Review: Tiny Trax (PS4 / VR).
VR toy car racing? What’s the point of that? Well, and the creators of the series Velocity they will show you in Tiny Trax, that you can enjoy it even as an adult.
Tiny Trax it is not ordinary races with miniature cars. We are dealing here with Slot Cars toys, which were rather unpopular in our country. In the original, toy form, it looks like we assemble the tracks with two “rails” and place the cars on them. After connecting to the electricity, we only control their acceleration. Personally, I had contact with something like this when I was young, but there was absolutely no point in racing like this. It turns out that this hobby goes beyond the sphere of children’s games and slot racing championships are organized. Anyway, we got a video game and here I can understand the gameplay. Note – it draws you. And it frustrates.
As the cars do not run freely on the track, but move along their “rail”, all the fun in Tiny Trax it is about accelerating and turning. If we turn perfectly, not only our car will not lose speed, but also will charge a part of the afterburner bar. We can also jump between two “rails” – and that’s roughly it. It sounds extremely boring, and the fact that in the first hour or two it is difficult to win any race. The artificial intelligence of opponents has no problems with the perfect use of this simple mechanic, so it is easy to get discouraged. However, if you spend a little more time on the game, some people will find it addictive arcade.
Driving force Tiny Trax there are fancy boards. Thanks PlayStation VR we are right in the middle of beautifully designed twelve levels where the tracks run around us and we have to follow our car, twisting our head in all directions. One time we look down, when our machine enters the water with a splash, another time we raise our head and watch the race upside down. This is a huge leap from straight tracks that could be placed on a carpet in a room for a kid, but as I mentioned – this type of toy was not popular in Poland.
The difficulty level here is more controversial. Usually, we first look into the single mode before we go to conquer the online modes. Here, however, the AI doesn’t forgive and simply won’t let you win – at least not for the first hour. Only after this time do we begin to learn the routes, the operation of the turns and the important role that the afterburner plays. It took me five tries to get to a place other than the last one, and after about two hours I was finally 1st and 2nd (although I lost the whole tournament anyway). It just takes time to feel the turns. On the other hand, the learning process itself was not particularly engaging and I would understand if it discouraged players from entering.
In the Internet, the level is leveling and there is room for mistakes, but let’s face it – finding people willing to play is almost a miracle. It is not impossible, but do not count that you will turn on the console with the thought “oh, play Tiny Trax” and they will be eager to play right away. That’s why it’s hard to recommend the game. Either you’ll be crammed at the console, glancing at the lobby every now and then waiting for anyone online, or you’ll keep playing until you start winning against the AI. There is no room for anything in between. Well, unless the game goes to Plus and suddenly the servers are (at least a little) full.
I didn’t think racing on rails would give you any fun, but it is still possible Tiny Trax having fun. However, be careful, because during this first hour you will probably keep losing, and it is a pity to spend PLN 67 to risk this way. I am glad that developers are experimenting with VR, but it’s more arcade than virtual reality experience and you have to be aware of that.
The game was reviewed on PS4 Pro