Racing around everyday domestic environments in dinky toy cars isn’t a fresh concept for Switch owners. Not only have we already had the original Super Toy Cars, but Table Top Racing: World Tour – Nitro Edition, too. Super Toy Cars 2 doesn’t exactly have novelty on its side, then.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t have an awful lot else to recommend it, either – not with the Switch library being so well stocked with high-class casual racers. This game’s angle is that it combines Mario Kart’s bright and bouncy item-driven action with a little of Burnout’s automotive violence, but the resultant game feels like it’s come out of a chop shop, with its constituent parts only just about holding together.
For all that, Super Toy Cars 2 handles surprisingly well. The racing physics here fall somewhere in between modern-day Mario Kart and OutRun 2, with a power drift system (just hold A while steering) enabling you to carve through corners whilst charging an immediate boost. There are four main car categories to choose from: muscle, wacky, gran turismo, and supercar, with each class varying in their balance between speed and ruggedness.
Races, too, are nicely varied. In the single-player campaign you’ll encounter last man standing eliminators, battle mode-like arena battles, time trials, item-free clean races and more. All the while you’ll be unlocking new cars from a pleasingly varied roster, and spending virtual currency to soup them up.
That’s the good stuff out of the way. Unfortunately, there are a number of flaws with Super Toy Cars 2’s execution. We took exception to the original game’s temperamental physics, and unfortunately, that’s still an issue in the sequel. We encountered a couple of egregious invisible walls that stopped us in our tracks, as well as a couple of clipping bugs that saw us falling through the track.
Even discounting these technical gremlins, there’s something about the exaggerated way that your car bounces off barriers and level scenery that just seems off – not to mention overly punitive. That’s exacerbated by the inclusion of a Burnout-style takedown system that can see your car wrecked through a solid collision. Not only is this incongruous given the cutesy Tonka theme, but it’s maddeningly hard to pin down what constitutes a crash-worthy collision.
Technically, too, Super Toy Cars 2 is poor. It feels very low resolution, even in docked mode, where there’s a smudgy smeary look that makes you want to clean your TV. In handheld, it can be borderline unplayable, as the game’s garish reds and pinks smoosh into one another, neutering any sense of depth. You don’t even get a guaranteed smooth frame rate for all these visual compromises. Talking of compromises, the multiplayer provision is seriously lacking, limited as it is to two-player split-screen on individual races.
Overall, Table Top Racing: World Tour – Nitro Edition does the whole dinky toy car racing thing much better and feels like a much more solid and cohesive experience. Although, Super Toy Cars 2 could teach TTR a thing or two about engaging handling. Of course, both games fall well short or Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled, and Team Sonic Racing. If you need another dose of fantastical arcade racing in your life, just pick up the one or two of those three that you don’t own.