REVIEW / Super Toy Cars (PC)

 

Eclipse Games’ Super Toy Cars is an arcade combat racing game that showcases awesome looking toy cars, fast and fun racetracks made of objects such as fruit, sushi, nuts and bolts, cardboard boxes, tin cans and stuffed animals as well as the ability to improve on your cars’ performance.  There are also a slew of power-up objects that will allow you to hinder your opponents in some very interesting ways that creates a dynamic that is not new to the genre but makes for some really fun gameplay.  There are many different cars to race and upgrade with special racing enhancements to allow you to compete with the best racers around while you make your way through the Career Mode or just get in a Quick Race against your friends or AI opponents.  You can play up to 4 players locally and up to 8 players online. Tired of the tracks that the game features?  Then jump into the track editor and build your own to race yourself or to share with friends.  Super Toy Cars is a huge game filled to the brim with lots of options for you to build the ultimate toy racer experience.

 

AI opponents will do whatever they can to knock you out of contention.

 

Super Toy Cars currently offers 16 different cars to race in the game and each one is built on its own unique handling model so that no two cars feel the same.  The game comes stocked with 12 different tracks that are in 4 different locations which can be played in 5 different event types.  The event types are Elimination, Evade, Race, Time Attack and Time Trial.  Career Mode is where this game really shines offering 8 “Episodes” that are comprised of six events each of a different mix of the 5 event types.  For instance, Episode One is comprised of 3 Race, 2 Time Trial and 1 Elimination event types.  You gain points for placing first through third in a race and can use these points to buy better cars or to upgrade the cars that you currently own.

The real magic in Super Toy Cars happens during races where you can not only outperform your opponents on the track, you can add to that humiliation by using the power-up objects that are scattered around the track.  You can keep your opponents from getting the best of you by using a power-up at just the right moment.  If an opponent is threatening to overcome you and take the lead, you can throw down an oil spill, glue spill, mine or a spring trap to keep them at bay.  If they manage to steal your position, a well-placed giant 8-ball or a missile to the tailpipe is sure to open the way for your advancement.  And if you need a little extra speed to boost yourself across the finish line, there is a boost filling power-up that will fit the bill.

 

The green beetle on the left just activated a speed boost.

 

The graphics is Super Toy Cars are very impressive and are surprisingly well done.  Objects are brightly colored and I kept thinking of the Toy Story movies as I played because the whole presentation of the game is done in that style of art design.  Being that you are racing toy cars, the motif of the game certainly complements the theme and gives you the feeling of playing with Hot Wheel tracks from back in the day.  The cars themselves, ranging from models like a VW Beetle and VW Bus to a Lamborghini and an F1 race car, are very nicely modeled and are reminiscent of actual Hot Wheels and Matchbox toy cars.  When purchasing new cars, you have the option to pick from a number of different colors and styles like metallic or pearlescent as well as pre-made racing designs.

Sound effects in Super Toy Cars is about what you would expect in a game of this type.  Engines roar as you take a sharp turn, tires squeal as you slam on the breaks to avoid a collision and the honk of toy horns can be heard as your AI opponents speed past you at breakneck speeds.  The real highpoint of the game is the soundtrack for sure.  The songs that can be heard in the main menu and during races is all composed by a group called The Spin Wires.  This band is a group of three guys from the Buffalo, NY area that are known for writing music that is a blend of dance rock infused with elements of punk, new wave and garage rock.  These upbeat and raucous songs were a very refreshing addition to a type of game that we as gamers don’t see that often outside of the Mario Kart series.  I never got tired of hearing them and they actually helped to immerse me in the whole toy car racing experience.  As I would be fighting for the first place position during a race, I would find myself bobbing my head along with the tunes that were playing in the background.  The soundtrack for this game is one of the best that I have heard this year and it fits perfectly with the game to create a product that is entertaining and fun.

 

In your garage, you can see the stats that your cars currently have.

 

I have to admit that I am not a huge kart racing fan but I do enjoy the popular racing simulators that video game racing fans have come to love.   However, I really enjoyed my time with Super Toy Cars and found it to be a nice surprise in the execution of the idea for this game.  Who would think that a racing game that has toy cars as the types of cars that you would be racing with would be fun to play?  I certainly didn’t.  Don’t get me wrong, this game has its issues as well.  For starters, because the tracks are made up of giant objects, there are points on many of the tracks where your car gets stuck in and all you can do is hit the respawn button and the game will place you in a clear spot on the track.  In addition, when your opponents crash or are hit with a missile, the game will often times respawn them directly in your path so you don’t have any choice but to collide with them.  There is also the pop-up window that appears when you place a trap to allow you to see if your opponents trigger it that will obscure your view of the track until the trap is sprung or times out.  For the many issues that this game has, though, there is so much more that made this game enjoyable.  This is a game that I would definitely recommend to players who like this type of silly, fun racing game.

 

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