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Since its early beginnings as a game platform, iOS has seen its share of racing titles. Amazingly, each year seems to find some developer upping the stakes with smoother controls and exciting, new features. Table Top Racing is not one of those games. More like a plodding journey into an almost forgotten time when Micro Machines were still interesting, Table Top Racing is a great-looking game without much substance.
Controls can sometimes be an issue with iOS racers, but while virtual touchscreen pedals are a real pain if not placed properly, Table Top Racers throws out the concept entirely. Your tiny vehicle races along on its own across tabletop tracks, with your only input reduced to steering with on-screen buttons or tilt. It's not even just acceleration that's automatically handled (like in some racers), but also braking – you'll simply steer left and right as your Ice Cream Truck or other similarly small vehicle drives at the speed of a turtle. You can imagine how exciting this all must seem.
Thankfully, you can distract yourself from the intense steering action with power-ups. Deploying a missile into the race leader is enjoyable enough, in a simplified Mario Kart sort of way. The environments of each track look exceptional, but there's a disappointing lack of variety when it comes to the course layouts, save for the occasional sharp turn. After winning a race, coins can be used to upgrade your vehicles, but even the upgrades are on auto-pilot. Want to enhance your car's speed? Too bad, here's an armor boost.
Beyond the single player racing tournaments, special events, and challenge stages, online multiplayer exists via Game Center; however, during my play-through, finding public matches was consistently difficult. It often took a couple of minutes to line up a match, and I never found enough folks for a full four-player battle. Meanwhile, local multiplayer is plagued with a bug where a prompt asking about iCloud saves locks the controls and sends you into a wall. When playable, though, the multiplayer doesn't add much above the rather mundane single-player campaign.
The bottom line. The App Store is full of great racing games, but Table Top Racing is a comparatively vanilla effort hardly worth the investment.
iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 5.0 or later
Beautiful environments. Simplistic approach probably makes it accessible for small children.
Boring controls and track layouts. Broken local multiplayer, while online opponents are MIA. Offers nothing original.