Have You Played… Trackmania Turbo?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

We haven’t reviewed Trackmania Turbo – too many games, too little time – but I’ve spent a few hours with it. That’s enough to know that it’s Trackmania again, in all its speeding, loop-the-loop glory, except now with more colours and a UI that doesn’t appear to have been made for a 2002 Flash game.

This sounds like faint praise, so let me back up and convey my delight for Trackmania’s core. It’s a racing game entirely about its time attack mode – other cars are visible while you race online, but there’s no collision detection on them. That means it’s you against the track, and the tracks are impossible, stunt-laden rollercoasters, with jumps, boost pads, sudden drops, vertical corners and loops. It also means that you can instantly restart when you inevitably fail at the first corner.

The process of driving in Trackmania then is almost like a platform game, like N or Super Meat Boy, where you edge through levels an obstacle at a time, mastering them in increments. It’s fast and tactile and your reward is a faster time and a better replay.

In this context, “more colours” makes a big difference. My previous favourite Trackmania game was Trackmania Nations Forever, but its green and yellows were replaced in Trackmania 2 with metal greys and canyon browns. It’s a joy to have green and yellow back, alongside the blues, reds, oranges and other colours that make Trackmania again feel a part of the pantheon of ’90s arcade racers like Daytona.


  1. iainl says:

    I have to admit, I failed to notice this was finished; the last I heard it was either plain not out yet, or was doing some early access thing, maybe.

    For those that have it, is the interface less broken than Trackmania 2? I really enjoyed United Forever, competing to get points in the online leaderboard thingy, but when I got Trackmania 2 Stadium they seemed to have smothered it in some weird “one go every half hour unless you treat it like some F2P thing” model that I could never understand.

    Not that I was impressed by all the accounts within accounts required to get the thing working, either.

    • The First Door says:

      I’ve played it a bunch and I can say that the interface is distinctly less broken than TM2. It actually feels like it had both UI designers and artists working on it this time, which is nice. Also, the local multiplayer actually works nicely with controllers and is much more polished and fun, especially as you can roll a random track for many modes, which works quite well!

      One thing I will say though, in case it matters to you, is the car customisation and online server modding is lacking. I’d much rather have a this interface though, personally.

      • iainl says:

        Thanks – apart from a spot of light painting I’ve never really bothered with the car modding side; it’s the track design that tends to keep the L family busy (my son’s more keen on that than the racing, in fact).

  2. FreeTom says:

    I played the demo but wasn’t really a fan. It did cause me to install TM2 Stadium again though.

    I really hope the next PC-oriented iteration comes with free stadium multiplayer, a la Forever. That model combined with modern F2P methods of adding extra modes for money just couldn’t fail, could it?

  3. G-Lord says:

    Got at least a silver medal on the first 160 tracks and enjoyed it immensely. But there is no way I’m going all gold to unlock the last tier :S.

  4. rocketman71 says:

    No, it’s not trackmania again. It lacks LAN, public dedis, a decent editor, and it comes with a consolized interface, and worst of all, the shitty Uplay.

    Shame on you, Ubi. Another developer down the toilet.

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    Arnvidr says:

    Having great fun with some of the Trackmania 2 variants in LAN play, but apparently that’s not (yet) in the new one?

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    particlese says:

    Yup! I was enjoying it, but then Ori became my diversionary game, so it’s been a little while. It also doesn’t help that Ubi still hasn’t followed through on their VR support claim for Turbo. If they had, I’d certainly be playing it more — Trackmania Squared was more than half decent on the DK2.