Surf the Sands in Tray Racers, Coming to Steam Next Fest
We’ve all had a friend who’s the absolute worst to play against in Mario Kart. They’ve got all the courses memorized like a sixth grader studying for a spelling bee. Now imagine the courses change their layouts every time you play. They might look somewhat familiar, but the turns are never in the same place and the hazards seemingly pop-up out of nowhere. Suddenly the playing field feels more level, and the Mushroom Cup superstar becomes nothing more than a banana peel on the road. In a nutshell, this is what Tray Racers brings to the track.
With procedurally generated courses, Tray Racers sends players speeding down sand dunes full of environmental hazards, but you’re never sure what you’ll be facing. It could be an expanse of hot geysers, a field of cacti, or a spread of annoying, momentum-stopping boulders. This element of surprise feels like what a lot of casual racing games are missing — something to switch it up.
The controls are simple: build and maintain speed by leaning your character back while going uphill and forward while going downhill, time careful jumps and pull off tricks for an extra boost. Players race from the top of the slope down to the bottom, but are given a number of attempts to find the best route to the finish in the shortest time possible.
Each race ends with one final run from start to the finish, using everything you’ve learned in your previous runs to come out with your best time yet, or maybe not. Each player's fastest time and final race time are then added together to see who came out on top.
Races can feature up to 16 players, each competing for a spot on the winner’s podium. While things can get heated on the track, between each race players gather round a campfire to calm those pre-race nerves, play some music, or pet a friendly lizard named Scrump. This little reprieve is a core part of the game’s charm, and provides that extra bit of fun and freedom in what other games just offer as a lobby screen. It's here that players can also try out new cosmetic looks to add some flair to their post-apocalyptic looks.
It's easy to see why Tray Racers is poised to become the next go-to party game. Fast matches, straightforward controls and an adorable atmosphere that'll gel with anyone's vibe. There's clear content potential, too. Be it with more cosmetic customizations or new and bizarre biomes to speed through.
A demo for Tray Racers will be available during the Steam Next Fest which kicks off on Feb. 6, 2023. And while there's plenty of reasons to keep the game on your radar, perhaps the most indisputable is that it will be free-to-play.
Tray Racers doesn't have a full release date just yet, but it will be available on PC and Nintendo Switch in 2023. Players can Wishlist the game via its Steam page.
DBLTAP was invited to preview Tray Racers by its developers, Bit Loom.