Hot Wheels Turbo Racing

a game by Stormfront Studios, and Electronic Arts
Genre: Racing
Platforms: Nintendo 64Nintendo 64, PSX
Editor Rating: 7.9/10, based on 5 reviews, 7 reviews are shown
User Rating: 8.7/10 - 3 votes
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See also: Racing Games, Hot Wheels Games
Hot Wheels Turbo Racing
Hot Wheels Turbo Racing
Hot Wheels Turbo Racing
Hot Wheels Turbo Racing

Any of you out there with a respectable childhood will have no doubt at some time come across the brightly coloured Mattel Hot Wheels toys. It was great fun to spend hours with your mates organising meticulously well planned crashes on twisting chicanes of track. This game is for everyone who couldn't afford enough of the plastic track sections to make a complete circuit.

Unfortunately, EA has managed to ideate the plastic experience all too well in this game, and you can't help but feeling that this was great opportunity missed. Within minutes of playing this Hot Wheels you'll realise the game doesn't require much in the way of skill This is all because, like the Mattel toys, the track hedges you in on both sides, in most cases preventing you from turning. This would be all right if this slowed you down, but for the majority of the track you can simply hold down the accelerator with no need for turning. An occasional turbo here and there and a win is pretty much guaranteed.

Burning Rubber

Having said that, the final tournament in the game, the Twinmill Challenge, is quite a tough cookie to crack, but ultimately not impossible. Within one day of playing this game all the cars and all the tracks were unlocked - hard this game is not! There are loads of vehicles on offer though, so if you don't tire of the repetitive gameplay there is some small potential for replay value. There is a grand total of 40 cars once they've all been opened up.

As you might expect from an officially licensed game like this all the cars on offer are actual Mattel Hot Wheels die-cast vehicles - and what great names they have. Someone at Mattel must have had a serious phallic obsession to christen two of the cars Purple Passion and Street Rodder! The cars themselves don't handle too badly, but on the confined tracks this doesn't really make any difference. Where it does matter is when you are flying through the air spinning through thousands of degrees, performing tricks a fighter pilot would have trouble stomaching.

Flipping out

Tricks and turbos are what Hot Wheels is all about, which is a shame because this has to be one of the biggest mistakes in the game. If there's one thing a car cannot do, it's tricks! Think about it - a car just cannot turn that many different ways, and it's not as if you can stick your arm out the window and do a nose grab! You're limited to flat spins, flips and barrel rolls, which all quickly become repetitive, but are unfortunately unavoidable. The reason is that to win turbos, you must do tricks.

To make matters even worse, you cannot link tricks together and the trick detection itself is atrociously bad. Picture the scene: you arrive at a ramp and manage to get enough air to tweak the nose of the car a bit before you land. Superb - you've been awarded a 'Stolen Air' and one turbo. Do the same trick again though, and it could be called anything from a 'Tribal Air' to a 'Spooky Air'. What this means is that you don't get the satisfaction that comes from a well-planned assault on the air - everything seems to be too random. The only tricks which are guaranteed to get the correct recognition are things such as front flips, but even these are occasionally ignored.

Loop the loop

As well as the usual Single Race and Tournament modes you get the Airtime Challenge, which is basically a variation standard Trick Attack. The idea is to go as mad as possible and pull off as many tricks and stunts as you can for points. It's great to switch to the first- person in-car view for this mode and just go for as many flips and twists as possible in the air, but keep a bucket to hand. Pull off four or more front flips to be awarded a 'Frontflip Fury'. Alas, getting high scores here doesn't do a thing in the game, but it's great for showing up your mates.

Whatever you do though, don't go out and buy this game simply for the multiplayer experience because you will be severely disappointed. For some unexplainable reason EA has neglected to upgrade the two-player PlayStation version to four-player on the N64. Graphics have been improved slightly and the game runs at a fast enough rate, but surely it can't have been too difficult to make good use of the four controller ports. After all, it's not as if the game is I too taxing!

A nice idea for a game that is seriously let down by simplistic and repetitive gameplay. If you're trying to recapture your youth, go out and find some of the real toys - they're collectable now, you know!

Download Hot Wheels Turbo Racing

Nintendo 64 Download

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

PSX Download

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

People say:

7

When I first heard about HWTR I thought it would be a Micro Machines - Circuit Breakers-inspired game. I imagined tracks and environments similar to the way we made 'em as kids--down the stairs, off the dresser, under chairs, etc. I also thought it would incorporate things like the car wash, garages, those gauntlet-like rubber thrusty things...anyway, to my disappointment the game doesn't take that approach. Think of it as a cross between San Francisco Rush and Beetle Adventure Racing. The tracks are a mixture of traditional racing game fare-snow courses, deserts, etc., and old-school HW stuff: loops, cris-crosses and helix twists. So, essentially it's most of the cool things from the old sets laid out in fantasy land. Beyond the so-so environments, I really like the game. The racing is fast and smooth and has that gut-dropping, roller-coaster feel. You perform midair stunts for extra turbos. Once that's done, it's a thrust-a-thon to the finish line. The Al is tuned for tight races but unfortunately two-player races aren't as exciting. It'd be nice if computer cars raced along as well. Being somewhat nostalgic I also like the large selection of classic Hot Wheels. Fans of the little cars will definitely dig that. In the end, it's no Beetle Adventure Racing but it does have a simple charm. Younger gamers will really like it.

9

I cannot believe someone didn't do this earlier. I used to love playing with Hot Wheels cars when I was a youngin', and this game is the culmination of childhood dreams of racing the ultimate track, lust about the only thing missing from this game is a track editor (can't have everything, I guess). It stays true to the Hot Wheels license, with handfuls of shortcuts, plenty of cars to choose from, and a wide variety of tracks make this soooo much fun.

7

This game's track designers must have been working overtime, because the levels are the best thing here. Courses are crammed with corkscrews, loops, ramps, slopes--everything you'd include if you could build your own life-size Hot Wheels track. The actual gameplay, however, needs help. Although I like the stunt system, control's a bit flaky; it's too easy to turbo backward accidentally and you spend most of the race bashing into the track's sides.

7

It's not the greatest racer ever, but it is strangely addictive thanks to the fact that it keeps the sense of competition alive throughout the races. You can move between last and first place within the space of a lap meaning that the balance of power is continually shifting throughout each one-player race. It's a shame that this sense of urgency isn't apparent in the multiplayer games. I like the stunt system too. It's superfluous, but makes things fun.

Quick--what company makes the most cars each year? Yup, it's Mattel, maker of Hot Wheels. Introduced in 1968, Hot Wheels are collected by more than 15 million children lults, who purchase them at a rate of seven per second, 365 days a year.

Hoping to capitalize on the enduring popularity of these tiny metal cars, Electronic Arts is readying the first-ever Hot Wheels PlayStation and N64 game, Hot Wheels Turbo Racing.

The game includes more than 40 classic car designs you're almost certain to remember from your childhood, including Twin Mill, Red Baron, Jet Threat and Cat-A-Pult. It also includes many trademark Hot Wheels track elements, including loops, danger chargers and criss-cross intersections guaranteed to provide plenty of thrills and spills. Turbo Racing plays much like San Francisco Rush or Beetle Adventure, with plenty of hidden shortcuts, pick-ups, breakthrough areas and H-U-G-E jumps. The game's main innovation is a stunt mechanic that allows players to earn extra turbos by performing mid-air spins, barrel rolls and end-over-end flips. Blow the landing, however, and you could end up upside down...or in flames.

Environments include Wild West, Glacial Rift and Haunted Highway. Each of the game's 10 tracks is loaded with hidden shortcuts, power-ups, and bonus cars. You'll also find plenty of trademark Hot Wheels tracks--you know, those narrow, brightly colored track sections capable of being bent into seemingly impossible configurations (or did you just use yours to whip the snot out of your little brother?).

Like to listen to crankin' tunes while you drive? Hot Wheels Turbo Racing features tracks by such artists as Mix Master Mike, Rev. Horton Heat, Meat Beat Manifesto, Primus and more. Most of the songs have a frenetic, surf guitar sound that suits the game perfectly.

If you're an avid Hot Wheels collector or you just like over-the-top racing games, Hot Wheels Turbo Racing is well worth taking for a spin.

  • MANUFACTURER - Stormfront Studios
  • THEME - Racing
  • NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1 or 2

Overview

Strap yourself into the baddest, fastest race car you can find, put on your driving gloves and get ready for some of the wildest racing action available for your PlayStation console system! Electronic Arts has put together quite a unique game that combines racing, crashes, stunts and music into a game that will keep you challenged and entertained for quite some time. As a kid, I remember putting together a Hot Wheels track and having a blast with the outrageous racing machines and racetracks that got millions of kids like me hooked on racing car action. This game is like no other racing game I’ve ever played. You can now re-live those days with Hot Wheels Turbo Racing, and hone your skills into a daredevil racing guru! The tracks are very unique and exciting, with action and variety that will keep you coming back again and again.

Gameplay

I’ll have to admit that I wasn’t absolutely thrilled with this game when I first got it. It took me a while to get used to the controls and it takes a lot of practice to get used to performing the stunts and negotiating through some of the tracks without crashing into a million pieces, but mastering the skills necessary to be a winner at the game is what makes it satisfying and worthwhile. Sure, you can easily learn the basic moves and stunts within about 20 minutes without a problem, but when you first put together a difficult combination stunt like a reverse flip side-roll and barely get your car flipped around to land on its wheels before it crashes into the ground, you’ll soon see how exciting, satisfying and fun this game can be. It really takes a while to get comfortable with the cars and the tracks. There are over 40 Hot Wheels cars to choose from. Each one has its own unique look, but it’s the performance characteristics that you need to be more concerned with. Sure, they all look really cool, but you want to be able to make it around the track fast enough and in one piece to be able to win the race. Some of the cars will have higher top speeds than others and varying degrees of stunt ability, durability and control responsiveness. Your job is to find a car that will best suit your driving style and abilities. When you reach certain levels and win some races, new cars will be unlocked that can have higher performance characteristics than the standard cars that are available at the beginning of the race.

You can choose between five different modes of play, on 11 different racetracks. The modes of play are the Exhibition Race, the Airtime Challenge, the Hot Wheels Cup, and two other different practice modes. In the Hot Wheels Cup, the goal is to finish first in the race against the other cars. Your speed on the course is determined by the number of "Turbos" you accumulate and use to propel your car into break-neck speed. A single turbo accumulated can be used whenever you want a quick burst of speed over and above the engine’s regular capability. A single Turbo use only lasts about three to four seconds, so you’ll soon see why it’s important to learn how to pull off some really cool stunts because you are awarded these Turbos based on your performance of these stunts. The amount of Turbos awarded to you is based on the difficulty of the stunt performed and your successful completion by landing on your wheels without touching any of the walls or other objects. It may sound simple but you’ve really got to be pulling off a lot of good stunts over and over again in order to keep getting Turbos to help you stay ahead of the pack. Don’t worry though, because it’s really a blast! The controls are laid out well and it doesn’t take too long to learn how to flip and spin the cars on two different axes. The tracks are really cool, with plenty of loops and secret passageways to keep you on your toes. You’ll have fun exploring the secret passageways to find new ways around the track. Metallica, Primus and several other bands further enhance the game with some killer tunes. You can choose which music you want to hear, or you can let the system randomly play them for you. There are also plenty of "Power-Ups" spread throughout the tracks. When you pick one of them up, it will temporarily boost your vehicle’s performance. They include power-ups that increase the car’s durability, stunt performance, road-holding, braking, turbo power and off-road shortcut power.

The other main mode of play is the Airtime Challenge. This mode is not quite as fun in my opinion, since you are simply performing stunts to accumulate as many points as possible. I’m sorry, but I like the Hot Wheels Cup much better, where you’re fighting for position against a pack of crazed racing cars that are really screaming through the tracks. It just seemed a lot more competitive, challenging and exciting to me.

Graphics

The graphics in this game are actually pretty darn good. I like the unique racetracks, which are highly colorful and nicely detailed. Some of the tracks are really cool. They even did a nice job on all of the background scenery whizzing by on the screen. I think the cars are pretty well detailed too.

Bottom Line

This is one of those games that was a real surprise to me. I never expected it to be as good as it is. It is a lot of fun, very challenging and unique. Many people will probably overlook this game due to its name. They’ll probably equate Hot Wheels Turbo Racing with being a game that is geared solely towards young kids, which is not the case at all. Sure, the youngsters will enjoy it as much as anyone else will, but the big kids will surely get a kick out of it too. If you enjoy racing games at all, I would say that it is a safe bet you’ll really like Hot Wheels Turbo Racing. I can honestly say that I don’t have anything negative to say about this game. Go buy it!

It comes as no surprise to find that Hot Wheels is a peculiarly American type of racing game, and one that has a lot in common with San Francisco Rush and Beetle Adventure Racing. Namely, ridiculously huge jumps and very little in the way of precision handling.

Based on the popular range of toy cars, the emphasis in Hot Wheels is on going very fast, smashing opponents out of the way, and pulling stunts, the reward for which comes in turbos. Unfortunately, stunts are simply a case of pushing the analogue stick up, down or sideways, with none of the intricacy of similar systems in Wave Race and 1080° Snowboarding. And most of the tracks are so narrow that winning a race is merely a matter - a la Extreme G - of bouncing off walls until you reach the finish line.

Inevitably, Hot Wheels becomes a bit of a chore once the exaggerated racing/jumping novelty has worn off. There's not much demand for skill, and therefore not much reward, so we'll stick with Mario Kart and World Driver Championship for the time being. Thank you and goodnight.

Hot Wheels poses the question: Can you get a rush from driving a litde toy car? The answer: It could happen. This game should push nil the Hot buttons for Wheel fans. You can drive 40 cool Hot Wheels cars, including classics like the Twin Mill, the Mongoose, the Jet Threat, and the Cat-A-Pult. Moreover, you can even race on four tracks that feature famous Hot Wheels constructions like loop-d-loops, danger changers, and, of course, the ramps. Plus, the games environments include the Wild West and the Haunted Highway. This game...wcll, it sounds Hot!

Any possible skepticism about gratuitous licensing is blown away after punching the gas and doing your first double somersault flip in Hot Wheels. You can race solo or head-to-head with one of 40 classic Hot Wheels toys come to life, including Jet Threat, Mongoose, or the killer Red Baron. Next, you can place those classic cars on one of eight rockin', rollin' tracks packed full of loops, jumps, shortcuts, and unique challenges as you slam your car into the competition.

The key to this game's racing fun is hitting the turbos on ramps and pulling off insane tricks by flipping, rolling, and twisting your vehicle every possible way.

On both systems, the tracks were well rendered, car mechanics were soft to the touch, and the soundtrack, which features shredding cuts by name groups such as Metallica, was pumping. Next to the N64 version, however, the PlayStation game's graphics were a little chunky and the controls weren't quite as smooth--but for preview versions, the prognosis is excellent for entertaining Hot Wheels fun!

Snapshots and Media

Nintendo 64/N64 Screenshots

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