GAME NAME: TNT Racers: Nitro Machines Edition
DEVELOPER(S): Keen Games
PUBLISHER(S): Keen Games
PLATFORM(S): Wii U
RELEASE DATE(S): October 3rd, 2013
Nostalgia can be a tricky thing. Sometimes the games we remember playing when we were younger are still the same great games even later in life. But then on the other hand sometimes the games we remember playing were fun at the time. The first time I saw a screen shot of TNT Racers, I couldn’t help but think of Micro Machines. Unfortunately, this game is no Micro Machines.
TNT Racers: Nitro Machines Edition for the Wii U is a beefy HD version of a game with the same name that was released on the Wii. It comes with all the same cars and tracks that were included in the original but now has the extra content included plus other new cars and tracks. The visuals for the game are clean and cartoony looking with an overheard three quarters view. There are a ton of unlockables that will keep you busy for 4 to 6 hours of play, depending on your skill level.
The game play is separated into three different types: Time Attack, Attack Mode and Points Mode. The racing feels really loose and the action starts and stops so much you can never really get into the game. As soon as you fall off of the screen you “die” and become a ghost car. In some races you will find yourself stuck as a ghost racer for a few laps while trying to take out the other four racers. All of these negatives are mainly because the game is built with local multiplayer in mind. This was were I had the most fun with the game. The weapon pick ups such as the suction arrow and the wooden mallet make for laughs and remind me of some of the battling fun of past Mario Kart games. I feel that the lack of online line hurts this though because as I get older I have fewer and fewer gaming get togethers, so it isn’t often I get to play local multiplayer modes. The online leaderboards are nice but where is the multiplayer?
Whereas the graphics have a clean and vibrant feel to them, the soundtrack leaves a little to be desired. While I didn’t hate it so much that I had to mute it, It became monotonous and repetitive over the course of unlocking everything. Sometimes I wish simpler indie games just went with a MIDI soundtrack. 8-bit and 16-bit soundtracks usually kicked some butt.
If I was a kid and had friends or siblings to play this game, control issues aside, this game would have eaten up a portion of my time. If parents are looking for wholesome racing fun for their kids, it can be had here. As an older gamer with lack of house guests, it really buts a damper on the experience. TNT Racers is an enjoyable racer and with a few fixes could be a great franchise.