Release Date: January 6, 2016 (consoles), June 6, 2014 (PC)
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, PC
Review Platform: PS4
Super Toy Cars is a miniature combat racing game perfect for young kids, with graphics and tight controls that will appeal to many adults. Although it does little to advance the thin genre of combat racing, and it misses some opportunities to truly shine, the game succeeds at pretty much everything it sets out to do.
Super Toy Cars features fifteen tracks, all of which are well designed and varied. The developers make good use of the miniature aspect of the cars, featuring tracks taking place in locations such as a child’s bedroom, a convenience store and a candy shop. Track barriers range from stacks of cookies and rolling pins, to tall stuffed bears and machines that dispense chocolate cereal onto the track for racers to avoid. All of the tracks are visually appealing and unique from the one before it. The backgrounds are well thought out and give you a good sense of scale, though they’re a little more blurred out than I would have preferred. Still, as a racing game it succeeds at one of its key goals, which is supplying players with a fun and relatively large list of tracks.
As for the controls, the game also succeeds. It avoids the common pitfall of loose controls that feel floaty. This was my biggest fear when firing up the first race, but it was immediately put to rest once it began and I noticed that the feel of the cars (which range from a van and bugger to a hot rod) were pretty spot-on. At times, and especially when playing with some of the slower cars and doing time trials (where you’re the only car on the track), the game feels a little too slow-paced. This is a bit of an enjoyment hinderance for adults, but works well for kids as things never get overwhelming and the challenge levels is always manageable. This isn’t to say that races don’t get exciting, however, as they definitely can.
The game features weapons – picked up in the traditional combat racing fashion of boxes on the track – and a boost mechanic, which can be activated once a meter is filled. Weapons, which are fired with the square button, include things such as a “giant” 8-ball, homing rockets and green sludge that causes opponents to spin-out. None of these are unique or all that different from other combat racing games, but they’re balanced and fun. Leaving mines and sludge results in a small screen appearing that stays focused on the dropped weapon, allowing you to see when someone falls victim to it.
As for Super Toy Car’s game modes, there is simply Career and quick race. Unfortunately there is no online multiplayer, a huge missed opportunity that makes the overall enjoyment and lasting appeal of the game for those above 12 pretty reliant on whether or not you have someone else to play with (to its credit there is online leaderboards, but only for the fastest lap). The career mode is fun and a good distraction, but is over quickly and lacks variety (there are races, time trials and a couple other game modes such as elimination, but nothing particularly special). You can upgrade your car through earned in-game currency in this mode, and unlock new cars, though this only adds a small amount of enjoyment. Couch multiplayer, however, is where the game shines, and where its $9.99 price tage is truly earned.
The Bottom Line
Super Toy Cars should be commended for thoroughly succeeding in being what it tries to be; a fun, visually appealing combat racing game that’s excellent for kids while still being entertaining for adults. The game misses out on a big opportunity in its lack of online multiplayer, but for those interested in splitscreen multiplayer and/or a laid-back career mode, this game delivers.
Super Toy Cars
- - Fun, varied tracks that make good use of the miniature format
- - Visually appealing
- - Tight controls
- - Entertaining and exciting splitscreen multiplayer
- - Bland and relatively uninventive career mode
- - Lack of online multiplayer
- - Races are sometimes too slow paced