Game: Team Racing League
Developer Description: Racing skill meets team strategy in Team Racing League. Use racing skills, smart tactics and unique abilities to beat your opponents in this first ever dedicated team-based racing game.
Ivan "Ironman" Stewart's Super Off Road was an popular arcade racing game with a unique perspective for it's time. This style of racing spawned it's own sub-genre of top down racers. The goal in that of itself was pretty simple, make your way around the track a designated number of time before your opponent in order to win. However, the point of view combined with the control scheme made for a very challenging game, as you have to make sure to stay on top of how your vehicle was oriented at all times.
I thought one could only do so much with this type of game style. That is, until I picked up Team League Racing.
Developed and published by Gamious, Team League Racing is a new twist on a familiar classic. Off road cars have been replaced with hovercraft, and a 2D isometric graphics with crisp fully 3D rendered vehicles and environments. The graphical presentation of this game comes off as simplistic at first, but has it's own unique charm to it, that really works for this game in particular. As the name suggests, Team League Racing encourages racing and working together as a team. Not only that but it also encourages using any and all tricks and techniques available to you in order to put the other team out of commission.
There are several special moves you can activate which include moving blocks into the opponents path. Anchoring literally turns your vehicle into an immovable object, blocking the path of the opposing team. Holding accelerate and brake activates a boost, and with proper timing can quickly propel you into the lead of a race, or counter an opposing racer who's in anchor mode. Holding these keys longer activates your afterburner, which can be used to set both blocks and opponents on fire!
Pressing C on the keyboard activates your magnet mode which serves several functions, including picking up and placing blocks as obstacles, and even combining with a team mate and entering co-racer mode.
Co-racer mode unlocks additional moves. Road block allows you to form a barrier which team mates can cross, but not opponents who temporarily lose control of their vehicle upon crossing. Boost charge applies your boost to your co-racer so one player can boost while the other drives, and flamethrower unleashes flames from either side of your vehicle allowing you to torch the opposition.
The controls are simple enough. I was using a keyboard and WASD were the default controls. W being accelerate, and S being the brake. Space Bar activates anchor mode, and C magnet or connect mode. Although the controls are simple, mastering them is far from. There's definitely a certain level of precision required in order to do well in a game like this. Once you do however, the feeling of pulling off a perfect drift while rounding a corner, is nothing less than satisfying.
Since Team Racing League is focuses on team work, it has an online mode available which even tells you how many people are currently playing. The player count at present is fairly light as it's a recently released title, so you'll want to coordinate with some friends (or on the official Discord server) to get a full match going. One of the biggest things working against this title is a low player count.
Team Racing League is a fun homage to retro style arcade racers with enough variation to keep it interesting. I would like to see some more variation in the tracks, as there are currently only 2 track types (Desert & Mountain) with a 3rd coming soon. It would also be interesting to see a mode where the camera is locked behind your vehicle, as it would be a great way to switch up game play even further.
If you decide to pick this one up, I suggest grabbing a few extra copies so you can have some friends to play with, because multiplayer is where this title really shines.
I give this game a solid 7/10.