Racing games with tiny cars seems to be the trend in the App Store as of late, and Table Top Racing continues that trend. The cars you control are so small, that you’re literally racing on table tops through toys, past food, and around tools. The game has quite a pedigree as it’s from the makers of the original PlayStation franchise WipEout, and consequently comes with high standards. First off, Table Top Racing is jam packed with features including eight race tracks, four championship cups, 30 special events, and four player online multiplayer.
There are also 10 upgradeable cars with plenty of outlandish themes, and six unique game modes spread across the different racing circuits. All in all, there are enough features to potentially deliver too much game time, but it all comes down to the actual gameplay. That is the area that Table Top Racing comes up short as each race is more of a hassle than anything else. It seems there was no fine tuning done to the gameplay so almost every single aspect of each race is to the detriment of the player.
To begin the controls are relatively rudimentary so there’s an arcade feel with no gas or break, and instead your car accelerates by itself. You only steer, and whether it’s touch or tilt the controls are just serviceable, and nothing more. In an actual race, the objects on the side of the course surprisingly get in your way more often than not so you car can get stuck on the side after colliding with an opponent. The collision physics again just aren’t refined so when you brush up against opponents it feels very rigid.
The game feature nine different power-ups, but most just barely slow down your opponents, and it always seems that they’re much more effective on you than against your enemies. The combat aspect is quite passive since there’s no true damage ever delivered, and instead just minor inconveniences. The game isn’t all that tough, and instead a lack of fine tuning causes the difficulty, and resulting frustration. To make matters worse, the car upgrades can make it effortless to outpace the competition, and then you’re just going through the motions leading by a ton. There are superb graphics, and tons of content, but there’s just bland and basic gameplay that makes you care less about anything else in the game.
Table Top Racing ($2.99, Universal) is missing the main ingredient, and thus lacks any enjoyment making it worth skipping.