Please note that whilst I know the developers of Super Toys Cars (Eclipse Games) I will try my best to provide a review as unbiased as possible.
Super Toy Cars has been out for a long time, but with its recent release on the Xbox One, Eclipse Games sent me a review copy to have a bash at. Over the course of 6 hours I bumped and bashed my way through all 48 levels, getting 575 gamerscore in the process, so I’m pretty qualified to give my opinion on the game.
If you wanted an example of what Super Toy Cars resembles it’s Micro Machines grown up. You play as a tiny car racing against 7 other cars (of varying makes and models) and proceed to race around tracks that are made of all the small things a child would have access to (cereal boxes, sweets, games etc). There’s many modes to differentiate the gameplay, with an elimination round easily being my favourite (every 20 seconds whoever’s in last place is thrown out of the game). The graphics is fairly cool for a small team working across continents (seriously, they don’t work together and instead work over skype), and the music is repetitive, but awesome at times (cannot stop singing two of the songs to myself all the time). Whilst on paper that all sounds awesome and dandy, Super Toy Cars just can’t help but feel…. clunky.
It’s not a word I use very often to describe things, but clunky is exactly the word I’m going to use to perfectly summarise Eclipse Games’ Super Toy Cars. It has plenty of cars, and plenty of stages, but the whole thing comes across as unpolished. I found myself being driven insane far too often at clunky controls, clunky physics, and damn right annoying AI.
The drift mechanic for example is used in most games to encourage more skilled players to use it more often, helping them build up boosts to then beat a level faster. In Super Toy Cars it only serves to impede you, annoyingly slowing you down to the point it was never worth my time drifting around corners, and simply braking instead. Not great for a competitive game when the best way to win is to have the fastest car and to simply brake around corners.
Stages are nice in variety, but have weird collision glitches all over the place, with walls colliding strangely (sometimes you’ll just drive through cereal boxes and other times you’ll flip hundreds of times), and floors causing slow downs at random times. This doesn’t play nicely with the game’s automatic restart feature, which respawns your car should it detect you’ve collided pretty badly with the scenery or you’re driving the wrong way (being in first for a lot of the race then losing because you respawned whilst driving on a straight road is never a nice feeling).
For all of it’s faults I did find that Super Toy Cars became a lot more enjoyable towards the end when I had the fastest car available, allowing me to bypass most bugs and “clunkiness” through sheer speed alone. Not a great way to explain how I eventually enjoyed a game, but a fitting sentence all the same. If only the rest of the game was like the final 2 hours…
So, for all its faults, should you own Super Toy Cars? If you fancy helping out an indie developer and having a semi-enjoyable few hours on the game (with awesome, quick achievements), then by all means pay the price for admission. If on the other hand you’re quick to anger and don’t like bugs in your games (who does), then it might be worth skipping Super Toy Cars for now. For a first game, Eclipse Studios should be happy with themselves, but that doesn’t stop Super Toy Cars from being Clunky with a capital C.