It’s not the kind of tabletop gaming Rab usually writes about, although his inner child would surely appreciate. This is more like tabletop, floortop, walltop, outside-in-the-dirt-top, your-dog-top, your-sleeping-father-top, inappropriate-public-places-top gaming. Table Top here is shorthand, you see.
Table Top Racing: World Tour [official website] is a mix of Micro Machines and Mario Kart, from Wipeout co-creator Nick Burcombe and Playrise Digital. Now we know it’s coming to Windows between April and June, after a few months exclusively on PS4. As if you could restrain toy cars! Those boring adults will never learn.
The follow-up to a mobile game, Table Top Racing: World Tour will see up to 8 players, with their choice from 12 customizable cars, race it out and battle it out with weapons and power-ups on 20 dynamic circuits, both offline against the AI and online. It’s not clear if the PC version will share the console’s splitscreen local multiplayer, but I like to believe that the world is not such a grim and hopeless place after all. Or maybe it’s just the Micro Machines euphoria speaking.
That’s pretty much it. But really, do you need anything else? I guess there’s a licensed “Yo! Sushi” track if that’s your kind of thing. The Micro Machines format is so simple and yet so genuinely fun and joyful that it baffles me how few games have gone for it over the years, and how many of those had just one or two flaws too many, which stopped them from really nailing it. Kotaku’s review of the mobile Table Top Racing in 2013 called it “clumsy,” complaining about insubstantial power-ups, unrewarding explosions and no sense of speed. We’ll see if the big-screen version fares any better.
Anyway, my earliest memories of playing with toy cars bring me back to when I was 5 or 6. I was playing quite a bit of the first Gran Turismo on PS1, and I was gifted this tiny blue car, which I would race everywhere, no matter if it was around the house, on myself or on the walls of the doctor’s waiting room. But I didn’t focus on impossible jumps and backflips: I actually simulated realistic steering, appropriate modulation of brakes and throttle, and everything else I had learned from Gran Turismo. You could say I had a difficult childhood…
Do you have any weird, inappropriate or embarrassing stories involving your toy cars?