Thursday, May 2

Review: Table Top Racing - World Tour - Nitro Edition [Nintendo Switch eShop]


Ahh, the kart racer… a genre Nintendo has pretty well defined solo since they got things rolling with the original Mario Kart on the SNES. While there have been a few notable titles that have at least gotten somewhere in the vicinity of that series, nothing has really done much more than suck its exhaust fumes… though honestly most titles aren’t even on the same track. Coming over from the mobile space we now have a tuned version of Table Top Racing to add to the pile, but with its various modes is it able to make an impression on the Switch? Sort of.


What we have here is a relatively polished and decent-looking, competent racer. For old school fans of games like Micro Machines or ReVolt the concept of racing around courses made of oversized everyday objects should be pretty familiar, and it works well enough here. You’ll take your seed money, buy your first vehicle to suit either your aesthetic or control style, and start on your first circuit.


As you’d expect the more success you have in the individual events the more money you’ll earn, which you can then save up for buying different cars or pimping your ride to improve performance in a variety of ways or simply give it some visual flair. Notably expensive but useful upgrades would be those you can get for your wheels, which can give you perks or even a separate power-up you can use while on the track aside from the normal pick-ups. In order to give the game some variety there are a number of modes you’ll cycle through that include full-on combat racing, elimination, time trials, hot laps, and more. For the most part these will just have you against other racers or racing the clock at their core but they at least provide some mild variation, as do multiple track layouts for the same location.


While all of these details show some effort and a desire to keep things interesting ultimately the gameplay is what needs to shine and while there’s most definitely worse in the genre on the system the best word to describe TTR’s action would be lackluster. Even ignoring Mario Kart’s extremely polished play and tight controls it isn’t hard to feel that the experience is lacking in depth, nuance, and even fun. Without the technique of something like power sliding the loose steering is just there and may be functional but it’s not very good. Throw in power-ups that are a disappointment both functionally and visually and the excitement those can bring just sort of falls flat as well.


I suspect in a mobile space full of mediocre racers TTR may stand out with its visuals and style but on the Switch it is stuck back in the “doesn’t really compete” pack with a lot of company. While I’d say in terms of kart racers that aren’t Mario Kart on the system it’s at least in the middle-top area but there’s no mistaking this for a deep and challenging racer, it’s just something decent to kick around for a little bit and then likely forget. Table Top Racing just fails to make much of an impression and in a competitive eShop that stings a bit.

Score: 5.5

Pros:
  • Among the kart racers that aren’t Mario Kart it’s at least decent
  • The controls, though not great, are at least better than some of its competitors who’ve also generally come over from the mobile space

Cons:
  • On a general level many elements of the game are just bland and uninspired
  • Though hardly the worst in the genre on Switch the gap between it and the likes of Mario Kart is truly massive