July 24, 2014 | Price:
Racing | Platform:
Wii U eShop
Publisher and Developer:
Mario Kart 8 isn’t the only new racer on the Wii U; Super Toy Cars from Eclipse Games was just released on the Nintendo eShop. Super Toy Cars is a combat racing game that will undoubtedly be compared to Mario Kart 8, mostly due to the proximity in release dates, though Mario Kart this game is not. Super Toy Cars can be better compared to NES games like R.C. Pro-Am and Micro Machines.
There are three main modes in Super Toy Cars: Career Mode, Quick Race, and Track Editor. The Career Mode consists of eight episodes, each containing six events worth ten points a piece. Points are awarded based on your performance and are used to unlock other episodes. Speaking of events, there are five different types to play during Career Mode: Race, Time Trial, Time Attack, Elimination, and Evade.
The Race event is pretty straight forward and challenges you to win the race while competing against 7 computer opponents. Time Trial challenges you to finish one lap as fast as possible, while Time Attack sees you racing to cross checkpoints before the time limit runs out. Elimination and Evade are both similar and challenge you to race against other cars in a battle to not be in last place, for if you are in last place, you will be eliminated. The only difference between the two is there are mines on the track during Evade events. Of the five events, Race, Time Trial, and Time Attack are the definite highlights, while both Elimination and especially Evade can be frustrating. Regardless, it’s great to see variety in the game’s Career Mode, despite there being only 12 tracks.
When you are not racing, you can be buying new cars and upgrades with coins collected and won during Career Mode. You may have to unlock a few cars before finding one you like to control, though once you do, you’ll likely want to spend time upgrading it with new parts and perfecting its handling.
As for the other modes, Quick Race lets you play against either the computer, or three human players in one of the game’s 12 tracks. An interesting touch for this mode is that each track has an easy, medium, and hard version, which determines how challenging the track layout will be. As for the game’s Track Editor, you start with a basic track outline that you can manipulate and place objects on. The Track Editor must be controlled using the Wii U GamePad, though stages can only be saved locally and not shared online.
As for the game’s controls, Super Toy Cars offers an incredibly competent and comfortable set that makes playing the game a blast. I used the Wii U GamePad and Wii U Pro Controller, both of which have similar controls. Of course, each car has different stats that make them handle differently, though when you find a car that suits your style, drifting around corners becomes the highlight of the game.
On the surface, Super Toy Cars looks and plays like a competent racer, though there are some glaring issues that are hard to ignore. First, off-TV play is not fully supported. You can play on the Wii U GamePad, but there are no sounds, no HUD, and no menus, which make playing on the Wii U GamePad extremely difficult. While I like the game’s cel-shaded look, it’s easy to see that the Wii U’s strength is not being fully utilized. Also, there are zero online features at the moment, though I have been assured by the developer that an update is coming to add online leaderboards.
As for the game’s tracks, while they are certainly imaginative, they aren’t nearly as unique as I wished they would be. With regards to the weapons, I also feel they are lacking imagination, though the rolling eight-ball is definitely fun to use. Lastly, I feel the music that plays in-game doesn’t suit the game’s style. Instead of the rock anthems that play, I think music that highlights the game’s playful style would have been more appropriate.
If you’re looking for another Mario Kart 8, you won’t find it here; however, Super Toy Cars offers plenty to the racer fan, which includes a track editor, at the low price of $7.99. You could easily spend hours playing Super Toy Cars, especially if you’re trying to unlock and upgrade every car, and enjoy playing against friends. Finally, while the game does disappoint in a few areas, there is still a lot of enjoyment to be had in this game.
7/10 – Good
Review copy provided by Eclipse Games