Hutch Games is an established name in the genre of mobile racing. The development team that released games such as Hot Wheels and MMX Racing is back with a new title called Top Drives. Now, although you can find this release under the “racing” category, that is a misfit. It is a card collection game with the automotive theme and the first one of the sort. While it might be disappointing that you can’t take an active control of the vehicles, there is a lot more to do in Top Drives than just gazing at over 700 cards with licensed cars.
Is It a Disappointment or Innovation?
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room and the fact that you won’t control the cars and steer through the streets! That’s true, you are not the person behind the wheel, but it doesn’t mean that this game wasn’t made for you if you are a car lover. Top Drives is a game of collecting car cards and managing the vehicles to complete challenges and beat other racers. The release walks a fine line, and there is a good chance that there is no middle ground – you will either love or hate playing this game.
Everything starts with a tutorial that explains how everything works. A pretty girl welcomes you to the game (because that’s the way it should be) and tells you that Antoine Legrand will borrow you his wheels to complete the first set of races. You get taken to a screen where you see that you need to prepare for five challenges, which include drag races, circuits, and asphalt runs.
Can You Be the Better Rival After Five Rounds?
The selection screen gives you the upcoming events at the upper part of the screen and the available selection of vehicles at the bottom. Your goal is to choose the best cars for the listed challenges. Each of the events is different regarding its type, the landscape, and the weather and therefore requires various racing skills.
When you think you have made the right selection, you proceed to the match. It consists of five rounds, and you get to see the action one round at a time. It’s exhilarating to see a drag race that lasts for about twenty seconds, although it might get a bit boring if the run continues for over a minute and you know that you are an evident winner/loser after only a couple of moments.
Compare the Stats and Analyze the Performance
Fortunately, you can skip the live action and head to the results screen anytime you get bored. There you can see how the race ended and the points awarded to the winner. In each event, only the winning side improves their overall score based on their performance. You can also analyze different segments to see which areas you need to enhance to be better next time.
The points from all five events are added together to calculate the final result of the match and decide the ultimate winner. In the tutorial, you will be awarded a starter collection pack of five cars, and each future victory will also bring sweet prizes and new vehicles. You can use these cars to race all around the world and expand your collection.
More Than 700 Cars Available
As a game for car aficionados, Top Drives features over 700 different vehicles divided across more than a dozen of categories, including types, period and country of origin. Each of the cards features a real-life image of the car, and its statistics make it more appropriate for specific categories. There is plenty of fun for those that like to mix and match searching for the perfect deck combination.
The game features both single-player and multiplayer modes. As for the first one, it’s quite impressive although it could be a bit longer. The premise is simple – racing will take you across various countries, and you will need to prove your worth against the best drivers from around the world. For example, you will start in the UK with a couple of events before the boss fight. If you successfully defeat the boss of the area, you will receive their car as a prize.
Pay or Go Home
The single-player campaign is exciting but short. Once you complete it, the only thing left for you to play the multiplayer mode where the game pits you against another real-life player. We should mention that the matchmaking system is somewhat fair and you will play the opponents of similar strength and experience.
However, the problem that appears after a while is that the gamers that purchased premium card packs have a distinct advantage over those that didn’t invest any real cash. There are two in-game currencies – money and gold – and both of them are needed for unlocking new card packs. However, regardless of your persistence in grinding, it’s almost impossible to compete with those who made in-app purchases. That is a shame because the multiplayer should be what keeps the game going after you finish the campaign.
Top-Down Retro Graphics
If you were a gamer in the 90s and you remember games like Micromaniacs that featured action from the top-down perspective, you will love the graphics of Top Drives. The cars remind of those that run on batteries, but that’s the cartoonish style that the developers wanted to achieve. They also managed to keep things simple and ensure that the interface is not crowded by the unnecessary stuff. And although you will get a bunch of statistics related to your vehicles and performance, you won’t have any issues finding your way around.
Top Drives is available for Android and iOS, and you can get the game for free from the respective stores. The installation takes around 133 MB of space on your phone plus the additional content that the game will download, so make sure that you have enough space on your device before installing the game.