Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Touch Racing Nitro (PSN) Review

Touch Racing Nitro is another game making its way over from iPhone, although quite why it kept the "Touch" part of the title is odd, saves on redoing the logo I suppose. Still, with distant childhood memories of Atari's SuperSprint flooding in, let's race.

TRN is best started by going through the tutorial mode that is not only educational in the nuances of the game, but unlocks extras cars for doing well. One quirky extra for the game is that you can reset your position when stuck manually, so rather than flying into the scenery and waiting for the game to do it, you can get going a little quicker before you reach the scene of the accident, a useful trick.

The races themselves in tournaments or time trial mode run over 5,6 or 7 laps, a little longer than is really fun. Still, the first lap is generally for getting used to the scrolling track, learning which are the fast and which are the slow corners and what obstacles need avoiding. But on the later laps, you should be far ahead, so get bored while trying to maintain your concentration, I can't see an option to lower the lap count but it would be a useful addition to any sequel.

Your dinky RC car can be flustered by the crash barriers, bumps and other cars, so keeping a fluid pace on the racing line is the major challenge. Once you master that on the current track, you can soon burn past the opposition. On the straights and big jumps, limited turbo can come in handy but can also derail your progress.

The dynamic camera follows your car around the track panning in and out as your speed changes, it can get a little juddery at times, despite the rather simply track layout and furniture. Other niggles include the time trial mode that fails to show your lap times as you go round, making it nothing like a time trial - and the fact that there are no lap records - small things that made SuperSprint one of the most addictive games ever.

While there are plenty of tracks, vehicles, paint jobs and other attractions, TRN seems to have forgotten the little details that are essential to the success of a "small game." A shame as the smart tutorial mode promised a lot more fun. Just a bit more effort in adding extra challenge for the player over just making the game and races bigger would keep me coming back, perhaps the loss of Achievements from the iPhone version isn't helping here.

Available on PSN for £2.49 [Bravo Game Studios]
7/10 Lacks the finesse or personal challenge for long term play, but a fun racer all the same.

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