“Simple, effective, and unlimited…”
As racing games go, the Trackmania series has a reputation for being an all-action ride. Trackmania Turbo, the latest version of the game, is no exception. The games never take themselves too seriously and don’t become convoluted in the depths that some other driving games get lost in. Forget the details, because this game is all about the race itself. Your vehicle is simply your means of getting from A to B. The track is where the real challenge lies here.
Racing through courses akin to Hot Wheels tracks, filled with loops, jumps and stunts, it is easy to appreciate the quality that Trackmania offers, despite its overarching simplicity. There are no rockets to fire or traps to set for your opponents. You don’t need to make minor tweaks to your car’s suspension or tire pressure. Instead you race against the clock, with only your reactions and raw skills to guide you. Leaving behind these traditional driving game features does not leave the game lacking in any way. If anything it is a breath of fresh air to be able to take in the tracks, the scenery and the action without worrying about what upgrade to buy after your next pay check comes in. This is racing in its purest form.
What is whittled down in the details is instead forged into Trackmania Turbo’s wild courses. The game is careful not to take elements such as plausibility into consideration, opting instead to open its doors up to the realm of imagination. Whether you are racing on a preset track, a player created one or something fresh out of the Random Track Generator, you are guaranteed both challenge and entertainment. Massive loops, crazy jumps, wall rides and epic drifts are commonplace in a game which is all about the journey. If you play a Trackmania course and don’t end up either screaming or laughing, you are probably boring or doing it wrong.
There are several different ways to enjoy the Trackmania experience in Trackmania Turbo. Traditional modes such as a campaign through preset tracks, online multiplayer races and a simple arcade mode are all on offer. Extremely pleasing is the wealth of local multiplayer modes available too, which include both split screen and hot seat options. If you really want to surrender to the madness, you can even grab a friend and enjoy the game’s hilariously unique Double Driver mode. This is available across almost every game variant in Trackmania Turbo, and involves attempting to race round tracks with two people in control of the same car. If you are in sync with your partner, it can be high fives all round. If not, you may lose yourself a friend or two. Either way, this mode of play is super simple but fantastic fun, and it has been set up perfectly.
If the game’s unlimited replay ability as provided by the Random Track Generator isn’t enough for you, then you might opt to instead create your own courses for you and your friends to attempt. There are several levels of complexity that you can do this with in the Track Builder section of the game. The lower levels allow you to build a basic track, the scenery around which is generated for you. If you want to go all out on your project however then all of the tools are on offer in the advanced features mode. The Track Builder is the only aspect of the game I would criticise however. At the lowest level it is limited, and at the highest it is complicated and doesn’t feel hugely user friendly in its layout. It is great to have around, and with time it will almost certainly become clearer to use for any player, but it is not the most attractive feature at first sight.
The Trackmania Turbo package is complimented by the series best visuals and soundtrack to date, both being exceptionally good in this game. Everything is delightfully glossy and a lot of effort has gone into making the scenery around your experience as attractive as possible. Rich textures and detailed landscapes surround the often complex tracks and it is a beautiful thing to take in. Add to that a little Monstercat in the background too, and you have all the adrenaline you need to give the game your all. Few games feel so welcoming in their aesthetics as Trackmania Turbo manages to be.
Trackmania Turbo is legitimately fun for all of the family. It is simple enough for any person to immediately grasp and enjoy. It is challenging enough to offer a widespread appeal from regular gamers to newcomers to the experience. Even if you don’t enjoy the average racing game, Trackmania will almost certainly still feel bearable if not enjoyable if you give it a go. Most importantly, the vast selection of local multiplayer options make it an extremely attractive family game for a wet afternoon or quiet weekend in. Simple, effective, and unlimited in what it has to offer, Trackmania Turbo is a no brainier for anyone looking for light, exciting entertainment.
- A breath of fresh air which ignores the complexities of modern racing games.
- Every race is exciting, with courses reminiscent of epic Hot Wheels tracks.
- An infinite number of adrenaline-inducing tracks provides unlimited replayability.
- Numerous local multiplayer options make the game ideal for the whole family.
- Simple but effective, Trackmania can appeal to gamers and non-gamers alike.
- Stunning visuals and an awesome, fast-paced soundtrack compliment the action.
- The Track Builder is too basic at the lowest level and too complicated at the highest.
- Racing game fanatics should be aware of the simplicity of Trackmania’s gameplay.