Playing with your toys has never been so super
Review written by
July 23rd, 2014
When you hear about a video game titled Super Toy Cars, do you really expect anything more than worthless shovelware? The kind of game that moms buy their kids just because it seemed "cute", without having any prior knowledge about the game? It's a safe bet to say that most of us would, and it's what I certainly thought going into Super Toy Cars. But to my pleasant surprise, this little racer turned out to be a pretty enjoyable experience.
There's no story to speak of in Super Toy Cars. You simply race around tracks as a toy car, surrounded by general household objects. You can race against other AI players as well as up to 3 of your buddies locally in a number of different modes and tracks of your choosing.
There are five different modes in Super Toy Cars, which consist of Race, Time Trial, Time Attack, Elimination, and Evade. The first three all work exactly like they do in other racing games, so don't expect too many surprises there. The most interesting of all the modes in my eyes were the Elimination and Evade ones. In Elimination, the racer in last place is eliminated from the match after 15 seconds have passed. Evade is the same thing, but with loads of mines sprinkled across the track that racers would do well to avoid. These two modes were a nice change of pace from the other more typical modes in the game, and it gets particularly hectic in Evade when toy cars are slipping all over the place thanks in no small part to explosives.
General gameplay works pretty much how you would expect it to in a racing game. You drive, turn, and drift to the finish line as fast as you can. A boost gauge is featured, which has you filling it up by either jumping or drifting until it's full and gives you the ability to really speed up for a short period of time. Several different power-ups and items can be picked up during the race in a similar fashion to Mario Kart. These can range from mines to 8-balls that charge ahead of you and interfere with the driving of other racers. The items aren't particularly as fun or creative as the ones in Mario Kart, but they do add in an extra bit of life to the races.
The track design in Super Toy Cars isn't remarkable, but it gets the job done. You can race in environments such as a little kid's room, a kitchen, and a garage, with appropriate household objects lining up the racetracks. This is where the game unfortunately fails to realize its potential, because despite the different environments and objects, the tracks generally don't feel all that different from each other. The household tools layered throughout each track don't really do anything other than just stand outside of the track, and there aren't even any obstacles to avoid inside the race track. It would've made for some really creative and fun track design had the developers tried harder to integrate the household bits and pieces into the actual race tracks.
Fortunately though, Super Toy Cars just so happens to have a track editor. With this, you can create your own levels in any environment the game contains, and you can place objects wherever you want to. You can also shape the actual race track if you don't want to be driving around in a circle all the time. To add icing on the cake, the editor is simple, easy to use, and not too overwhelming for players who don't have much experience building racetracks.
Super Toy Cars really wants you to feel like you got your money's worth, because it certainly isn't hurting for content. There are several different cars that successfully manage to feel different from each other and car skins you can unlock, and you can buy and upgrade them using the money you get from the game's Career Mode, which features a good selection of levels based around each of the five modes. Quick Match is an available option for players who want to play a specific mode on a specific map, with the option of racing with 1 to 3 friends via local multiplayer. There are achievements to unlock as well, and of course there's the aforementioned track editor that you can spend quite a bit of time on. Yeah, I'd say you'd get your money's worth, all right.
Super Car Toys isn't too shabby on presentation, either. The graphics are colorful and vibrant, and the rocking music really fits in with the racing atmosphere, though the songs can start to feel a bit repetitive since there are few music tracks in the game. Some more songs would have been more than welcome.
While the game is relatively polished for the most part, I did happen to encounter a few times a glitch that caused the game to stop responding once a level was completed. There was also a moment where the game caused my entire Wii U console to crash, although this only happened once. While these issues may not be too frequent, a patch that fixes them would be much appreciated.
Sadly, online play is a no-show on the Wii U version. It's a shame too, especially when you consider the possibility of sharing your own tracks online and playing through the tracks of other players. The developer has said that they're working on a patch that includes an online leaderboard for the game, however. It's not actual online multiplayer, but it does hopefully bring us one step closer to the feature.
Super Toy Cars doesn't bring anything revolutionary to the racing genre, but it definitely brings the fun. It's the type of game that both casual and hardcore players can enjoy playing through, even if it doesn't quite give Mario Kart a run for its money. Who would've thought that playing with your toys as an adult could be this much fun?
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