[PlayStation 4] Tinker Racers Review
Tinker Racers from Rumbora Party Games and QuByte Interactive is a multiplayer racing party game. Find out more in our Tinker Racers review!
Tinker Racers is a survival racing party game. Drive mini RC cars through tracks built around the house with common, everyday items. Forget the finishing line and just try to stay in sight! Up to four friends can join forces or compete with each other on local multiplayer!
Did you ever play Micro Machines way back when? The elimination racing game based on the concept of toy cars racing around household tracks built around nothing but a bunch of obstacles within reach and your imagination?
Did you ever wish we could bring back those heydays of local multiplayer mayhem? Rumbora Games sure seem to! Two brothers and a can-do attitude, hope that they can bring back that couch-based nostalgia of the nineties kicking and screaming into the Covid ridden 2020s. The question then becomes, how well do they fair? For the most part…okay.
If you are familiar with Micro Machines or games of that style then you instantly know what Tinker Racers is all about. If not, Tinker Racers is a top-down elimination racer where players and AIs race around a track on one screen that constantly follows the person in the first place. If the person in the last place falls out of view then they are eliminated. This continues until just the race leader remains and they are then awarded a point. The first to 5 points wins the whole challenge.
The premise of the game is just as simple as its controls. You use X to accelerate and left and right on the D-Pad to navigate. Whilst this is a joy for purists like me who still cling to the old ways, I can’t help but spare them a thought when you realize that the controls are fixed to that layout and cannot be changed to the more modern R2/Left stick combination. This is made more interesting when you realize that the left stick is the only way to navigate menus and not the D-Pad.
With that said, the controls feel solid, not only does it emulate the arcadey style of Micro Machines that it tries to emulate but it fine-tunes the slippery feel that was akin to the old Codemasters classics.
The visuals are excellent as they pay great homage to their inspiration but also craft them in such a way that they feel up to date. A few of the tracks feel fresh as obstacles and a sense of dynamism changes minor aspects of some of the tracks to stop it from becoming a tedious affair.
But sadly after that initial rush of nostalgia hit fades, the game starts to feel lacking. Baring the main campaign and bits of Multiplayer, there really isn’t much to do here. Rather than just elimination racers, the game could have done with actual races or time trial events. Even the tracks start to feel the same when during single player it becomes apparent that a lot of them are based on the same templates but with minor variations or with increased AI opponents instead of new challenges. The idea of “challenge” in this game does seem to be “add more enemies”. The enemy AI is solid nearly to the point of being frustrating but you never truly feel the game is cheating as you progress but after a while, you only seem to be racing against your desire to continue as it catches up to you.
It is possible that the game could have benefited from some weapons or more modes or even options as many games in the genre have evolved to include. Many in its field deem it necessary to include some kind of a gimmick to differentiate it from the others in the genre but sadly Tinker Racers does nothing to set itself apart. It does not even live up to its name of “tinker” as you are incapable of even changing the color or look of your vehicle during your single-player campaign. Others have threaded this path before and a lot of them have done better than Tinker Racers with Party Crashers being at the forefront of that list.
That is not to say that the game is not worth it’s salt. For a 2 man effort to create the main brunt of the game and a third to create the soundtrack, Rumbora Games can feel proud of their effort, and here is hoping that this is only the start of something great for them.
This Tinker Racers review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by QuByte Interactive.