Originally a mobile game on Iphone and Ipad, Table Top Racing is as safe as a title can be. The image and name says it all. It’s a racer in the same vein as Codemasters original Micro Machines games from the mid to late 90’s. However, they seem to have also mushed in a heady dose of Mario Kart for good measure. You can race a large range of vehicles from sports cars, 4×4 land rovers and even a bunny car complete with fur and ears. You race across many table based tracks that are extremely similar to Codemasters original even down to the table cloths and obstacles.
The usual race types are all there including time trials, Takedowns, pursuits, PvP and career mode. When you win a race you are awarded money with which to upgrade your vehicles with. The tracks are also star based with side objectives to entice you back to get full marks. Its coin rewards are fairly paced and unlocking items isn’t a vicious grind. Please note there are in game purchasing options but these aren’t too obtrusive and are not necessary in order to progress at a fair pace.
Weapon pick ups ala Mario Kart make an appearance which introduces a chaotic element to the game. When playing against other people you can take down a better racer in order to assist in getting ahead or boost yourself forward to allow for better positions. Again this is emulated from Nintendo’s seminal racer and therefore is used at a reasonable rate without being too unfair.
Graphically the game is competent and the framerate is smooth but there is a little less detail than you would like to see from a modern mobile kart game. If I had to compare the graphics they would be close to the original Vita title Modnation Racers with a few added extras. During my time with the game I experience only a little slow down and stutter but nothing game breaking or irritating.
Controls are adequate with no frustration from the lack of responsiveness. Cars seem to handle differently and as you upgrade you are rewarded with a much better vehicle with which to gain better results in online racing and advance your career. The physical controls of the Vita also has a distinct advantage over the touch based iOS version too. However a lot of the option screens are still touch based. You can change the camera angle too from a behind view to a top down angle that will let you enjoy the original style used by older kart games.
If I have to criticise this game I would say that because of the “safe” feeling of the graphics and gameplay it lacks originality and in no way brings something new to the kart racing genre. Everything you see has been done before and it lacks the “charm” of the games it copies. However there is plenty to do, lots of cars to unlock, plenty of upgrades to get and with the multiplayer has endless hours of fun with friends (or enemies), with the added plus with this version is the inclusion of trophies which any PSN fan will appreciate.
Table Top Racing is an adequate racer with which to fill your time and although its been seen before it’s a safe bet when it comes to mobile racers.
MLG Rating: 7/10 Format: PlayStation Vita Release Date: 05/08/2014
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a copy of Table Top Racing by the publisher for review purposes. The title was reviewed over the course of 2 weeks on a PlayStation Vita. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.