There’s no shortage of decent racers on the App Store and Google Play, with the likes of Asphalt 7: Heat and Real Racing 3 proving hugely popular and offering – as Dealspwn’s Jon would say – “visceral thrills”.
Tab Top Racing is a different kettle of fish altogether, combining elements of Micro Machines and Mario Kart. It’s pretty freakin’ good.
Why Micro Machines? Well the obvious similarity is that the action takes place on kitchen tables and worktops and the like, with miniature cars and trucks racing among giant sandwiches, watermelons, bowls of noodles… and so on.
However, while Micro Machines was a top-down affair, the Table Top Racing action is presented from behind your chosen vehicle.
Why Mario Kart? See, there are little boxes dotted around with various power-ups inside, including a speed boost, bomb, missile, and an electrical strike thing that can take out multiple opponents.
To be fair, those power-ups might also bring good old WipEout to mind, and indeed Table Top Racing is developed by the aforementioned’s co-creators. Thought I’d better give them a mention.
Anyway! Where were we? Racing miniature cars around tabletops with power-ups aplenty.
There are three different modes in Table Top Racing, namely Championships (four in total), Special Events (30+), and Quick Race. Actually, let’s say four including the multiplayer, which is playable online or locally.
In Championships, you have several different events to complete before racing for the cup. To keep things interesting, instead of simply racing balls-out the whole time, Tab Top Racing throws in different conditions.
You might, for example, have to catch a target within a given time, survive an elimination race (where last place is eliminated after each lap), or win a race without power-ups.
So, plenty going on in Table Top Racing, no doubt. And I haven’t even mentioned the garage yet.
There are 10 upgradeable cars in total, some available immediately, some unlockable, and others purchasable with Table Top Racing’s in-game currency.
While saving up in smartphone games can be a pain in the posterior, I found Table Top Racing to be well balanced. Indeed, I managed to finish the first two Championships with the default car – no upgrades or anything. Check me out.
As for Table Top Racing’s controls, you can opt for on-screen buttons or tilt-based. Personally, I preferred the former, but it’s hilarious making people play it with the accelerometer.
Oh, I should probably mention that there’s no brake or accelerator. Weird, right? It took a bit of getting used to, but it works a treat for the most part.
And that’s Table Top Racing. It’s really good, and it’s down to 69p at the time of writing (usually £1.99). You should probably go get it.
- 10 upgradeable cars
- 8 tracks
- 4 Championships
- No brake/accelerator
- Too kiddy for some?
- Uhm, it’s fairly chunky, I guess (141MB)
Summary: Table Top Racing combines elements of Micro Machines, Mario Kart and WipEout to yield a fun and accessible racer, that’s equally effective in small chunks or big manly bites.
Price: currently 69p (usually £1.99) @ App Store
Developer: Playrise Edge Ltd
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 5.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.