That sure is a mouthful. Mind if I call it TTRWTNE for short?
When we look at Apple TV as a platform for gaming, we see that some genres are well represented, and others, not so much.
Fans of 2D action-platformers for example are well catered for, both inside and outside of Apple Arcade. Le Parker: Sous Chef Extraordinaire (review), Leo’s Fortune (review), Dead Cells (appreciation!), Spidersaurs, Shantae and the Seven Sirens, Stela – these are just a few fantastic titles right off the top of my head.
First-person-shooters on the other hand? Yeah, good luck with that. Even Shadowgun Legends is unplayable at the moment until it gets its 1.0.0 update.
How about kart racing then?
While it’s hard to argue the genre is over-represented on Apple TV, the few titles that are available are excellent.
Beach Buggy Racing is a must-have, and even has four-player split-screen. It is free-to-play, so you do have to contend with that aspect of it, although Vector Unit promises Beach Buggy Racing 2 on Apple TV in 2020 will be a premium release, so that’ll be one to look out for.
SEGA’s Sonic Racing is also a lot of fun, but only available to those with an Apple Arcade subscription.
There are no stand-out kart racers of exemplary quality available as a once-off, premium purchase. Until today.
The Apple TV gaming platform welcomes Table Top Racing: World Tour – Nitro Edition to its catalogue.
For the last few days, I’ve been playing Playrise Digital’s sequel to Table Top Racing pre-release, waiting patiently for the game to go public so I could test my skills against other flesh and blood humans.
I’ll post impressions on that side of things post-release, but there’s been plenty of single player action to sink my teeth into, so let’s dig in.
As mentioned, TTRWTNE is a pay-once get-everything premium package, so no in-app-purchases, and certainly no pay-to-win miseries.
The single player campaign is satisfyingly large, and so far I’ve managed to scrap my way out of the beginning first tier tournament – titled Cult Classics – and into the second tier’s Street Racers. The second tier cars are sleeker and faster, with better handling, and useful for going back through the first tier events to 3-star them for cold hard cash. Even after you unlock the third tier’s Supercars, you’ll need enough coinage to actually pick up one of those bad boys, and they don’t come cheap.
Going back through earlier events, and completing one of the many Challenge events will help pay your way. The Challenge events come with particular sets of race rules, many of which can only be completed with certain cars. I’m assuming the multiplayer component will be yet another way to earn once it goes live.
Once bought, cars can be upgraded and outfitted with improved attributes, permanent power-ups, and bling. The cars themselves fit into the game’s overall theme of micro-car racing, with everything shrunk down into a giant’s world, emphasising fun over realism. Having said that, the handling still requires vigilance and some learned skill. Skills such as learning when to apply acceleration to pull yourself out of a turn, and finding decent racing lines will make the difference between winning and losing. There is a satisfying amount of skill to be squeezed out of these table-top toys.
As these screens suggest, the tracks are imaginative and well-crafted, adorned with 1980’s-themed kids toys, oversized fruit, and so on. Those willing to explore will be rewarded with hidden currency tucked away in hard-to-get-to nooks, some of which will have you scratching your head trying to find a way into. Nabbing these rewards means sacrificing any chance of winning a race, it’s more a way of packing in extra goodies for those who have to have everything, and is a fun touch.
TTRWTNE really has a lot to uncover, here are some numbers for you: 32 different tracks across 8 varying themes, 16 cars to collect, all upgradeable, 180 race events, 8 power-up weapons that drop during races, and 6 unique Weapon Wheels to purchase which once equipped offer a permanent ability.
Even the 8 power-ups that drop in-game are upgradeable. Once players reach the second tier, the choice becomes available of being able to fire a found weapon, or wait until a second weapon box is picked up which then upgrades the first. A simple missile becomes a barrage of three missiles, or an upgraded ice beam gains a wider field of attack, making it easier to ice your opponents. An element of strategy present itself here, as players may choose to just fire off the weapon that’s been found in order to be able to pick up another straight away, as only one can be carried at a time. Fire a weaker weapon now or wait to power it up? The answer will vary depending on the situation you find yourself in.
Gameplay is buttery smooth, running at true 60hz at 4K while over 2-player local split-screen. The playful environments really pop on Apple TV 4K.
Crossplay is supported between iOS and tvOS which will increase the chances of finding a multiplayer race post-release, but that of course will depend on customer-uptake. Your saved game will travel across the Cloud between your devices too which is always a reassuring feature, giving you the option of screen size depending on where you’re at.
There is a whole lot to like about Table Top Racing: World Tour – Nitro Edition, and this sequel to the much easier to type Table Top Racing is definitely worth the extra keystrokes. It’s bright, buttery smooth, packed with features, and once you have it, it’s all yours – no subscription, no loot boxes, no IAPs, no ads. Done.
Roll the trailer below which is a look at the Nintendo Switch version released earlier this year. It’s the same version that’s come to Apple TV 4K. See you on the track!
If you’re new to The Apple TV Gaming Blog (ATVG), or just new to Apple TV gaming in general, or both, then the best place to get acquainted is our Best Apple TV games of 2018 article. You’ll find a great collection of games to play, and a bunch of useful links to our previous site content. Welcome aboard. Enjoy the ride.