Trackmania is not a revolution for the franchise, but nonetheless offers a targeted package for any type of racing fanatic.

In this Trackmania Chronicle Bruce is investigating whether the addicting gameplay typical of Trackmania survives in a free-to-play format as well.

Each of us has a competition animal to a greater or lesser degree. You just want to be a little faster or better than your competition. It is this natural desire that Trackmania games have been anticipating for seventeen years. The newest game in the franchise, simply called Trackmania, offers the addicting formula in a number of ways: a free model that you can extend with additional features for a fee. This makes the potential pool of competitors bigger than ever.

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If you’re just a racing fan, the free Starter Access offers more than enough entertainment. Every three months a new season begins at Trackmania with its own tracks. You can practice these tracks endlessly in single player mode to improve your place in the countless leaderboards. These rankings are very detailed, down to the level of your province. Especially the ability to race against the ghosts of your competition makes that next step on the ladder within reach. Enough food for the runner who is obsessed with every millisecond.

However, the “real” Trackmania can be found in multiplayer mode. As a free player, you join one of the official servers with the current season’s tracks going in random order. Then everyone has five minutes to record their best possible time. The perfect cocktail for spontaneous quarrels and blood-curdling finishes. Few things give so much satisfaction to quickly take first place in the last seconds of the match. Guaranteed your competition is looking for revenge and before you know it, the matches have come. Don’t want to be the first to throw in the towel? The concept is simple, but still addicting after all these years.

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If the 25 tracks for the season aren’t enough, you can purchase a Standard Access or Club Access annual membership. These give you access to additional daily tracks, but above all to clubs. These clubs are run by the players themselves and usually offer competitions with home-made circuits. Clubs that revolve around counterfeit Mario Kart tracks seem particularly popular at the time of writing. But eSports brands and streamers already have their own Trackmania Club. In practice, these clubs offer the average player a convenient way to discover additional quality leads, without going through endless lists. And who knows, you might get to know your club members better and of course there will be a competition. In short, Clubs are a modern and successful alternative to the classic custom servers of the Trackmania games of yesteryear.

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All of these homemade tracks are built with the built-in map editor. Paid players have access in this editor to all the tools that the developers themselves use to create the tracks for the season. There are eight surfaces to choose from, each with its own driving behavior. Especially the ice rinks that turn your track into a real bobsleigh course offer hilarious tracks. But it’s just as easy to design a super technical asphalt track, or a gravel stadium track full of tough hills and tight corners. Of course, there are also the typical special blocks of Trackmania such as the classic boost to a block that forces your camera in first person. The possibilities are somewhat predictable and not revolutionary, but the ease with which you can organize a class makes up for it. And judging by the avenues creative souls are already presenting with the map editor, the delivery of new and interesting avenues seems assured.

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In short, this free Trackmania offers something for everyone: those who just want to do some tricks and fancy a quiet competition will get their money’s worth with the free version. For those who don’t go far enough or for the creative soul who wants to design their own tracks, the paid versions offer enough extra depth to meet those needs. Trackmania is far from revolutionary and nothing new from previous games, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a compact and focused package.

Trackmania is now available for PC.

Source : IGN