One of my first racing game memories is playing Micro Machines 64 Turbo. I spent hours playing it with friends. We frequently squabbled about who pushed whom off the table or into the sink. It was not only a great bonding experience, but we all had a blast with it. The Micro Machines franchise had gone a little quiet until Codemasters brought out Micro Machines World Series to consoles in 2017. Unfortunately, they have yet to bring that game to Switch. So, what can you do if you are after that type of racing action? Well, worry not fellow Switch owners because we now have Table Top Racing: World Tour – Nitro Edition.
Fun, cartoony style
Despite that awkward title (something far too common in Switch ports), Table Top Racing: World Tour – Nitro Edition is a fun little racer. There are three categories of cars, Cult Classics, Street Racers, and Supercars. While none of the vehicles are licensed, they are very clearly based on real-world counterparts. You don’t even have to be a huge petrolhead to recognize that the Baguetti is really a Bugatti and the Fauxrari is supposed to be a Ferrari. All of these have a fun, cartoony style to them that helps emphasize parts that define the real cars. In fact, all of the art design is done really well. Everything just looks fun and full of joy.
The great design follows through to the tracks. There are eight different locations with four courses on each. Each track is piled high with related objects. For instance, the chop shop location has various tools and car parts while the child’s room is strewn with toys and a sign saying “no parents allowed.” All of these objects line the track and form the boundaries of each circuit. It’s these items that help to sell the idea that you’re driving a tiny car. They also help you to remember your location around the track. This is particularly useful with the different variations of circuits.
Tracks, weapons, and content
When it comes to the racing, the tracks provide a decent challenge. They’re easy to get around with slower cars, but you need to be on your game when it comes to the Supercars. Obviously, the handling model is very arcade-like in feel. Cars go around corners at unrealistic speeds and never slide (unless you put the drift tires on). The weapons carry on the arcade style. There are two types of weapons, wheel weapons and pickup weapons. Pickup weapons are exactly what you expect in a kart racer. There are missiles (both aimed and locking), ice and EMP attacks, bombs, and others. When it comes to the wheel weapons, most aren’t actually weapons. There is the Gladiator wheel that has spikes and will stop any cars you bump alongside. The others, though, offer things like a defensive shield, the ability to jump, and bonus coins.
While there may not be a huge variety of weapons, there certainly is a decent amount of content. Alongside the many championships (which each have numerous races) there are lots of special events as well. This may be a budget title ($30), but it will easily keep you busy for 30 hours trying to complete everything. Particularly, difficulty bumps will ratchet up your time spent with the game. You will probably also need to do some grinding. The championships have to be completed in a particular order. This means you need to do two Cult Classic series, then two Street Racer championships, two Supercar series, then back to Cult Classic, and so on. With the high price of Supercars, I found myself having to replay events to get more money to be able to buy one.
Though not a perfect game, I really enjoyed my time with Table Top Racing: World Tour – Nitro Edition. Even as an accomplished racer I found some events challenging. There are definitely a few difficulty bumps but nothing impossible. The array of events (pure race, battle race, pursuit, eliminator, overtake, checkpoint, hot lap, time trial, drift) helps to keep the action fresh. The art design is fun and really helps to sell the idea of racing toy cars. If you ever had a passing interest in the Micro Machines games or like kart racers, then you should consider adding Table Top Racing: World Tour – Nitro Edition to your game library.
A review code was provided by the publisher.
Founding Xbox Enthusiast member and serious guitar player. Basically, Steve rocks. Need we say more?