In an era where developers crow over the 3D modeling of their puddles and the accurate stitching details on steering wheels, Trackmania is competing in a whole different circuit. Nadeo’s arcade racer has always been about doing crazy stunts while sneering at gravity, and that’s not changing in its latest incarnation, Trackmania Turbo.
Trackmania is an alluring option for players yearning for classic arcadestyle racing action. Catching air is inevitable, as is the risk that you’re going to fly completely off of the track. Fortunately, drivers can reset their car back onto the course in an instant with the press of a button.
The two-player Double Driver mode is a fun twist on traditional multiplayer, reminiscent of Katamari Damacy’s weird approach to co-op. In this mode, two players cooperate to drive a single car. Each person’s controller provides half the required input, so the team needs to coordinate turns to prevent wiping out or bonking into walls. It’s a silly diversion, but it remains to be seen if it has much traction over the long term.
Players can still design their own tracks, but there’s also a new tool that generates randomized levels with the press of a button. It’s an easy way to try something new when you aren’t feeling up to massaging every loop and banked turn, or for people who don’t bother creating in the first place to see what’s possible. I tried a few of these tracks, and while they didn’t feel quite as polished as their hand-built counterparts, it’s nice to have access to fresh pavement at a moment’s notice.
I’m excited to see what kinds of devilish creations the community comes up with in Trackmania Turbo, as well as what’s bound to be an endless source of highlight videos.