Super small off-road cars is an arcade racing game, developed and published by Eclipse Games. In it, you drive miniature-sized toy cars through racing circuits built like obstacle courses surrounded by large everyday objects. The race is fast and chaotic, as in other kart racing games such as Super Mario Kart and Crash Team Racing. It offers an in-depth career mode, with plenty of vehicles to unlock and a variety of different race types, but it has a few issues that hold it back a bit. Overall, it’s a solid indie title worth checking out.
As soon as you start Super Toy Cars Offroad, you see a simple menu with only a few options to choose from. You have your standard Quick Race mode, where you choose from the game’s selection of race types and race either against the CPU or with a second player for split-screen races. The inclusion of split-screen multiplayer is appreciated, as it’s a feature not always included in racing games. It would have been greatly missed here, especially since this is an arcade-style kart racing game.
The other mode is Career mode. This is where you will spend most of your time when playing Super Toy Cars Offroad. You are immediately shown a screen with a host of events to participate in; no intro movie or any form of introduction. Maybe it would have been nice to have something to set the scene, if only because it’s nice to have some form of backstory or dialogue to excite and immerse the player in participation in these competitions. That said, there are plenty of races required to complete career mode. Each time you complete a competition and a race, you will not only earn money, but you will unlock cars to buy, skins and different racing avatars.
Every race event has a prerequisite for the type of car you are allowed to race in. So, before entering a race, you will have to go to the garage and buy the vehicle you need. You have five types of vehicles in the game: Quad, Rally Car, SUV, Buggy and Truck. And as you might expect, each type of vehicle is very different from the other. Rally cars have high speed and acceleration, but aren’t that good off-road – and yes, that might sound strange, because rally cars are designed to be better off-road. But in any case, you will then have the Buggy which is more suited to this, coming with strong accelerations but ultimately slower than the Rally cars. Each type of vehicle has its pros and cons, actually. Depending on the type of driver you are, some will be more preferable than others, but the great thing about career mode is that it forces you to try out all the vehicles available and be good at driving them all. .
The career is not limited to a quantity of racing events. Each event also has different race modes and you will need to rack up the most points from each race to get a top three; something that is needed to unlock the next event. Some events only have one race while others might have two or three.
There are also many types of races:
- Time Trial – Do two laps by yourself and set the best time
- Race – Eight players, two lap race to finish. Items included
- Elimination – Two lap race with eight riders, last ranked rider is eliminated over time until only one rider remains. Items included
- Drift Challenge – Rack up as many points as possible by drifting the highlighted parts of the track yourself
- Clean Race – Traditional two lap race with 8 runners with no items available
- Attack against the clock – Go through as many checkpoints as possible before time runs out
- Death Race – Two lap, eight rider race with a twist. Where you can eliminate other races by joining them and using weapons. Once a driver vehicle is destroyed, it is no longer part of the race
- Destruction – Take out as many yellow vehicles as possible within the time limit.
So, as you can see, there’s a lot of variety, and honestly, they’re a lot of fun.
The AI itself can be very mind-boosting and even when you seem to have a big lead it can be very easily caught up in a wrong turn or caught in a trap or obstacle. Winning is truly earned when you do. Additionally, once you choose to start an event with a vehicle of your choice, you cannot swap the vehicle between races. This is where some strategy comes in – let’s say you’re in an event that includes a drift challenge but also a destruction race and a clean race, you’ll need to think carefully about which type of vehicle will give you the best results. chances of accumulating the most points, to get this podium. It may even push you to use a type of vehicle you’re not a fan of. Again, that’s where the challenge comes in and when you win, you get that sense of accomplishment.
The race itself is not as easy to understand as one might think. Like all kart racers, mastering drifting will be key to winning a race, but if you’ve played Mario Kart, drifting will feel familiar and you’ll learn what you need to do pretty easily. On top of that, the courses are quite large with plenty of terrain for racing. Many have alternate paths and shortcuts, which you’ll feel inclined to use as sometimes it’ll be the only way to get the best finish possible. However, you need to think about your vehicle and how it will handle driving on the surface of this route. Sure, if you take that turn through that hill, it may well reduce the total distance you have to travel, but can your vehicle handle that muddy or gravelly surface just as well.
The margin for error is small when it comes to these parts of the race, as you only have a few laps before the finish line. I found myself having to try races again to get that podium through trial and error. For some, this may not feel like a real race, as you basically find the right type of vehicle for each specific race. But as I said, the AI is also very difficult, so you have to run well to get this win.
I do have some issues with Super Toy Cars Offroad though. First, the music and sound seem like afterthoughts. The music during races sounds very generic and bland and never really helps you get motivated for a race. The sound effects are very poor in all aspects, from using objects to the sound of your car drifting.
On top of that, hit detection is very random. When you hit an obstacle or barrier, your car stops instantly and when you want to drive away, you have to back up more than you visually need to avoid hitting the obstacle. I also had a few occasions where I had to restart the game; the race will start but it becomes laggy and slow in real time, but the stopwatch continues normally. It didn’t happen enough times to affect the overall experience, but it was definitely enough for me to notice.
Additionally and although there is a good selection of vehicles to unlock, once you have favorites you will be less inclined to use the new vehicles further on in Career Mode; they can only appeal aesthetically and won’t add much to the game that is different from the ones you already have. In other words, once you’ve driven a few trucks in the game, you’ve pretty much driven them all. I think that’s where the lack of presentation and story/premise hurts. There are only a small number of courses available too, and although they are very different from each other, offering their own challenges, again, once you get through halfway through the career mode, you would have seen all it has to offer.
That said, the core driving experience found in Super Toy Cars Offroad is fun. It’s fast and hectic, the majority of races will keep you engaged and you’ll really have to prove that you’re the first across that finish line. Add split-screen multiplayer and you get more replay value. It would have been nice to have the option to have more players racing, but as an indie title you have to give Eclipse games a lot of credit for still having plenty of racing here.
If you love arcade kart racing games and need a new fix, I recommend Super Toy Cars Offroad.
Super Toy Cars Offroad is available at Xbox Store
Super Toy Cars Offroad is an arcade racing game, developed and published by Eclipse Games. In it, you drive miniature-sized toy cars through racing circuits built like obstacle courses surrounded by large everyday objects. The racing is fast and chaotic just like in other kart racing games such as Super Mario Kart and Crash Team Racing. It offers an in-depth career mode, with plenty of vehicles to unlock and a variety of different race types, but it has a few issues that hold it back a bit. Overall, it’s a solid indie title worth checking out…
Super Toy Cars Offroad review
Super Toy Cars Offroad Review