By: Ted Chow
With the holiday season in full swing and the gaming industry winding down, racing games seem to take the market by storm — seriously, this is the third racing game I’ve reviewed in the span of a month. Perhaps it’s that time of the year when racing games are popular? In any case, Toybox Turbos is a fun little game from the makers of F1 2014. If you are looking for a casual racing title that doesn’t take itself seriously, then look no further!
If you enjoyed racing remote controlled cars as a kid, then you’ll most likely find the experience to be similar. The cars are weighted appropriately on quick turns and junctures depending on the car’s specification. This allows for players to choose from various cars and play styles that fit their preference. The camera can be a bit of nuisance, however, as it doesn’t register as well in certain angles and can feel rather locked, be it intentional or otherwise.
Toybox Turbos decided to go with a more lighthearted, cartoony look instead of the ultra realistic graphics the developers are known for. And it is a nice change of pace as the game is not a carbon copy of past iterations, but an entirely new intellectual property. When the cars race along fields of school desks and makeshift racetracks from everyday items, it really sells the feeling of toys coming alive.
The soundtrack, an amalgamation of various lighthearted scores, helps to maintain the stylish atmosphere within the lobby and on the racetrack.
As a side project, Toybox Turbos is limited to only single-player mode and online play. Single player is broken into different stages with a number of challenges within those stages. You have to complete the challenges and acquire stars based on your performance to unlock additional stages.
Challenges include your classic race around the track, time trials and boss encounter matches against a specific car. Car coins are collected through completion of challenges and are used to buy more toy cars to play with. Beyond collecting cars, there isn’t much else to do in single-player mode.
Multiplayer gives you the option to play online with strangers or through local play. Both modes allow you to set up the racing rules and cars allowed. Additional options for item pickups and map selections are available as well. The matches play out very similar to the single-player experience in every respect.
Aside from collecting additional cars, there are achievements that you can strive for if you fancy. There is also a leaderboard that showcase player’s scores for specific challenges in single player that you can try to match and overcome. And that’s about the entirety of things you can accomplish in Toybox Turbos.
As a side project with no real stress of bigger franchises breathing down their necks, Codemasters did a splendid job in creating a quirky yet thoughtful game with Toybox Turbos. While rather limited in features to entice playing on a continual basis, it was an enjoyable experience nonetheless. If ever you wish to enjoy a casual racing experience without all the technical jargon of racing etiquettes, then Toybox Turbos will be that PG game for the family this holiday season.