something that did not appear to be there, or not picking up power ups that it were clearly lined up with your car. In some cases I found myself being tossed into the air by a smooth, rounded wall in a way that physically should have happened by a more jagged impact. On one specific level, a turn that should have ended with me grabbing a pick up would often be completed without that pick up ever registering. The other issue I found was that the computer racers are overpowered when they happen to trade paint with you, while your car would seldom make an impact when trying to T-bone them or when turning into them on a large turn. It just felt unfair to be thrown of course by such an unbalanced hit and not be able to punch back.
But enough about the very minor setbacks, let’s get back to what makes TTR so good. One of the shining forces of the game is its character. TTR has lots of charm, and you will see it in every inch of its eight courses. While eight may seem like not a lot, there are various versions of each track, amounting to an actual count of 32 tracks when taking that into consideration. It is awesome to see these different tracks in multiple ways. Some of my favorites were the yacht, which featured knock of fancy brands of real life delicacies, as well as the Yo Sushi level which is themed after a real life U.K. food chain. This level is probably the most detailed, with vibrant T.V. screens in the background, sushi littering the polished granite counter top, and even sushi transporting conveyer belts that will give you a small boost. I absolutely adore the levels and all the little secrets they hold.
In addition to the already varied and vibrant levels comes the 16 cars you can choose from. These are also themed after real world cars, including the Mini Cooper spoofed “Scooper Turbo”, a rust bucket of an RV called “Braking’s Bad”, and of course a Ferrari themed “Fauxrari”. They all have their own stats, which can be improved with the right amount of funds. There is some more depth beyond that when you consider the fact that each has a drift ability, which needs to be considered for general turn capabilities (the game does NOT feature a hand brake) as well as for the ever challenging drift event. The cars look great and each are compatible with a variety of different skins as well as wheels. The feature of these wheels is more than just aesthetic, as they can add abilities or perks that can help you if you know how to use them. The spinner-styled rims boost your cash flow, while others like the Bouncy ones let you access higher parts of levels that often feature bonus coins that give you a hefty amount of coins to spend elsewhere. These are a great counterpart to the weapons that are on the levels, which are your normal affair like rockets, speed boosts, and mines.
Table Top Racing World Tour offers a fantastic experience for fans of the genre. It is most definitely deeper than the typical game in the genre would be, offering a surprising amount of variety. This variety is backed by mostly solid controls and just an overall fun vibe. The game looks great, and sounds even better, boasting an over twenty song track set list that offers some great electronic and dub step like beats that are absolutely fitting for the overall scope. There is not much to complain about, but so much to compliment when it comes to Table Top Racing. As the genre becomes older, it is fantastic to see a game like this stick to the roots while embracing a modern look, sense of depth, and overall approach.
Note: A copy of the game was provided for the purposes of the review
Final Score: 8.5/10
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