Game review: TrackMania Turbo will keep your pulse racing all night

The 12th in the series offers plenty of fun for the casual gamer, but if you’re prone to obsession, watch out – it’s all too easy to get completely absorbed in this adrenaline-fuelled world

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 April, 2016, 3:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 April, 2016, 3:00am

TrackMania Turbo


4/5 stars

Pure adrenaline. That’s the modus operandi for developers trying desperately to jump into the racing-game world these days. A genre that used to alternate between hyper-realistic and intensely arcade has strayed far towards the latter in an attempt to reel players in through sheer ADHD-like obsession. Rocket League, Hardware: Rivals and now Trackmania Turbo.

Rocket League blasts into the pantheon of great electronic sports

Available for the PC, PS4 and Xbox One, Turbo is (surprisingly) the 12th in the TrackMania series, although I must admit I’d never played one before, or really heard much about the franchise. But am I glad I’m clued in now. It starts off slow, you should be warned, and at first your amped-up supercar racing through ridiculously convoluted tracks is desperately happy just to cross the finish line.

But then the game grows on you. It keeps you up at night, and you can’t resist switching on the console for just one more hit, one more race around that absurdly impossible course to shave off precious seconds. You hit bronze and a surge of adrenaline hits. But it isn’t enough, and entire days are spent working out the exact layout, the tiny curves, those frustrating walls that seemingly come out of nowhere. And when, after hours and hours of sheer precision, you finally hit gold, a wave of calm washes over you and everything in the world seems right.

OK – that’s a little melodramatic, but it’s damn good fun, and one of the best balances between challenge and achievement in a long time. Or so I thought, before I discovered the online multiplayer and things just haven’t been the same – up to 100 different players from all over the world, all racing ghost-style to get the best track time. It’s wonderful chaos and part of the fun is messing with other players, tricking them off-track and seeing just how far they’ll fall.

On the surface, TrackMania Turbo is glorious, harmless fun. But for the obsessive few, the multiplayer, track editor and other options offer endless opportunities to go full turbo. I’d say more, but I have to get at least silver on that one impossible track. Be right back.