Without a doubt, one of our highlights from EGX Rezzed 2016 was Table Top Racing. It was almost a classic love tale…”As soon as we locked eyes… (enter mushy crap here…)” – I think you get the picture. It just reminded us of a time where gaming was much less complicated and way more colourful, however at the time the game was only due to be released on the PS4… That’s not a bad thing. It just mean’t that being my primary console of choice is Xbox One, I wouldn’t get to play this any time soon as the majority of my games and friends reside in the Microsoft ecosystem – so when we got word this was getting a release on Xbox One, we immediately put our hands up and said “Yes, Please!”. Having quite the soft spot for table top racers, we have been down this route before, where on the outside the game appears colourful and fun only to find out later on that it’s half-baked and missing somewhat critical features (i.e. multiplayer). Finally for once I can say that Table Top Racing: World Tour finally delivers on what a good table-top racer should be!Let’s start with the visuals, Not only is there a lovely fit n finish…keeps you engaged without getting boring. Not only are the tracks vast and varied but they’re also themed with an iconic setting. You can go from racing around in a scrapyard one minute, to the counter tops of a Yo Sushi! restaurant the next. It’s a relief to find a table top racer that doesn’t regurgitate the same textures throughout the tracks for once (other developers take note). Gameplay is fast, fluid and stable – again, all crucial elements of a game like this, but with the added bonus of vehicle customisation and no, we’re not just talking paint work here. Engine and wheel adjustments can give your matchbox racer a completely different driving style. For example, swap our your tyres and you can get yourself a drifters dream with slick tyres that let you drift around corners with style. On the other hand, if you’re in it for the more fun aspect, then why not throw some spikes onto the sides of your rims to do damage…oh yes, that’s right. Table Top Racing: World Tour has weapons! Year after year we find ourselves sitting arse cheek clenched when table top racers are introduced only to find that there’s no weapons or power up’s… not here though! Homing rockets, oil slicks, bomb drops, turbo boosts – all of the usual suspects that can make your 8th place lead, flip it on it’s head only to finish in the top three which is great as the game doesn’t let you get too comfortable when in the top spot knowing that your opponents can knock you out at any moment and vice versa.
The career mode is straight forward. Complete a number of events to unlock the next wave of events, each getting more and more difficult on your way to the final cup tournament. Events range from lapped races, to knockouts, pursuit chases, fastest lap on so on – nothing that we haven’t seen before. Each cup forces you to not only upgrade your car, but purchase an entirely new car class working your way up to super cars in their own cutesy fashion. There are even a few recognisable vehicles such as the Bugatti Veyron and a certain RV from a show where the production of Meth is a must! 😉
Table Top Racing: World Tour doesn’t take itself too seriously. Instead it focuses well on what a table top racer should be with the additions of things that many games of it’s kind no longer offer such as 8 player Online AND couch multiplayer, Weaponry, Car customisation and more. In fact, it’s quite hard to find a reason not to invest your hard earned £11.99 into it, but we’re a reviewer so with that said there are some slight annoyances such as the loading times taking a little longer than they probably should which detracts from the non-stop racing experience and can actually be quite distracting as you hunt for your smartphone to check on your social media of choice while the load takes place. My biggest gripe however is the selection of music. While Playrise Digital went down the route of using EDM and Dance tracks produced by @ItsWesSmithYo, these REALLY don’t fit in with the overall feel of the game and in fact some of the tracks are just frankly annoying. With that said, this is by no means a reason to turn your nose up as Playrise have taken a smash hit on the PS4 and have upped the ante on the Xbox One release by including all DLC content into the Vanilla game which eliminates online game fragmentation which is something that PS4 players suffered from if certain players didn’t have the required DLC packs to participate in. Voice chat has also been added so shit-talking is now possible. While it may seem like a no-brainer to add, the Xbox One version of Table Top Racing: World Tour is in fact the finely-tuned GOTY version that Playrise have been working up towards now with a total of 16 cars, 8 unique locations which make possible 32 races (with track modifications and shortcuts) across 12 championship trophies. Add in Special Event challenges to help you earn cash when the game forces you to grind for that new car required to move onto the next championship and you have a well-equiped, pack to the brim racer that doesn’t take itself too seriously…but does do it’s job extremely bloody well. Table Top Racers are finally back in full force.
We enjoyed Table Top Racing: World Tour so much, that it’s currently in our weekly #NOWPLAYING recommended round-up video. Click here to check that out!