“ Toy Racer, a game published by Sega and developed by the French company No Clich+. The sequel to Toy Commander puts you in control of toy vehicles who race it out in an indoor environment. „
"Toy Racer" is a racing video game. It was first released for the Sega Dreamcast in 2000 by No Cliché Games. It was launched exclusively for the European marketplace, and carried a guidance rating which deemed it appropriate for ages 3 and above.
Available for a budget price of £5 with a pound from every sale being donated to charity, Toy Racer was a bargain I had to snap up. I remember being wary at the time of purchase as low priced video games tend to have an awful habit of biting back through low quality gaming experiences. Fortunately, I found Toy Racer to be a passable venture.
Toy Racer is the bare bones of kart style racing games. It offers players 28 unique vehicles which closely resemble popular "Micro Machines" toys. They are each separated into categories which offer strengths and weaknesses depending on the player's personal preferences. Formula 1 vehicles, for example, have excellent rates of top speed but are known to wildly spin out of control. For tight gripped turns, buses may be more beneficial for the player's need. After a selection has been made, single players may race in a timeless "practice" mode or against the clock in a "time attack" mode. Regardless of the selection made, players will only be racing against themselves or a through split-screen two player mode. Multiplayer play was at one point provided through the Sega Dreamcast's online network though this feature is no longer functional.
The video game's main pitfall is its limited number of courses. Players have access to a grand total of four different tracks which are representative of a certain areas in a typical modern home. They include the kitchen, the bathroom, the loft, and a child's playroom. Each course is aesthetically pleasing and I could differentiate between the different tracks, though they each handled very similarly. It seems that there were very few differences in the actual design and this resulted in rather monotonous gameplay. Throughout each course the player will also come to blocks of randomly generated items such as missiles, land mines, and speed boosts, however as single players only compete against themselves there is little reason to collect the items.
The graphics are presented from a close trailing view of the player's vehicle. This can be altered to a far away view and a first person view, too. Each stage sports a variety of environmental accents which are appropriate for the title of the course. The bathroom, for example, includes items such as toilets and bath tubs, and players will be required to compromise various items on the course such as discarded bath toys. The visuals are three dimensional and are presented from a small scale view; the world is perceived as being much larger than each of the toys. The soundtrack features upbeat and lively musical scores which accompany the race, and a series of highly retro "beeps" accent weapon usage.
While a formidable budget title at the time of its release, Toy Racer is perhaps something I would be hesitant about recommending to prospective buyers nowadays. The absence of online connectivity hinders the gameplay experience and requires owners to have friends present in order to engage in any sort of competitive play. There's only so many times I can play against myself, and I often opt for other video games over this one nowadays.
TOY RACER This is a little game where you race with toy cars but no drivers, there is a story to how this game came to be which is: ~~~STORY~~~ Having braved the thousand and one dangers of his perilous missions in Toy Commander, Guthy and his fertile imagination are back for a new set of domestic challengers. Toy Racer is an arcade-style race game using miniature motorised vehicles. The game designed for multi-player games, either slit screen or on-line via Dreamarena. The circuits are he same scale as the vehicles whereas the rooms have standard dimensions. The player will therefore find himself immersed in a world made for giants. Each track has a theme that corresponds to the room in which it is found. The originality of Toy Racer comes from the layout of the tracks: they have gravity-changing ramps, which make it possible to race on the walls and ceilings. ~~~CONTROLS~~~ There are 9 commands, which are based on the standard controls found in arcade style racing games: ~~The ANALOG THUMB PAD steers the vehicle. (The DIRECTIONAL PAD(D-PAD) can also be used to perform this function.) ~~TRIGGER R causes the vehicle to accelerate. ~~TRIGGER L causes the vehicle to brake, or reverse if you hold it for long enough. ~~BUTTON A allows you to use weapon bonuses. ~~BUTTON B allows you to use the speed boosters. ~~BUTTON Y allows you to view behind you. ~~BUTTON X this allows you to choose which of the 3 view points you want: interior, close-up, distant. ~~START BUTTON allows you to access the menu option screen during the game. You can choose from Continue, Restart and Abort. ~~~GAME MODES~~~ TRAINING Practice makes perfect so this practice is good; you can practice alone on any of the 4 tracks. The training mode allows players to familiarise themselves with the tracks and even race against a 'ghost car' which is literally the exact replay of the rac
e you just did. LOCAL 1-4 players can race against one another on the same screen. NETWORK This is the on-line mode which allows you to race on-line against 3 players. OPTIONS ~Steering~ You can select between powered or direct steering. It is useful when you are using a race controller. ~Display~ You can change the screen ratio from normal to wide screen. You can also adjust the screen size to your TV screen. ~Sound~ On the sound test screen, you can listen to music from the game. You can change the sound volume and balance as well. ~Language~ Select your chosen language from English, French, German, and Spanish. ~Change VM~ Should you have more than one VM inserted into your controller you can specify which one you want to save to. ~Homepage~ Connects you directly to the Dreamarena Toy Racer home page for more information. Warning: The Dreamcast will reboot to access the Internet. ~~~VEHICLES~~~ All the motorised vehicles from Toy Commander are available in Toy Racer, as well as a number of new vehicles exclusive to Toy Racer. All in all, 24 vehicles (and 4 hidden vehicles) are available. The vehicles are grouped into four categories, defined by their characteristics. ~Best Acceleration~ Pick-up Jeep Willys VBL ~Best Speed~ Scalextric cars Formula 1 cars Buggy ~Best Grip~ Bus Combi Military Transport Truck ~Best Shield~ Tiger Tank Sherman Tank Bulldozer The parameters of the vehicles are fixed so that they have uniform efficiency. For example the Sherman Tank, which is at a disadvantage on the maximum speed, will take damage better than the Formula 1 car. ~~~TRACKS~~~ There are 4 tracks, each with a theme appropriate to the room in which it is found. The design of the track continues on to the walls or ceilings thanks to gravity changing ramps which make it possible for the players to use thes
e areas. Players driving on the ground will occasionally be surprised by an adversary driving on the ceiling in the other direction... TRACK 1: Kitchen TRACK 2: Bathroom TRACK 3: Attic TRACK 4: Kid's Bedroom ~~~WEAPONS~~~ The vehicles in Toy Racer are not armed with any weapons at the beginning of the game. A weapon can only be obtained if you collect the relevant bonus. For example, you have to pick up a missile bonus to be able to use a missile. In addition, as soon as a player picks up a new weapon bonus, it replaces the weapon in use at that moment. The number remaining is shown on the screen. MACHINE GUN Allows instantaneous shooting, as long as ammunition is available. Machine Gun is shown by a ring of red bullets. MISSAL Launches a missile whose trajectory is straight, but follows the ground elevation (and which explodes on impact). Missile is shown by a pencil. MINE Places a mine behind the player's vehicle, which will explode when another player drives over it. Mine shown by a drawing pin. BOXING GLOVES Punches the adversary, violently pushing him if he is close behind. Boxing Glove is shown by a boxing glove. TORNADO Creates an enormous area of turbulence which moves and shakes opponents who cross it (the effect lasts for a few seconds). Tornado is shown by a small tornado. ~~~BONUSES - THERE ARE 3 TYPES OF BONUSES~~~ ~~STANDARD BONUSES~~ SPANNER Enables the player to repair damage sustained to a vehicle. BOOST Increases the acceleration boost gauge. JOKER Cancels the effects of bonuses on the player's vehicle. ~~WEAPON BONUSES - FOR DESCRIPTION SEE WEAPONS~~ Machine Gun, Missile, Mine, Tornado, and Boxing Glove ~~MISCHIEF BONUSES~~ The mischief bonuses can work for or against the player, depending on what colour they are when collected. The player will only gain an advantage from collecting a mischief bonus when it is green
in colour, the other unfortunate player(s) will be temporarily handicapped. Players unfortunate enough to collect a mischief bonus when it is red in colour will be temporarily handicapped by the mischief bonus. LONDON FOG Fog that greatly decreases the player's ability to see ahead. London Fog is shown by Big Ben tower and fog around it. SNAIL Temporarily decreases the vehicles speed burst capacity (unless the player uses the boost). Snail is shown by a snail. STEERING INVERSION Temporarily reverses the steering commands on the Dreamcast controller. Steering Inversion is shown by a U-turn arrow. ICE Makes the track icy and hazardous to race on. Ice is shown by a thermometer covered in ice. I like the game but I think that you should be able to play against the Dreamcast instead of on your own, and some more levels.
I had doubts about a game that costs as little as this. As a charity game, it could have easily ended up a poor cousin to Toy Commander. When I finally got to play the game, however, it seems that the designers have not created a sloppy sub-game from the Toy Commander game engine, but they've actually put a lot of work into making this a fun and entertaining title. The idea is simple, race around bathrooms, kitchens and other parts of the house that appeared in Toy Commander, try to get the fastest lap and post your results on the internet to compete against other players, or simply beat all the other vehicles. Think a basic Micro Machines for the new millenium and you're half way there, it's simple, enjoyable fun and incredibly easy to pick up for those odd moments when you fancy playing something. The downside is that you're only paying a small amount, so this reflects in the amount of cars and track you actually get. The tracks are fine, but there are so few to choose from that you could get bored playing them, especially as there are not that many cars to pick up either. The idea though is that this is a game for the internet and this is the bit that adds the longevity to the game, playing the tracks against people from all over the world is far more exciting than playing the tracks on your own and adds a whole new lease of life to the experience. It doesn't make the tracks any more detailed, however, and this is the other drawback, simple landscapes and the odd surprise are what you'll find here. For the money, Toy Racer is incredible if you don't expect it to produce miracles, you get a good, basic, fun game and as a bonus you get that warm glow that you're giving something to charity!
Toy Racer is a really funny online racing game for the Dreamcast that was hard to resist when it cam out at Christmas time for just £4.99, plus the fact that £1 from every game sale would go to a certain charity – I cannot remember which one, but that is surely a great way to sell games – make them cheap, add appeal as well as helping those in need. A very nice thing to do at Christmas time! What is Toy Racer! Oh no, I know what you may be thinking, Toy Racer is another rubbish Dreamcast racing game, and the price being so low means that’s there’s no replay value right? That’s what I initially thought, but because some of the money went to charity and I did have £5 to spare, I got this title from No Cliché! With only 4 main tracks, and 4 other tracks that are essentially the reverse of the main ones, you may feel that already the game won’t win in the longevity contest, but take a look at how simply everything fits together well – nothing is complicated, take the game online and you’ll be entertained for a good few hours each week! You can upload your scores and track times onto the high score tables, and also check out various news information, but the best game feature is the lag free online racing! Admittedly you are racing around in miniature toy cars, but it’s still great fun online as well as offline! Make sure you keep a watch at your side so you don’t break your bank with a phone bill too high! You can use the keyboard to play, use the steering wheel or just if you prefer, use the normal game pad, which most people will do. The controls are simple, so anyone can get to grips with it. The graphics are sharp and colourful, very much like the fabulous Toy Commander, and the game runs without any popup or frame rate problems. It’s a really fun addictive game that should be in everyone’s collection for such a low price. Riding over toothpaste and squeezing through
bookcases has never been so much fun! A great game that deserves 5stars!
Well, for a fiver you can't expect much. You don't get much either. This is very much a cut-down game from Toy Commander (itself no bad thing), but it suffers from an extremely irratating play mechanic of having to pass through each checkpoint in turn - and by each checkpoint, I refer to those placed about five seconds apart and only just the width of the track. It's so unforgiving, and it's not unusual to realise you've missed a checkpoint suddenly and have to travel back half a lap to pass it again. The online aspect is great, though - when there are people playing. Otherwise I'd advise you to keep this for when you've got friends over - despite the tichy screens, it's a great four-player game.
Toy Racer is a game in which you race miniature vehicles (there are a total of 24 to choose from) around 4 different locations within a house: the bathroom, attic, kitchen and kids' bedroom. This is only the third online-playable Dreamcast game to be released, after Chu Chu Rocket and Quake 3 Arena. However, Sega seem to have at last delivered their promise of "up to 6 billion players", extremely well through a 33k modem which many thought would simply not be up to the job of fast, smooth online gaming. Playing online is an absolute joy. It is unbelievably simple to get connected and start playing, and IMO is a far better experience than on a PC. You load up the GD-ROM, select "network" and the DC's modem starts dialing. This is silent, and within about a minute you are connected and it asks you to input your usual Dreamarena password. Once you have done this, you are taken to the "select a country" screen. You select your country, then wait as few seconds and you are in the main chat room area. Here, you can either join someone else's game, or create your own and wait for people to join. This is all very painless, and you get to choose which track, number of laps, and weapons you wish to use if you decide to create your own game. If you join someone else's game then you can only decide which car you want. You can chat to the other people in your game, which is a great feature, even though it is rather fiddly using the on-screen keyboard. The game itself features 4 tracks and you can reverse them to play them the othet way round, if you wish. You can choose to do between 1-5 laps. You then race aginst up to 4 others, and there are loads of power-ups littered around the track randomly. As with all games of this type, the power-ups make it a lot more fun - there are speed boosts, shells which make others or yourself go slower for 10 seconds (although it seems a lot longer!), fo
g, ice, tornados, guns etc. The graphics are OK, very smooth, but they by no means push the Dreamcast to its limits, as they lack detail found in other games such as Metropolis Street Racer, and generally do not really look anything really special. However, this may have been done to ensure the game has a fast framerate both offline and online, which it most certainly does. With most new games costing £39.99, £4.99 is a ridiculously low price for any game, never mind a new, online playable one. Therefore, I would recommend this game even though it only has 4 tracks, as for the price it's a bargain. However, had it been priced at £39.99 I would not have recommended it as there are loads of better racers out there for this price. It is also currently the only online playable racing game available for any console, which is something special. Sega and No Cliche have really astonished me with this game and the Dreamcast online in general, you really will be amazed by what it's like online. Sega have mastered the art of maximising the rather crude 33k modem, and it really behaves like a broadband connection it is that good. Keep it up!
This low-priced, fun, racing-only spin-off from Toy Commander is the perfect introduction to racing games. There are only 4 layouts,which is a little limiting, but over 24 different 'toy' vehicles to choose from. You can play with up to four players either through extra controllers or using the online facility. Personally I haven't used the online stuff on the dreamcast yet but split-screen is so fun! There are lots of weapons and bonuses you can collect en route including speed boosters, london fog and pencil torpedoes. These features, which are customisable, actually make this game quite challenging - especially when you play against opponents who have no mercy! An excellent twist with the bonus' is that they have two coulors: green and red. When they are green they cause harm to your opponent (e.g. make him drive on ice). When they are red they cause harm to YOU! They change colour seemingly randomly which can lead to wild swerves and other extremem manouvers as you try to avoid/collect at the last minute. The one drawback is that there is no computer oposition so single player enjoyment is limited in the extreme. However it does excel in the post-pub blast class of games. This game is included in many dreamcast bundles or retails at the bargain price of £4.99 (including a donation to charity) - about the cheapest Dreamcast game there is! It'll keep you (and your mates) entertained for hours.