How do you make a racing game stand out from the crowd? Shrink it! Table Top Racing: World Tour from Playrise Digital is an arcade-style racer for Xbox One in which tiny cars race around tracks built on tables. With tons of events, sharp graphics, and online multiplayer, it's a much bigger game than the pint-sized cars doing the racing.
So many events
Table Top Racing's primary mode is called Championships. It consists of three primary divisions, each limited to a specific type of car (Cult Classics, Street Racers, and Supercars). Each of these divisions offers four cups, all with multiple events per cup. The final event in each cup is a Finale in which you must score the best over the course of three races. The losers get thrown in a trash can, poor sods. All of these events have three stars to earn, adding replay value.
A second, smaller campaign called Special Events consists of 56 races spread across the three car classes. These events are locked to one specific car each. Cars cost money (earned in any mode), so you'll need to spend time winning races in other modes before you can afford to buy everything needed to enter all of the Special Events.
Table Top Racing features sixteen unlicensed cars to buy and drive. They all have stubby, stylized bodies resembling toys. Each car has four stats to upgrade and an overall stat limit. When playing through Championships mode, you might as well just buy the best car in each class. They have the highest stat caps. But you'll need to get them all eventually, if you want to complete Special Events mode.
Cars can also be equipped with one of seven tire types. These provide various effects such as enhanced drifting, extra money for weapon hits, and jumping. Each wheel type costs more than the one before it, so you'll probably want to unlock them in order as you progress through the game.
Table Top Racing has no split-screen multiplayer, which is nigh inexcusable in an indie racing game. A game like this, featuring tiny, toy-like racers, really should support local multiplayer for the kids. Thankfully, this one at least has online multiplayer – not always a given with indie racers.
Multiplayer lobbies support up to eight players. A world map helpfully displays the approximate location of each player, so you can tell when someone from another country joins the game. The host can set a variety of options, such as track, route, laps, and more – a significant advantage over Riptide GP: Renegade's option-free online multiplayer. Also an advantage, you earn money and XP across all modes.
Players tend to drive dirty and bump into each other quite a lot, in my experience. It can be frustrating when someone knocks you off the table, setting you back several seconds. I wish car contact could be turned off, but perhaps that would go against the spirit of the game.
The Xbox One version of Table Top Racing features 38 Achievements worth a total of 1,000 Gamerscore. These include the standard completion goals such as winning every event, buying every car, and fully upgrading every car.
There are some fun hidden ones, like blocking a missile with an EMP. You'll have to win 20 online races, but that can thankfully be done with a friend in a private lobby. The most challenging Achievements involve finding every hidden coin on all 8 tracks.
Table Top Racing: World Tour is a fairly well-made racing game with a fun theme. Driving around on tracks filled with oversized real-world objects is inherently fun and different. The tracks also look fantastic, with lots of bright colors and details. Online multiplayer is strong and has an active player base at present, also a plus.
On the downside, this is yet another indie game that stretches a small number of tracks (eight) across way too many events. At least the developers added multiple routes for each track, which is more than Vector Unit did with Riptide GP: Renegade.
I also found the car handling to be less than perfect, even with fully upgraded cars. They slide around too much, making tight turns harder than they should be. You get used to the handling, but it still detracts a bit from the game's arcade-y nature.
- Small cars, big tracks, plenty of charm
- Great graphics with lots of color and detail
- Robust online multiplayer mode
- No split-screen multiplayer
- Car handling could feel better.
- Too many events for the number of tracks included here
Still, if the idea of racing pint-sized cars around on gigantic-looking tabletop tracks sounds like a good time, you'll probably get more than your money's worth from Table Top Racing. With a launch price of $14.99, it packs plenty of bang for the buck.
Xbox One review copy provided by the publisher.