Tiny Trax Review (PSVR)
For the purposes of transparency, this review was created using a code provided by the company or their respective PR company. The use of a review code does not affect my judgement of the game.
Tiny Trax is now available on the Playstation VR, a racer that finally put’s you outside the car for all those people who can suffer from VR/motion sickness. So, what does this racer offer that others do not?
Being a 90’s kid Tiny Trax brings back some awesome memories of times with Scalextric sets and Mirco Machines on the SEGA Mega Drive. Now if you take to the two and stick them together and I get total nostalgia overload, and a game that makes me happy. But, do not let this make you think if you weren’t a 90’s kid you wont enjoy this game.
As you would expect from a racer the aim of the game is to finish first, but they have chucked some extra parts into the gameplay – and mastering these is essential. Firstly is your boost and knowing the best part of the tracks to use this. Then in order to keep your boost charged it’s all about handling the corners correctly in order to fill your gauge – to do this you need to keep your analogue stick in the green part that appears around your car. Then lastly switching between the two lanes, to make sure you are taking the corner the best way possible. Adding these three elements together is the most important thing to make sure you master the tracks, and get those first place finishes.
However, don’t expect mastering this to be easy, the game does have a steep learning curve in order to start getting those first place finishes. But, don’t let this frustrate you while doing so, or you will soon find yourself struggling with the game – and you will miss out on the true fun that you can have with Tiny Trax. For me as well the learning curve is similar to the one I suffered in Mirco Machines as a younger gamer.
This is where the previously mentioned Scalextric’s comes in to the game, simply the two lane tracks that resemble the track pieces. But, these are like Scalextric tracks of all your childhood dreams, with constant turns, that can go vertical and defy gravity. If you could build tracks like this with your own Scalextric’s sets you would have been in childhood heaven. Now, on to the actual tracks themselves they vary through three types of scenes (which I will touch on soon). As soon as you boot the game up and complete the first race you instantly feel a lot of time and care has been put into the tracks – and this really adds to the enjoyment of the game and the gameplay.
When playing the races you are also sat like you are playing with Scalextric’s because you are sat beside the tack looking down on it or even beside you and up at parts sometimes. It really does feel like you are just playing with toy cars – but minus that dreaded moment you car flew off the track against the wall and broke. This is where the feel of the Micro Machines game came into play as well, just due to the size of the cars racing around the track, and the high intensity and aforementioned learning curve.
The tracks are set over three different scenes. Paradise Adventure, which is made up of four ocean and pirate based tracks. Frozen Forgery, which is four tracks that are part frozen and part lava. Lastly Galactic Odyssey, which is four tracks based on levels in space. Now each scene comes with new challenges and all look completely different in design, which means you truly feel each track is unique.
Putting together everything mentioned above on what makes up the gameplay and tracks, the game brings all this together with its visuals. The visual style they’ve gone for is the bright cartoon-like visuals that seems to be popular in VR games, but giving the fact of it playing how it does it totally suits Tiny Trax. The strong colourful graphics does help you feel immersed in what you are playing and looking at, when following the cars around the track. I really think making the game look any different would have hindered the feeling you get when playing the game.
The game comes with both Single Player and Multiplayer modes. I will start by looking at the Single Player mode. In this mode you will get the options of Single Race, or Cup Mode. Cup Mode is made up of cups on all the previously mentioned scenes (Paradise Adventure, Frozen Forgery and Galactic Odyssey) and then an All-Star Cup that consists of six races – taking two tracks from the previous cups. Now, with the Single Player mode don’t expect it be straight forward and easy, and at first be prepared to finish last a lot. As you get used to it and the tracks you will find yourself finishing first, but, never mind how good you get the AI can still punish you for a sloppy turn or waste of a boost. This is something I really like about the game because the Single Player does not get too easy, and you can still go back and play it again – due to the fact you are not always sure of winning the races and the cup.
Adding to the strong Single Player is the Multiplayer mode, that makes the game offer that little bit more. To be honest in my time spent in Multiplayer it was great to see others struggling as much as me, and not the unforgiving AI having perfect runs at times. The other great thing about the Multiplayer is every mode available in Single Player is available to play against others. Here is to hoping that the severs will have a good bit of traffic on them to keep the game going online as well as offline.
The game is played with the Dual-Shock 4 controller, and really it’s the only way the game could be played with the mechanics behind the gameplay. The controls are kept really simple to make sure you can concentrate on the track and getting the turns correct, which is a big bonus. You will only really find yourself using R2 to accelerate, X to boost, Square to switch the track, and the analogue to control your turns. The control system on the turning and keeping inside the green bar is very responsive and accurate, which is what you really needed for that aspect of the game.
Taking the steep learning curve, the fact the AI can punish you never mind your skill, and all of the same content being in Multiplayer into account – it is hard to find a reason not to go back and play the game. Even though the game only comes with 12 tracks in total, the time it is going to take to master them all, and wipe out little errors; the game will last players a long time. Then when it comes to Multiplayer I can imagine it will be great fun if your friends have it, or you meet a decent bunch of players. However, when it comes to the Multiplayer only time will tell if it will be successful on that side. But, if not that AI can still challenge you enough to go back for more.
Lastly, thinking this game is available for £12.99 (UK Price), it’s well worth it. You will get plenty of time and fun out of the game – with all that added nostalgia if you’re a 90’s kid.
Tiny Trax brings something new to the VR racing genre, with a great mix of Scalextric’s and Micro Machines. With an AI that can be just as punishing to mistakes by a newcomer or someone who has got used it, added to this a Multiplayer that offers everything Single Player does – its hard not find a reason to go back.
Playstation VR Exclusive