Super Toy Cars Offroad is an arcade racing game, developed and published by Eclipse Games. In it, you drive miniature sized toy cars in race courses built like obstacle courses surrounded by large everyday objects. The racing is fast and chaotic, just like in other kart racing games such as Super Mario Kart and Crash Team Racing. It offers a deep career mode, with plenty of vehicles to unlock and a variety of different race types but it does have a few issues that hold it back a little. Overall, it is a solid indie title that is worth checking out.
As soon as you boot up Super Toy Cars Offroad, you’re shown a simple menu with only a few options to choose from. You have your standard Quick Race mode, where you choose from the selection of race types the game has and race either against the CPU or with a second player for some split screen racing. The inclusion of split screen multiplayer is an appreciated one, as this is a feature that isn’t always included in racing games. It would have been sorely missed here, especially as it’s an arcade-styled kart racer.
The other mode is Career mode. It is here where you will spend most of your time when playing Super Toy Cars Offroad. You’re immediately shown a screen with a host of events to take part in; no intro movie or any form of introduction. Perhaps it would have been nice to have had something to set the scene, if only as it’s nice to have some form of backstory or dialogue to excite and immerse the player into taking part in these competitions. Having said that, there is plenty of racing needed to complete the career mode. Each time you complete a competition and race, you will not only earn money but unlock cars to purchase, skins and different race avatars.
Each racing event has a prerequisite for what type of car you’re allowed to race in. So before you take part in one, you will need to go to the garage and buy the required vehicle you need. You have five vehicle types in the game: Quad, Rally Car, SUV, Buggy, and Truck. And as you’d expect, each vehicle type is vastly different to the other. Rally cars have high speed and acceleration but are not so good offroad – and yes, that may seem odd, as rally cars are designed to be better offroad. But in any case, you will then have the Buggy which is more suited to that, coming with high acceleration but ultimately not as fast as the Rally cars. Each vehicle type has its advantages and disadvantages, in fact. Depending on the type of driver you are, some will be more preferable than others, but what is great about the career mode, is that it does force you to try all the vehicles available, and be good at driving all of them.
The career isn’t just about a quantity of racing events. Each event also has different race modes and you will need to accumulate the most points from each race to get a top three finish; something which is needed to unlock the next event. Some events have only one race while others could have two or three.
The race types are plentiful too:
- Time Trial – Race two laps by yourself and set the fastest time
- Race – Eight player, two lap race to the finish. Items included
- Elimination – Two lap race with eight racers, the last placed racer is eliminated over time intervals until only one racer remains. Items included
- Drifting challenge – Accumulate as much points as possible by drifting around highlighted parts of the track by yourself
- Clean race – Traditional two lap race with 8 racers with no items available
- Time attack – Race through as many checkpoints as possible before the timer runs out
- Death race – Two lap, eight driver race with a twist. Where you can take out other races by shunting into them and using weapons. Once a driver vehicle is destroyed they are no longer part of the race
- Destruction – Take out as many yellow vehicles as possible within the time limit.
So, as you can see there is a lot of variety and, honestly, they are a lot of fun.
The AI itself can be very challenging mind and even when you seem to have a big lead, it can be very easily chalked off with a wrong turn or getting caught by a trap or obstacle. Getting a win, very much feels deserved when you do. On top of that, once you have chosen to start an event with a vehicle of your choice, you cannot swap the vehicle in between races. This is where some strategy comes into play – say you’re taking part in an event that includes a drift challenge but also a destruction race and clean race, you will need to think carefully what vehicle type will give you the best chance of accumulating the most points, to get that podium finish. That may even push you to use a vehicle type that you’re not a fan of. Once again, that is where the challenge comes into play and when you do win, you get that sense of accomplishment.
The racing itself isn’t as easy to pick up as you might think. Like all kart racers, mastering drifting will be the key to winning a race, however if you have played Mario Kart, the drift will feel familiar, and you will learn what is needed quite easily. On top of that, the courses are quite large with a lot of terrain for racing. Many have alternative paths and shortcuts, which you will feel inclined to use as sometimes that will be the only way to get the best possible finish. However, you do need to think about your vehicle and how it will handle driving on the surface of that route. Sure, if you take that sharp right through that hill, it may well cut down the overall distance you need to drive, but can your vehicle handle as well on that sludgy or gritty surface.
The margin for error is small when it comes to these parts of the race, as you only have a few laps to the finish line. I found myself having to retry races to get that podium finish through trial and error. For some that may not feel like real racing, as you’re basically finding the right vehicle type for each specific race. But like I said the AI is also very challenging, so you need to race well to get that win.
I do have some issues with Super Toy Cars Offroad though. First of all, the music and sound feel like afterthoughts. The music during races sounds very generic and bland and fail to ever really help get you pumped for a race. The sound effects are very poor in all aspects, from using items to the sound of your car drifting.
On top of that, the hit detection is very hit and miss. When you hit an obstacle or barrier your car will instantly grind to a stop and when you want to move away, you must reverse more than what you visually need to in order to avoid hitting the obstacle. I’ve also had a few occasions where I needed to restart the game; the race will start but it becomes laggy and slow in real time, but the timer continues as normal. It hasn’t happened enough times to affect the overall experience, but has certainly been enough for me to notice.
Further and while there is a good selection of vehicles to unlock, once you have favourites, you will be less inclined to use the newer vehicles further on in the Career mode; they may only appeal aesthetically and will not bring much to the game which is different from those you already have. Put it this way, once you’ve driven a couple of trucks in the game you have basically driven them all. I think this is where the lack of presentation and story/premise hurts. There are only a small amount of courses available too, and whilst admittedly they are vastly different from one another, offering their own challenges, again, once you’ve gone through half the career mode you would have seen all it has to offer.
Having said all that, the core driving experience found in Super Toy Cars Offroad is fun. It’s fast and hectic, the majority of races will keep you engaged and you will really have to prove yourself to be first across that finish line. Add in some split-screen multiplayer, and you get more replay value. It would have been nice to have the ability to be able to have more players racing, but as an indie title, you have to give Eclipse games a lot of credit for still packing a lot of racing in here.
If you like arcade kart racing games and need a new fix, I’d recommend Super Toy Cars Offroad.
Super Toy Cars Offroad is available over at the Xbox Store
I’m gonna be honest…
I hope you don’t delete this comment, but if you do, i still hope it can be of value to you…
That is more importan6t to me(!)..
When i say: im gonna be honest,” it doesnt mean the same as like a lyer is telling you he’s not gonna lie whereafter you can wait for it the next thing he or she says, is a lie…
You see the difference…
I hope you see some value in it…
Ok, the review…
The reason I gave my email-adres to give some subjective criticism…
This is a PS5-review, so from the start of the review, I was wondering about the graphics-part in the review of the game…
I knew that wasnt coming, cause dancing around the graphics department of the game with other ‘filler-stuff,’ makes me think the worst of the graphics department.
So overly think about that for in the future: the review reads as a disappointment.
I hope you don’t feel as if this is an attack, or personal…
This is criticism you may not like to hear, but as you can see, as I said: “Much more valuable than a lyer that is saying he’s not gonna lie, where you can wait for it to spot the lie..