Developer: Playrise Digital
Table Top Racing is like Micro Machines. How similar are the two games? So much so that Wikipedia makes the comparison, and they don’t even include a .
Want to know something, though? I never actually played Micro Machines, so I have no idea how valid that comparison is. What I do know, however, is that Table Top Racing is one of the better kart racing games I’ve played, on the Vita or otherwise. It’s cute, it’s easy to pick up, and it’s got more than enough depth to make it worth your time and money.
It’s obvious even to me, of course, that it’s not the most original game. I may not have played Micro Machines the game, but I did play with actual Micro Machines, and it’s pretty easy to see a direct line from those to the tiny vehicles in Table Top Racing. Likewise, you have all the standard pick-ups — the missile, the mine, the speed boost — that have been in kart racing games since…well, not quite time immemorial, but definitely since the first Mario Kart.
Of course, since the formula has been established for so long, it’s really more a question of how well the game puts it all together than it is of how fresh and new it all seems. And on that front, Table Top Racing does pretty well. The cars aren’t just adorably small, they also control pretty well. Likewise, the environments do a fantastic job of taking commonplace items and making courses out of them. You might not expect it from the description, but racing over dice and between hot dogs and around pencils is surprisingly thrilling when it’s done as well as it is here.
What’s more, the pick-ups and power-ups and upgrades are all implemented perfectly. None of them seem that impressive at first, but as you get into later innings and you start seeing how the different vehicles improve and all the different ways you can get an edge on your opponents, you really start to appreciate how much depth this game actually has.
Which, come to think of it, means that Table Top Racing is among the very best racing games on the Vita. True, that’s not a huge accomplishment, since the full list of Vita racing games can easily be counted on two hands. Nonetheless, this is a strong enough game that it’s easy to imagine Table Top Racing standing out even if that list was several times as long.