As you can probably tell by its title, TT Isle of Man Racing: Ride on the Edge is a very niche game. Not only is it an entire game dedicated to one sub-genre of motorcycle sport, but it’s actually dedicated to one race; the Isle of Man’s Snaefell Mountain Course is the only official track present, with fictional tracks set all over Britain rounding out the selection.
That definitely raises questions about the value of Kylotonn Games’ product and its £45 asking price, but you can’t knock the dedication to detail. All 37.73 miles of Snaefell are mapped out, from the start in Douglas town to the final thrilling ascent up to Hailwood’s Height. It does take a great deal of time to complete – usually over 20 minutes, something that will likely turn new players off – but motorcycle enthusiasts will be in their element.
The beauty of Snaefell has a detrimental effect on the rest of the tracks, though. Despite their varied settings, most of the game’s fictional courses look almost identical to each other and none of them provide the thrills and intensity of the main TT race. Even though Snaefell’s long nature means that you can choose to race certain combinations of sections as well as the whole thing, adding a bit of longevity, it’s still a little disappointing that the effort Kylotonn put into recreating the legendary course doesn’t carry on to the rest of the game’s content.
This is most noticeable in the game’s career mode, which again will only appeal to enthusiasts long enough to justify its price – a constant theme with TT Isle of Man Racing. It’s pretty much a cycle of buying a motorbike, then winning races so you can raise money to buy better one, rinse, and repeat – one that isn’t helped by the similarities of the fictional tracks.
Gameplay in general will be pretty unforgiving for beginners, too, despite the deceptively simple controls. Corners – especially on Snaefell – are often harsh and difficult to pull off, although there’s a huge thrill in bombing down a straight before braking sharply to whizz round a bend. There are plenty of options for pros to give themselves more of a challenge – operating gears manually, for example – but the only real support for beginners are guiding lines telling you when to brake and when to start turning. It’s certainly helpful, but it takes the fun out of racing since you’ll be concentrating more on the line itself than the actual course.
Glitches and AI issues also cause problems. Occasionally you’ll find your racer leaping off of his bike for no real reason – something that’s really frustrating when you’re on course for a good time – and your fellow racers don’t take you into account at all. If you so much as get in their way, they’ll try and bomb straight through you instead of avoiding you, again resulting in frustrating crashes.
Multiplayer is pretty disappointing, too. Though there is local multiplayer for up to eight players, the fact that it’s made up of turn-taking time trials means it’s hardly a good pick for a game night. Online is completely barren, reflecting TT Isle of Man Racing’s niche nature; in our time with the game post-release we were only able to get into a few races after a lengthy wait, and even then none of them were full.
The truth is that you probably won’t need to read this review to decide whether you’ll want TT Isle of Man Racing – the name alone should tell you all you need to know. Motorcycle fans will be enticed by the impressive Snaefell course, while the rest will simply pass it by due to a lack of interest.
Containing an impressive adaptation of the Isle of Man's Snaefell Mountain Course, TT Isle of Man Racing: Ride on the Edge will be attractive to motorcycle nuts looking for a new experience. But its high asking price, repetitive career mode, and lack of any online community means that everyone else can simply pass this by.