Sunday, June 16, 2019

Table Top Racing: World Tour - Nitro Edition (NSW) Review

Before the weekend concludes here in Central City, I have a new bite-sized review to cap off this Sunday evening at SuperPhillip Central. It's a review of Table Top Racing: World Tour - Nitro Edition for the Nintendo Switch.

Running on fumes

Table Top Racing: World Tour originally launched on other platforms in 2016 to middling reviews and an overall poor reception. Now, three years later, Table Top Racing: World Tour gets a second chance to race for the checkered flag with a Nintendo Switch version subtitled the "Nitro Edition". Not only do Switch owners get an exclusive three year delay on playing the game, they also get the wonderful and generous offer to buy the game for ten dollars more than any other platform ($29.99). Yes, you do get the DLC included and a Switch-exclusive split-screen mode, but... well, just stick around for the actual review and I'll explain why this still isn't a delightful deal.

These cars can go a dangerous 5 mph!
The idea of racing miniature vehicles a la Micro Machines on table top racetracks in settings like workbenches, kitchen counters, and the wooden deck of a ship sounds appealing enough, but the appeal ends soon once you actually start playing. The small race cars move at a sluggish, plodding pace, even the souped up muscle cars that you unlock through regular play. Steering is relatively pain-free, but trying to turn around tight corners can be an effort immense frustration. Couple this with aggressive AI that has been programmed to do its best to annoy as opponent vehicles ram into you, taking you out of races easily, and Table Top Racing: World Tour is hardly a relaxing racer.

What are you--a Los Angeles football team? Don't ram me!
The single player component of the game has you taking on multiple events, featuring standard races with or without items, elimination-style races--where at the end of each lap the player in last place is eliminated, time trials, fast lap races, and so forth. The variety is nice, and seldom do events become roadblocks stalling your progress. You just need to earn at least one star in a given event to move forward in the campaign.

While events do not become progression roadblocks, the need to consistently purchase new cars and upgrades with in-game currency does become a progression-killer. Many times you'll be in races and just have no chance of winning without upgrading your current vehicle or purchasing a new one. Money is easy enough to come by, but you'll discover that the game actively encourages grinding the same events over and over to make the requisite cash to purchase the new car or new upgrade you need to have a fighting chance in later events.

Visually, Table Top Racing: World Tour - Nitro Edition looks capable enough on Switch. By no means will it have you amazed at its graphical wonder or have you stopping mid-race to check out the scenery, but it's relatively inoffensive overall. The game runs smoothly, but part of that is due to the fact that objects are quite blurry in the distance until your approach them. In split-screen with two players, the frame-rate is less stable, but by no means detrimental to the experience.

Split-screen gameplay offers small frame-rate issues, but it's nothing too major.
Aside from the absurd price of the game that tries to prey upon naive Nintendo Switch owners, Table Top Racing: World Tour - Nitro Edition simply isn't an enticing package in general. The racing is average at best, and incredibly frustrating with its "all of the AI is actively ganging up against you" gameplay at worst. For $29.99, Switch owners can do much better. If you haven't been completely turned against Table Top Racing: World Tour's port on Switch yet, then just wait for a sale. For everyone else, may I recommend finding some Micro Machines toys to play with instead?

[SPC Says: D+]

A review code was provided for this game.

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