Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - TECH - Mike Wil­cox Email mike@ hy­per­ac­tiveg­ames. com

EN­JOY­ING suc­cess with its de­but across mo­bile de­vices last year, Ta­ble Top Rac­ing has ar­rived in the on­line PlayS­ta­tion Store, ready and wait­ing to be down­loaded to Sony’s hand­held gam­ing con­sole, the PS Vita.

The minia­turised rac­ing genre, made fa­mous by the Mi­cro Ma­chine fran­chise, is a tried and true for­mula best not messed with, and Ta­ble Top Rac­ing does just that.

The game’s eight tracks are colour­fully de­signed around familiar house­hold table­tops, com­plete with ev­ery­thing from kitchen uten­sils and food, to col­lec­tions of chil­dren’s toys, and garage bench tops.

Like most ar­cade rac­ers, the main aim here is to un­lock a vir­tual garage of cars that can be up­graded as the game pro­gresses.

Race win­nings can be spent chang­ing the look of each car, as well as race- en­hanc­ing abil­i­ties such as added ac­cel­er­a­tion, ar­mour and grip.

And th­ese en­hance­ments are cru­cial in the later stages.

Ta­ble Top Rac­ing of­fers a sur­pris­ingly deep mix of modes, in­clud­ing a cham­pi­onship mode, a drift- style rac­ing mode, a hand­ful of spe­cial events such as time- tri­als and elim­i­na­tion races, as well as on­line rac­ing and leader boards and a quick race mode.

Keep­ing the ac­tion in­ter­est­ing, cer­tain race types in­clude col­lectable powerups, rang­ing from mis­siles and EMP blasts, to power boosts and bombs.

While th­ese add a strate­gic mix to the game­play, this fan­tasy set­ting is beg­ging for some more cre­ative weapons.

Did some­one say kitchen fork or screw­driver projectiles?

Earn­ing ev­ery pos­si­ble star across all race events is go­ing to take even the most ded­i­cated rac­ing fan days, if not weeks, to com­plete, and then there’s all 17 ve­hi­cles wait­ing to be un­locked.

Where this PS Vita ver­sion trumps its touch­screen pre­de­ces­sors, is its solid phys­i­cal con­trol sys­tem, a silky smooth 60 frames- per- sec­ond vi­su­als, and none of the nag­ging in- app pur­chases.

The only real crit­i­cism, was not be­ing able to take part in any on­line races dur­ing a week- long trial.

No mat­ter when I logged on, there seemed to be no com­peti­tors around. And rac­ing hu­mans is always more fun!

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