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Table Top Racing Review
Review Score:

Table Top Racing, a fun Micro Machines-type combat racing game from Playrise Digital, is now available from the app store. Featuring imaginative settings, smooth racing, multiple race types, purchasable/upgradeable vehicles, and even online and local multiplayer, Table Top Racing is an accessible and fun racer for gamers of all ages.

Table Top Racing Pros:

  • Stylish graphics, real-time lighting and shadows, and inventive track design
  • Soundtrack is light, geared toward specific track themes
  • Controls feature simple steering buttons or a tilt option
  • Multiple race types and lots of vehicle customizations
  • Challenging AI or 4-player online/local multiplayer
  • GameCenter integration for leaderboards and achievements

Table Top Racing Cons:

  • Could use a couple more tracks; Campaign feels a little short
  • Upgrades follow direct path rather than letting player choose
  • No minimap

Table Top Racing provides 3 Championship Cups to work through, a Challenge mode with multiple events tailored to various skill levels, and a Quick Race mode to jump right into any of the 8 available tracks and race to your heart’s delight. There are a bunch of race modes that force you to play courses in unique ways. Some are familiar, such as time trial runs, elimination racing, and full-on weapons-aplenty sprints to the finish, while others require you to catch up to and bump the lead vehicle as quickly as possible. Achieving great times and placing in the top 3 positions will award you stars and coins. Stars are used to unlock additional courses, vehicles, etc., while coins allow you to purchase vehicles and upgrades for a better racing experience. Coins are generously given, so you’re never too far from your next upgrade and shouldn’t have to utilize any IAP unless you want to. Upgrades are purchased in a specific order rather than allowing you to pick and choose, which is a little disappointing as it makes for a more standardized experience rather than one tuned to each gamer’s liking. The combat aspect is a little dumbed-down when compared to similar app store titles. Running through a question mark box randomly rewards you with a one-time-use power, which could be a rocket, an EMP burst, a speed boost, or a land mine. These “weapons” don’t feel all that powerful, but they can make the difference in a pinch. Cars tend to remain bunched, bumping and nudging for space among the crowd. Falling behind is not the death knell that it is in other games, and maintaining a lead for any significant length of time is certainly not guaranteed.

Each of the 8 tracks is set upon a table with unique and whimsical attributes. One is set in a child’s play room, another is in a sushi bar, another is a picnic barbeque, and so on. There are lots of arena-specific items lining the tracks, which are marked by chalk borders across the table. Awesome shadow effects, real-time lighting changes, and tremendous detail speak to the game’s polish and style. Vehicle types include ice cream trucks, jeeps, fire engines, and other assorted children’s toys. Dips and turns add a little spice, as does the ability to go tumbling straight off of the table at certain points. Vehicles auto-accelerate and there is no brake, so your steering ability is the only thing keeping you within the confines of the course. You can choose accelerometer-based steering or stick with the default that offers touch arrows on either side of the screen bottom. Collected power-ups appear next to the right steering arrow and are launched with a simple tap. The controls are very tight and responsive. The soundtrack utilizes tunes that relate in some way to the corresponding course, and the sound effects really bring the racing to life.

Replay value is great, despite there being only a handful of tracks at launch. The multiple game modes and race types should keep you busy, and chasing stars and earning coins to collect all ten cars and max out your upgrades could keep you invested for a while. The Multiplayer is also a great option for gamers who tire of the AI or want to duke it out with up to 4 friends. GameCenter integration provides a bunch of leaderboards and achievements, as well. A universal app for $2.99, Table Top Racing is an enjoyable and stylish 4.5-Dimple experience.

Table Top Racing Review, reviewed by Kevin on 2013-02-02T23:54:55+00:00 rating 4.5 out of 5

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