I have loved racing R/C cars (like most boys) since I was about 5 years old. At 8 I saved up my allowance and bought a completely crap-tastic Lobo from Sears. It was my first R/C car that I bought myself and I was so proud of that thing. That was of course until my neighbor’s big brother got a Hornet and was jumping higher and driving much faster than my lowly Lobo. It took quite some time to save for that Lobo, so I was a bit heart broken when I found out what a turd it was.
Luckily, things changed that Christmas. My dad asked me what I wanted for Christmas and of course my first quick response was that I wanted a Hornet. I used to love Christmas with my dad (I didn’t see him near as much as I would have liked to as a kid since I lived quite a ways away and he was a busy guy). This R/C car was the perfect example of why my dad was the best Christmas shopper. I told him I wanted a Hornet. He asks what a Hornet is. I inform him that it’s the coolest R/C car ever created. So he goes to a hobby shop, asks them what the best car is, they inform him the Hornet is a giant pile of crap and sell him on the Team Associated RC-10. At first I was a little disappointed that he ignored my Hornet request. But that disappointment faded quickly when he told me the information the shop gave him. And even with the constant reminder from my wicked step-mom that all of this cost a lot of money and that I “better appreciate it”, I was the happiest little boy you could imagine.
Wow, what a Christmas! I took my RC-10 up to my cousin’s house which is where I was having Christmas with my mom. 3 of my cousins (much older than me) also got nice R/C cars for Christmas. So they helped me put my RC-10 together and we went on our quest for speed. I was hooked. I still love R/C cars and it was that R/C-10 that made it happen. I used to beg my mom to take me out to the local track which was a couple suburbs away from our house. She reluctantly took me there fairly often. I must have broken 1,000 parts on that track. And of course the owner was happy to sell me new ones. I have bought probably 10 R/C cars since then but I still have that RC-10. I think the only original part that remains is the gold anodized motor mount plate. But I do still have it. And if I was inclined to hit the track, that is still the car I would take.
OK, on to my real topic of this post. The game. I was reading on a car blog about this R/C racing game available for free on Steam called TrackMania Nations Forever. They raved about how fun it was and how free it was. So of course I had to give it a shot. First I see the tracks, which are typical arcade racing type tracks, not representations of real life R/C tracks. But I get past that. Then I see the car. It looks like an R/C car should. So I begin smiling and I’m stoked to race. Then I experience the physics. Not very R/C car like. Especially mid-air. I was pretty disappointed. About like when my friend’s brother brought out his much more expensive and faster Hornet and destroyed my Lobo…
Now even though I felt disappointed that the cars didn’t handle like real life R/C cars, after the race it gave me a medal. Silver. I need that gold! So one more try and I get a gold. And it shows my ranking in the world and also in my state. Wait a minute, I can be better than other locals?!? I’m so there. Wow, only 1 gold and I am already beating people. Losers! Obviously the tracks didn’t stay quite as easy as that first track. There was a couple that I kept getting so close to that gold I could taste it. I kept telling myself, “This is the last one, and then I’m going to bed.” Well a couple hours later I was finally able to pry myself away from the keyboard.
Obviously my disappointment in the physics faded. And I look forward to trying again after work. And now that my 3 year old boy is getting good at using the computer and loves the 1/32 slot cars we recently acquired, I can’t wait to let him try the game. So while the game physics are strictly arcade style racer physics, and the tracks are typical fantasy stunt tracks, I still highly recommend picking up this game. And it’s free! So if you hate it, you are only out some time. I have not tried the multi-player online part of the game yet. But that is definitely the plan for tonight. As far as system requirements, I have a 2 year old Dell that was not made for gaming and it runs fine on my computer at better than 1080p resolution.