If snail mail was this fast, we’d still be sending letters.
Turbo Racing League, based on the upcoming film Turbo, looks to rewrite the definition of “a snail’s pace.” Based entirely around surprisingly quick snails, Turbo Racing League is a kart racer whose focus is less on crazy items and action, and more on track design and speedy gameplay. It has a few painful faults, but its unique style is likely to entertain players of all ages.
Turbo Racing League kicks off by introducing Tito, a character from the movie, and the guide to the game. Tito helps out with character creation and the tutorial, and then frequently pops in to give notice on what else is currently happening. The game starts off with character creation. There are various styles of snails, each with their own pros and cons, so it’s up to each player to determine what fits them best. The modifications each character can equip allow them to be customized in-depth, so there’s not much issue if a player is initially unhappy with his or her racer.
Once the character is set, Tito drops the snail into a practice race, and explains the basics of the gameplay. Many common kart racing features are present in Turbo Racing League. You’ll find yourself sliding around corners, getting a boost at the start, and riding over arrows that increase speed. All these features work well, and only suffer from a few control-based hiccups. There are four control schemes: tilt, touch, thumb stick, and buttons. The tilt controls allow for motion-based turning and pressing the screen to slide. The other three schemes use the screen for all the controls. All four methods work equally well, and the best choice comes down to play preference. Ultimately, the slide mechanic is the gameplay’s biggest issue, as it’s often too sensitive and hard to control.
There are a handful of race types, ranging from the basic time trial, to the endurance-heavy fuel race. But most races boil down to a basic time-trial feel. This is even noticeable in the head-to-head races, where the two snails have no way to interact with one-another. Slalom races add a bit more finesse by rewarding players for weaving in between flags, but it’s still possible to complete many races while ignoring the objective. Players who stick to the goal will earn higher rewards, but it doesn’t always feel necessary. The various tracks are large and empty, so there’s usually not much else to do besides achieving the goal.
Throughout races, players will be collecting tomatoes. Tomatoes are the currency of Turbo Racing League, and they can be picked up in races, won from races, and purchased with real money. Tomatoes have two primary uses: upgrading the character, and entering the Graduation Cup. After completing enough races, players can move up to the next level by defeating three straight opponents. These are the hardest events in the game, but proper upgrades make them more than manageable. Upgrades come from both stat boosts and physical attachments, and they make a noticeable impact on the way each racer performs. Upgrades aren’t necessary for every race, but players who want to advance to the more difficult events should invest the time or money to power up the snail.
There’s fair amount of content in Turbo Racing League. It’s unfortunate that the slide mechanic is bad and the levels feel empty. Even with those faults, there’s still enough content to keep things interesting for a while. Most kart racing fundamentals are intact, the game looks great, and upgrades can be easily purchased without spending real money. Perhaps the biggest draws are the real cash prizes available for eligible players as of launch. As with all racers, the lack of multiplayer is noticed, but it’s still a fun (though somewhat boring) addition to the mobile racing family.