Trackmania

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Trackmania Game Poster Image
Customizable racer crashes hard into paywalls.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Players spend time racing against other players, either live or against "ghost" images of past performances. There are some opportunities to get creative with track development or car skins, but are limited by paywalls.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The game's a racing title, with no story campaign or related content. Players and their live opponents are the only characters, with little communication.

Ease of Play

The driving portion is straightforward, with basic arcade style driving controls. Using the track editors, especially the advance version, can be a bit more complicated depending on how simple or complex players try to build their map.

Violence
Sex
Language

Social options could potentially expose younger players to some offensive language in club communications.

Consumerism

The free-to-play Starter Edition of the game is severely limited in available options. The game pushes players to upgrade to either the Standard or Club editions of the game, available as yearly subscriptions, to open up more features. This is the latest game in the Trackmania franchise

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Trackmania is a free-to-play racing game available for download on Windows based PCs. Players compete in online seasonal race circuits against live opponents and their "ghost" data. Due to the persistent online nature and social aspects of the game, there's a chance some younger players might be exposed to offensive language or content from others. Players race on a variety of custom tracks, including official tracks created by Ubisoft and user created tracks. The game includes both simple and advanced track editors that give players the opportunity to create their own custom maps, as well as a garage editor where players can create and edit skins for their car. The free-to-play model locks many of the game's features behind paywalls, with players buying different tiered year-long subscriptions to unlock features and content during the term of the subscription.

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What's it about?

TRACKMANIA brings the thrill of fast-paced, arcade style racing that challenges players to put their driving skills to the test with new, ever-evolving seasonal circuits against a global competitive crowd of live opponents. You can take on fellow racers from around the world in daily races on unique tracks built by fans for fans. Players will punch the straightaways and lean into the hard turns of classic and traditional tracks, or try out some gravity-defying vertical loops and corkscrews while catching some big air off ramps on the more insanely designed courses.  And once you've navigated your way through other people's courses, why not try building one of your own, courtesy of Trackmania's Simple and Advanced Map Editors. Finally. you can craft your own winding path and share it with the world for all to see, then put the pedal to the metal and burn some rubber to earn your spot on the leaderboards.

Is it any good?

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about online competition. What are some ways that online games can teach kids about sportsmanship and competition?

  • What are some ways that things like Season Passes and other subscription-based options limit options in games? What may be some benefits that subscription-based options can offer to players?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love racing

Themes & Topics

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