Not quite the Micro Machines dream.
Any videogame that lets you race tiny toy cars around homemade tracks with jumps made out of cardboard is, by all accounts, one that should be greatly enjoyable if delivered right. Developer Eclipse Games has hoped to achieve that sense of fun from their title Super Toy Cars which, by way of a simple comparison, is much like Micro Machines in that players will experience big races on a small scale.
The core gameplay is nothing special and is in line with most racing titles on the market taking inspiration from the big games. For example, you have a number of weapon choices that are available for pickup on the track, the ability to boost by drifting and making jumps, and the odd shortcut on the track. The simple formula should just work, allowing players a solid gameplay experience but sadly that is not the case in Super Toy Cars. The core ideas are all present but are unable to reach their full potential.
Throughout Super Toy Cars there are several problems which bring down the whole experience. Most notably, whilst the core gameplay fundamentally works as intended, the controls feel consistently unresponsive, leaving the player feeling slightly disconnected from the action. Worse off, the collision system is somewhat broken – hitting an opponent or even the side of the track will completely kill your flow, even going so far as to turn your car in a completely different direction.
Additionally, the game also makes liberal use of teleportation – most collisions during a race won’t allow you the opportunity to right your mistake but will instead automatically teleport you back onto the track. This also happens when attempting risky moves – whilst they’re a great way of filling up your boost meter, landing from a big jump or even drifting corners will often result in the game teleporting you back onto the track for little apparent reason. Eventually, you’ll want to avoid taking risks when the payoff is not worth the loss of control.
One area that Super Toy Cars excels in is the visuals and audio department. For a title that is all about racing toy cars around homemade tracks, the game does a great job at delivering that feeling through its design. Each of the tracks across the different environments feels and looks fantastic. They capture of the joy of a child’s imagination and are accompanied by a soundtrack that adds a sense of adrenaline to the title. It is then such a shame that the game feels so flat thanks to gameplay and technical issues.
Super Toy Cars is a decent enough tabletop racing title that has plenty in the way of content and unlocks but fails to deliver an engaging enough experience to warrant investing the time into the title. Good performance, visuals and audio are not enough to save this title from being just another title on the Nintendo Switch and not a standout gem.