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.