16/08/2020

๐ŸŽ️๐Ÿš“ Tiny Racer | Review | Nintendo Switch | "Toy Racing At Its Worst?" ๐ŸŽ️๐Ÿš“ #IndieGames #GameDev

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Game Title: Tiny Racer
Platform Reviewed: Nintendo Switch
Rating: Melted
The toy-racing genre is one that I am always drawn to.

From the early multiplayer days of Micro Machines and even Hi-Octane - an overlooked Amiga PD classic (for me, anyway) – to what is probably the last truly great example of the genre, Mashed on Xbox and PS2 (not forgetting its spiritual successor, Wrecked. Again, an overlooked and very fun title).

It is a genre that, when everything clicks, can result in dozens of hours of fun but when the elements don’t gel, as is, unfortunately, the case here, fundamental issues can bring the game to its knees and strip out any enjoyment from the racing.
A game that can be played with up to two players, Tiny Racer is a cartoony, third-person racer featuring various vehicles such as saloons, sports cars, vans and police cars (all of which handle the same, the differences are apparently only aesthetic) that you clatter along tracks in the hope of claiming that all-important pole position.

This is a straightforward game of no-frills such as weapon pickups or four-player split-screen party action, there are several modes but these boil down to tournaments and time trials with the only unlockables being newer tracks of which there is quite a nice selection and are quite roller-coaster-esque in their twisting, leaping designs.
I’ll begin with the positive aspects of the game; the visuals are vibrant and bold with the gameplay being relatively smooth, although the more distant graphics appear fuzzy and indistinct due to the focus on smoothness as opposed to draw-distance. The music and sound effects are pretty generic but suit the light toner of the game and hint towards a somewhat accessible mood.
The biggest issues that really make this game difficult to recommend, however, are the controls and physics. The controller layout is very simple, with just acceleration, brake/reverse and the ‘track reset’ button (which you will be getting a lot of use out of) to take note of. This simplicity and accessibility in the visuals, controls and presentation, however, is completely out of balance with the gameplay itself which is consistently frustrating due to controls that veer between overly twitchy to relatively unresponsive.
A constant issue in the game is your car leaving the track when this happens, you either get stuck and need to press the right trigger to reset or you fall off the course and the game places your car back on the track automatically. When this occurs your car drops down a short distance and most of the time lurches to the left – something that happens quite often, to the extent that I genuinely thought that there was a problem with my Joy-Cons and used a second controller which gave the same results – your car often feels separate to the tracks and navigating has a random element.

This is exacerbated by the comic book-like ‘BAM’ and ‘WHACK’ that pop up when you collide with other cars….but also happen on flat straights as if your car is constantly hitting invisible objects and bouncing off the ground, it all adds up to a real sense of a lack of polish in the fundamentals of gameplay.
Tiny Racer is a lower-priced game on the Nintendo eShop and there are certain expectations that come with these titles from smaller studios but in this particular case, the lack of control over your vehicle and the general toughness that comes from this and the games physics clashes against the light-hearted approach that the rest of the game presents.
This, unfortunately, makes it a hard game to recommend unless you really have to scratch your racing itch.
๐Ÿ’ง RATING: MELTED ๐Ÿ’ง

Ratings Explained
ICE COOL (Great Game Recommended)
MELTING (Recommended with reservations, one to consider if you are a fan of the genre)
MELTED (Not A Recommended Purchase)

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