Tiny Trax (PlayStation 4) Review

By Albert Lichi 29.07.2017 1

Review for Tiny Trax on PlayStation 4

Slot car racing is a fairly niche past time that is rarely represented in video games. Probably the most prolific example can be seen in Yakuza 0 where it was an amusing mini-game. Tiny Trax aims to be a definitive slot car game, and with VR the micro machines become almost tangible, but with the added imagination that can be expressed only in a video game.

If it weren't for its amazing presentation and shocking attention to detail, Tiny Trax really wouldn't be anything too interesting. It must be said that the visuals on display are very bright and colourful, as if the miniature race tracks were living cartoon amusement parks. The VR implementation is fairly restrained since the core game involves sitting back and simulating the experience of racing with toy car raceways. With the PSVR headset it is possible to get realistic views of the tracks, as if they had an actual presence or as if the wearer was some kind of god presiding over the race. Without having to physically move, it is not possible to get different angles of the race, and while the default position works for the most part, options would have been appreciated.

It is hard to imagine a racing game where the cars are fixed to limited lanes can require much skill. Believe it or not, this is a deceptively hard game that tests a steady and focused hand, as well reflexes and 3D spatial awareness. For the most part, the entire race will involve holding down the accelerate button, but the real challenge is nudging the joystick in the respective direction of turns. Failing to get the turns right in the sweet spot as indicated by a circular meter with a hot zone in it causes the racer to stall. So much of the game's skill ceiling revolves around this meter and making sure that those turns are drifted with confidence and mastery. Without nailing those turns correctly means no nitro boosts, and nitro boosts is what will be needed to just barely keep up with Tiny Trax's merciless AI.

Screenshot for Tiny Trax on PlayStation 4

Yes, it's true; Tiny Trax is a real challenge and not for the faint of heart. The AI is unrelenting and rarely makes any mistakes. Weaving in and out of the fixed lanes and doing perfect turns is the core of the experience and not much else. There are three themed cups, which are a few races long: the jungle setting, winter wonderland, and the sci-fi satellite location. All of them get mixed up in the final cup, which is a blessing since it can be pretty tedious having to do several tropical tracks in succession.

At times, it feels like Tiny Trax needs something more than just focusing so much on nitro boosting and perfecting turning. There are no power-ups to speak of and there are no other modes that do a spin on the game's existing mechanics. There is just the unrelenting grand prix and the multiplayer modes, and after a few minutes of mastering the gameplay, the overall experience really gets dull and uninteresting in spite of the harsh difficulty since the gameplay is really shallow.

Screenshot for Tiny Trax on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Tiny Trax set its goal fairly low and achieved it. It has very shallow and simple gameplay that is dressed up by stunning visuals and polished presentation. Soundwise, the experience is forgettable and leaves no impression whatsoever. After the initial wow factor of the VR implementation wears off, there really isn't much to this game, and, really, it could have been playable without it at all. The multi-player modes may not have strength to support it, either, given the core user base for PSVR headsets is really niche, making this a very hard recommendation. It is as exciting as actual slot car racing.

Developer

FuturLab

Publisher

FuturLab

Genre

Driving

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

they just released a patch to make this an easier game now.

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