One of the main things being touted about Table Top Racing: World Tour is that one of its creators worked on the WipEout series, so it'd be safe to expect high-octane racing, a pulsing soundtrack, and dazzling graphics – at least somewhat in the style of the iconic PlayStation series.
This game has none of those things.
A sequel to a popular mobile game, this game takes its inspiration from Micro Machines, with tiny battle-cars facing off against each other in tiny environments – a kitchen, the deck of a ship, a mechanic's bench, and a sponsored YO! Sushi (!) track all playing host to your tiny races. It's a nice, niche style, and the areas are lovingly rendered and created, but that's really the only appeal that this game has.
The racing, for one, is far too slow. Whichever car you choose – from the most expensive super car to the starting jalopies – they go slower than an octogenarian slug on a salted street, meaning that drifting and turning is much too simple. Even activating the boosts – picked up around each track alongside the usual power-ups – only gives you a temporary burst of speed, before you go back down to first gear again until you wait for the next pick-up.
And it's not like said uninspired pick-ups do much to shake things up either. The missile slows down enemies a tad, likewise the freeze gun and the bomb, with only the oil slick seeming to have a noticeable impact on races. Thanks to the obvious shortcuts and nooks, each rally just devolves into a boring slog where the player at the front stays in front in all but the most exceptional circumstances, and with most races only lasting over a minute, it's not a good game to play over an extended period of time.
Admittedly, there is a nice upgrade system in which you can buff your car's speed, acceleration, and turning, as well as buy wheels and new colour schemes – but the fact that the prices are so cheap, and that money is so easy to get, means that half of the players you play will have the same attributes anyway, and the cycle begins again.
This proves problematic for all modes in the game. Championships, the single-player career-style mode, is a piece of cake, because races and events don't seem to adapt to your car upgrades at all; Time Trials, Knockout Races, Battle Rallies – they're all easy as pie when the money flows in this quickly. Special Events, one-off races with different stipulations, aren't much harder either, and the multiplayer – which should be the best mode in any combat racer – is just a frustrating and dull, thanks to the half the players leaving halfway through an event because there's not much chance of them winning.
The soundtrack has a few good bangers, but nothing out of the ordinary, and the whole game just seems to be aesthetically confused. It wants to be Micro Machines, but it blends elements of Mario Kart and bland mobile racers into a misguided mess. The biggest problem with Table Top Racing is that it hasn't left its mobile origins behind – it still feels like a short-and-snappy game to be played in quick bursts, but one that lacks originality, excitement, and personality.
Table Top Racing: World Tour feels like it could be a fun multiplayer battle racer, but it falls flat. The gameplay seems stuck in first gear, the races are too quick and easy, and – most damaging of all – the game has no real personality of its own. Sure, it'll probably provide you with a cheap thrill for 10 minutes or so, but look any further, and you'll realise that this is just the chassis of a far better game.