Burst of Nitro
Originally released on PS4 and Xbox One, Table Top Racing: World Tour – Nitro Edition gets its extended title for this Switch release. With all previous DLC, tons of content, unlockable upgrades, and fast-paced gameplay, this is a quality racer that can be appreciated by casual and hardcore fans.
Caught somewhere in-between Mario Kart and Micro Machines, racing involves a simple control scheme, uses both weapons and items to keep gameplay entertaining, and features a wealth of unlockables. Instead of using face buttons to accelerate and break, movement is performed with the right analog stick – holding up is the gas whereas holding down decelerates. This frees the trigger buttons for weapon usage. While skilled drivers can learn to cut corners by appropriately flicking the analog stick, there isn’t a dedicated boost button or unique turning mechanic. Instead, this keeps the control pick-up-and-playable. Weapons are also your standard Mario Kart-like flare with rockets, oil drops, and bombs.
One reason TTR:WT-NE shines as a racer is the track and gameplay variety. There is the standard race-to-the-finish against a number of computer AI opponents, time trials, and a contest to earn the fastest lap using strategic boosts. There is also a theme to every track which acts as a stronger reference to the Micro Machines games of the 8 and 16-bit era. There is a track based around the kitchen, there is a food themed level, and even an outdoor area, for example. You are racing around in tabletop remote controlled cars after all and each track provides a sense of scale. Occasionally, tracks will feature hidden collectables, some are only available until the player has unlocked a special perk such as the ability to jump, providing reason to keep grinding to unlock everything and replay stages. Most races are completed in a short amount of time, usually under two minutes, so pacing is always moving forward quickly. The only downside is the annoying load times in-between these short matches.
Performance of each race is graded by one, two, or three stars. In addition to earning a perfect rating to unlock more tracks, the player will constantly earn gold that can be used to purchase vehicles, upgrades, and cosmetic changes. With over 500 stars to earn and hundreds of things to unlock, the carrot is constantly dangled in front of the player and should take a few dozen hours to earn it all. What separates this Switch version from the previous console versions is the ability to play split screen local multiplayer. Players can even play split screen multiplayer online along with typical solo play. Just remember, a Nintendo Online account is required to play online.
Besides the annoying load times, the only other major gripe comes from the audio department. It is not that the EDM soundtrack is poorly made, it just starts to get on your nerves like all loud bump-bump-bump music does after a short while. Unless you are messed up on drugs and headed to the rave, turning the volume down a little bit is recommended. There are other odd audio choices such as the lack of an audio lap indicator cue.
Table Top Racing: World Tour – Nitro Edition justifies itself of the higher $30 price tag with hours of enjoyable content, simple but well-paced gameplay, and welcomed multiplayer features. While it isn’t the next Mario Kart, it is solid go-to racer and finds a comfortable home on Nintendo Switch.
Also available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
Better Than: R.C. Pro-AM (NES)
Also Try: Super Sprint (NES/Arcade)
Wait For It: a new F-Zero