Toybox Turbos review (PC)

Toybox Turbos brings back some of that fun tabletop racing that was so popular during the 90s. Find out why we’re excited and hope this is a sign of more to come.

It’s been over 8 years since the last proper Micro Machines game came out. Sure, there have been versions for mobile platforms, but these games were always most fun when played on a big screen with a couple of friends. With that in mind, Micro Machines V4 really was the last ‘real’ Micro Machines game.

Why all this talk about Micro Machines? Well, Codemasters has now come out with Toybox Turbos, and aside from the new name, it has everything you’d hope for in a Micro Machines title. There’s a wide range of vehicles to unlock and a good diversity of tracks that can also be unlocked in mirror mode to double the total number available to you. Naturally, you’re still racing around toy collections, kitchen sinks and dining tables as well, just like you’re used to.

Toybox Turbos

It’s a wonderfully familiar feeling even if the core gameplay hasn’t really evolved all that much. In that sense, this is very much a ‘retro’ game with visuals that have been somewhat upgraded but never scream ‘next gen’ in any way. Another familiar staple of the original series are its weapons, and they are as varied as the types of vehicle groups available. Choosing the right vehicle and equiping the right weapon might just be the difference between winning and losing a race, though we quickly found some favorites and just stuck with those.

Toybox Turbos is a lot of fun in single player mode, but after you unlock all the tracks and vehicles there is only so much left to do. Codemasters has done well to include a large variety of game modes for offline play, but the real excitment is mastering what’s been given to you and thus unlocking more and more of the game. Once you start breezing through the levels, the experience gets a little less exciting. That’s where multiplayer comes in, but unfortunately its modes aren’t quite as varied.

Toybox Turbos

Multiplayer revolves around elimination races where falling too far behind eliminates you from the race, and we really wish there had been more modes to explore. For instance, a series of regular races in a ‘cup season’ could have been great fun between players who are somewhat evenly matched, and the same can be said for some kind of online ranking system.

Perhaps features like that will be added later on, though we’re not holding our breath on that one. Another small issue with online multiplayer is the behavior of the camera, since it acts as though you and your opponents are sharing the same screen even when that’s obviously not the case. This is a shame because the action is more fluid and easier to follow in single player, so hopefully this will get tweaked in a future update.

That being said, this is a still a wonderfully fun top-down racer and we’re hoping it’s also a taste of more to come. Codemasters played it safe this time around and recreated a fondly remembered experience, but there’s a lot of potential to build from here – especially in terms of multiplayer.

Score: 7.5/10

Test setup:
CPU: Intel 3770K
Video: Asus GTX 660 Ti
Installed on: Kingston HyperX SSD drive
RAM: 16 GB DDR 3, Kingston HyperX Fury series

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