Table Top Racing is one of our favorite small budget games on the Vita, so the announcement of a PS4 sequel was well-received here at Press Play. Here are our thoughts on Table Top Racing: World Tour.
One of the big draws of the Table Top Racing on the Vita (originally a mobile title) was its price point – even recently on sale for less than two dollars/euros, it is an absolute steal. Table Top Racing: World Tour for the PS4 has a bigger price tag, but Sony recently surprised us by announcing that the game was going to be free for Playstation Plus subscribers. If you’re in that group of PS4 owners without Playstation Plus, should you pick this up? That depends on the type of racer you enjoy…
It’s clear where Table Top Racing gets it inspiration from. Racing with miniature cars on tracks that are filled with real life objects (in, for example, a kitchen) has been done before in the Micro Machines series, and Table Top Racing doesn’t stray far from the formula. The racing model isn’t particularly deep or complex and instead emphasis fun and accessibility. This was of course a big part of the original mobile version’s success and formula, and also made it into the Vita version.
In the PS4 sequel it seems that these mobile roots still haven’t been shed. The game’s still easy to play – and perhaps too easy for a generation of gamers used to console racers. There is an upgrade system in place, but it’s relatively easy to upgrade thus making it hard to create a real difference that way. Another remnant from the mobile days can be seen when looking at the speed at which you race. Not having precise controls, the mobile version was always known to be a little slower than the average Micro Machines game. This is perfectly fine, but there’s no need for this on the Vita and especially on the PS4.
Without a true sense of speed, it becomes too easy to drift around corners and win racers – in turn making it easy to upgrade your vehicle, which wins you yet more races. This is a shame, because you’re left without a feeling of challenge and accomplishment when playing the single player and/or offline portion of the game. Multiplayer echoes some of the same problems, because players tend to be too evenly matched due to a lack of challenge to separate them.
It’s worth pointing out that when we talk about multiplayer, we mean online multiplayer. The game does not feature an offline and/or split screen mode, which is a shame because that’s generally the best way to enjoy such a game – and the PS4 should have plenty of horsepower to provide this.
So, sadly, Table Top Racing isn’t all that it could have been – but it’s not a bad game. It’s just more ‘casual’ than most gamers would like, and perhaps more interesting to younger gamers. The settings and vehicles in the game look excellent and evoke a sense of fun that we wish the game would follow up on, but perhaps a future patch will tweak some of this by making the game balance a bit more interesting. Until then, this is a game worth getting if you enjoy casual racers or have young children. And if you have Playstation Plus, then you have no reason not to try it!