#884 Trackmania: United Forever

Posted: 2nd July 2015 by Jeroen in Games
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437th played so far

TrackMania - United Forever 1

Genre: Racing/Puzzle
Platform: PC
Year of Release: 2008
Developer: Nadeo
Publisher: Deep Silver/Enlight

So today we’ve got a game that has one of the stranger genre combinations so far – racing/puzzle doesn’t feel like a natural combination. As it’s a series of games (the DS version will follow at some point in the future) it seems even odder. You can imagine a few ways in which it could work, but it will be interesting to see what they decided on here.

Our Thoughts

That was interesting, in a good way. The puzzle aspects of the game come into play with its built in track editor, similar to my oh-so-beloved (a decade or two ago) Stunts (aka 4D Sports Driving) – although obviously more advanced, with prettier graphics and more crossing over points. It’s not as much of a focus of the game anyway, with the track builder mostly being useful to share with friends and the main puzzle modes – connect thesewaypoints in the way that allows you to go through fastest.

Even if you don’t use the track editor though, its presence still seems to suffuse the game. The first track you’ll likely race on is based on a circuit, though not in a loop (racing goes from start to end instead, more like a rally). There’s a big stadium, but you feel more like you’re in a Hot Wheels toy ready to go around a race track built on the floor. There’s a lot of common elements that are placed together, with some scenery in between, but more scenery coming from the surroundings outside the track area. Later environments and cars feel more real, but the underlying sentiments stay there.

Beyond that, the goals are time based – the most basic mode has you go around the track trying to beat a time, with multiple tiers for different results – bronze, silver and gold medals. Other modes can vary on that, with one, as mentioned above, having you create the optimal track through checkpoints to finish fastest, another a stunts run that keeps track of how often you die (fall off the track) rather than how fast you do the lap.

The multiplayer features are as much fun. You can create your own challenges of all types and share them, with a large collection of tracks online. As much fun though is racing against each other. You take your turn, until you lose to the other player.

Final Thoughts

Trackmania works on multiple levels. It’s fun to race around, just trying to beat your records, but all the extra modes add a lot of fun challenge. Probably the best for me was the stunt mode, which required careful jumps and tricks, playing with tracks that would not fit in with any other game. And with the slightly toy-like aesthetic it never feels like it gets too serious or forcing you to progress. It’s just plain fun.

  1. […] had an amazingly good time a while ago with Trackmania: United Forever for the PC. The racing felt fun and the puzzle and track building was a pretty fun twist. It […]