There was a time when the arcade racer was everywhere. Following the success of Ridge Racer on PlayStation 1, there were dozens of games hoping to capture that smooth simple gameplay with impeccable controls. There have been so many over the years that have crashed and burned while others like Burnout became fan favourites. It seems though in the last few years that arcade racers have disappeared. In steps Trackmania Turbo. A game with a rich history of lawless servers and cult followings. While Trackmania Turbo is condensed into a much more closed environment, the core impressive gameplay remains intact.
Trackmania Turbo features over 200 tracks across four different locations. Each location features different terrain and a different vehicle meaning tracks will both look and feel very different from one to another. Some tracks feature massive jumps and crazily unrealistic layouts that add to the fun arcade nature of the entire game.
200 tracks may sound like a lot but most will take a minute or two to complete even if that. The longevity really comes from replaying the same track over and over again, aiming to get the best time possible. While this would often lead to frustration, the gameplay at the core feels so good that it’s incredibly hard to put down in the first place.
With a game so focused on getting the best time and little else, developers Nadeo have had to rely on the quality of their handling model and it’s safe to say that every vehicle, despite feeling different, is incredibly responsive and fun to control. Understanding the handling model and then pulling off a pixel-perfect drift is insanely gratifying and striving to repeat similar feats of perfect on a constant basis is at the crux of Trackmania Turbo.
The tracks vary from a simple couple of corners to massive jumps, loops, wallruns, and twists all with excellently smooth visuals. It does a great job of easing you into the track difficulty, ramping up the challenge slightly every time. When you get through fifty levels and feel a stead but manageable curve in difficulty, it’s almost funny to look back on the earlier levels and see just how easy the first couple dozen where.
Progression is held back by unlocking bronze, silver, and gold medals but everything moves at a smooth pace that should you require to go back to previously beaten tracks to obtain a better medal, it’ll feel much easier than you think because of the skills you’ve picked up along the way.
The game also features multiplayer up to 100 players but there is no collision between the different vehicles. This means it all comes down to completing the track in the fastest time and considering how crazy tracks get this is a pretty awesome experience.
Trackmania Turbo is tamer compared to its previous PC counterparts but still bonkers compared to other racing games on the console marketplace. It’s smooth controls make easy to pick up and play but it’s dastardly track design is what will keep you coming back for more.