Table Top Racing World Tour: Nitro Edition Review
Reviewed on Nintendo SwitchAlso available on Sony PlayStation 4, Microsoft Xbox One and PC
British studio Playrise Digital delivers Table Top Racing World Tour: Nitro Edition to the Nintendo Switch. Originally designed for iOS back in 2013, Table Top Racing has branched out on the world circuit with releases on Vita, PC, PS4 and Xbox One, and is now hitting Nintendo Switch with its Nitro Edition.
Table Top Racing is similar to other popular racing series, with its appearance incredibly similar to Micro Machines but with the combat-race style system seen in Mario Kart. Despite the similarities to these two successful series, this game took me back to Need for Speed: Underground 2 with its informal settings and it's wicked upbeat soundtrack.
This arcade racer has some impressive race tracks that emphasise the size of these vehicles, offering environments that players can interact with to give them access to shortcuts or bonus coins. Each trophy competition comes with its own unique set of rules and requirements to compete in its finale. Every race offers three stars, ranging from one star for third place and 3 stars for first place, which all contribute to the championship completion. The best part about these championships is the variety in which you are made to compete in, with modes such as 'Pursuit' where you must simply catch up to and knock your opponent, as well as 'Elimination' where the race eliminates the racer in last spot each lap until one remains. Every race is a thrill in its own right and it avoids repetition that can so easily occur in the racing genre.
Table Top Racing World Tour: Nitro Edition is a nifty addition to any games catalogue as there is little else like it and, with it being brought to the Switch, players have the luxury of utilising its original design of handheld as well as the later addition of home consoles. Docked mode certainly shows off what this game can offer thanks to the funky soundtrack and colourful track design. Table Top Racing does offer multiplayer, online and local, which again, is more immersive on TV than handheld. Handheld mode left me frustrated, the controls are tricky to grasp in contrast to docked mode. It is manageable and it does get easier but, for me, the controls are the last thing I want to worry about in a heated table top street race. Regardless of what mode you are playing in, frustration will niggle away at you with the long loading times, made worse by the amount of retries required to collect three stars.
The majority of races involve the use of combat and, whilst only a small array of weapons, each can make all the difference in the success of your race. Of course, it is not all about who has the biggest guns or the best aim - let's not forget this is still a racing game and, as one particular mode highlights, sometimes it is all about the skill of the driver, with turbos, drifting and shortcuts all playing their part too.
Table Top Racing World Tour: Nitro Edition offers sixteen vehicles spread across three different performance groups, all with the ability to upgrade speed, handling and armour using your winnings. Despite only a small catalogue, the range of vehicles is impressive with the RV named 'Brakin' Bad' being one peculiar choice to take to the track. There is also a micro Bugatti to unlock when you're at the top of your game.
Even though it has a simplistic design and basic gameplay, Table Top Racing will offer a challenge to everyone at some stage or another. This game boasts a difficulty curve that often prompts the user with suggestions of upgrading to a better vehicle to stand better chance of succeeding. This series is eccentric and full of variety, lasting over 25 hours in gameplay and even more hours to master.