Parents' Guide to


By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Customizable racer crashes hard into paywalls.

Trackmania Poster Image

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For more than a decade and a half, this series has put players behind the wheel for arcade style racing through their own creative, gravity-defying tracks. The series' latest entry, Trackmania, attempts to skip a standard retail package in favor of a free-to-start, subscription-based service. Unfortunately, this winds up feeling like a bait and switch, with many basic features stripped down and locked behind a confusing mess of paywalls tiers. That's not to say the game doesn't have something to offer. Players are just going to have to keep shelling out money to enjoy it.

One of the key features of Trackmania has always been the track editor. Players could use it to tap their creativity and create insanely fun tracks to run. Here, players get access to a stripped-down track editor at the start, but it's so limited that only very basic tracks can be built. Stepping up to one of the yearly subscription tiers allows access to an advanced track editor that features all the bells and whistles. Meanwhile, creating a social club to share your best works, to compete with friends, and to make use of other basic social features requires bumping up to yet another subscription tier. It's all a convoluted mess, which is only made more frustrating by the fact that the game itself is actually a smooth and fluid, if not a little generic, of a racing experience. The controls are responsive and the game looks clean, though there's no diversity in the racers' cars outside of a slick paint job … which once again is locked behind a subscription tier.

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