Release Date: May 3rd 2016

SUMMARY
Coming from Wipeout co-creator, Nick Burcombe brings Table Top Racing: World Tour, the combat racing game featuring an array of unique table top tracks and a plethora of cars to customise and ride to your heart’s contents.

“BING…BING…BIIING” – the race has begun

Indie developers Playrise Edge have created a racing game packed with content. The game features three game modes: championship, special events and multiplayer. The bulk of your game-play will be spent in the robust ‘championship’ mode which includes 12 cups split across 3 difficulties for you to nurture and test your skills and abilities in. The ‘championship’ mode boasts many game modes as well to add variety to your time with Table Top Racing: World Tour, this includes: the standard ‘combat race’, which features offensive and defensive power-ups that can be picked up in bubbles scattered across the track to gain an edge over your opponents. TTR: WT also features the racing game standards ‘time trials’ and ‘pure race’, where there are no power-ups or weapon wheels to help you. To beat each cup you must win stars, once you win at least 1 star in each event, the ‘championship finale’ is unlocked, this event is a ‘multi-race’ event (like a Mario Kart Grand Prix), players win points per race, whoever had the most points at the end wins. The other game mode ‘special events’ will occupy you with unique challenges, which vary with different rules per race. Unfortunately, the multiplayer mode is empty, perhaps the other players accidentally drove off the table top whilst looking for a game?

Throughout the game you will earn coins that can be used to buy cars, paint jobs, weapon wheels and upgrades. These upgrades are split between the categories ‘top speed’, ‘acceleration’, ‘handling’ and ‘armour’. ‘Weapon wheels’ are a unique feature where the wheels you buy come with abilities on a cool-down timer for you to gain an advantage on the table tops. The table tops (or tracks) themselves are all brilliant… although are unlikely to win any awards for health and safety with the speeding cars and explosive rockets littered across them. Each table top pivots around a theme, this continues to the obstacles placed around the tracks and the multitude of hidden shortcuts. Without a doubt, Yo Sushi provides the best course with its brilliant setting that includes menus, bowls and many other items you’d expect to find in a ‘Yo Sushi’ restaurant. (Who doesn’t like Sushi?)

The table tops are definitely a standout feature of the game with many secret pathways and dangers to capitalise on, which the ai never fails to do. Playrise Edge have crafted brilliant opponent ai, who are not afraid to play aggressively by pushing you off the track or play smartly by using all shortcuts.

Table Top Racing: World Tour has a robust ‘championship’ mode, which will indefinitely keep players busy. The variation within the ‘special events’ game mode will greatly stretch out your time with the game by adding fun and interesting twists to the formula. The power-ups in the game are fun and not in short supply; you’ll find plenty of bubbles across the courses to give you the edge that you need in the exhilarating races. There is great selection of cars in all shapes and sizes and with a good amount of customisation to personalise the vehicles to your preference. The weapons wheels are a unique feature that can spin games in your favour when available. The tracks or tables are all fun, varied, colourful and quite creative. Finally, the user interface is sleek and straightforward, allowing for great ease of use.

Unfortunately, the power-ups are combat racing game standards, they lack the creativity found in the tracks. Shockingly, there is no local multiplayer: this was baffling to discover, this game could have been a party staple if it was included. Furthermore, online multiplayer lobbies could not be found and no one joined when lobbies were hosted for extensive periods of time.

VERDICT
In an age full of adrenaline-fulled racing games it’s a refreshing feeling to hearken back to yesteryear and games like Micro Machines that changed the speed and gears as to what games like this could do for the genre and demographic. Alas, the lack of any working multiplayer severely cripples the game’s longevity and replay-ability, and these times of playing together it would have been an interesting aspect of a very cool concept.

RATING: 7 out of 10

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