‘This Should Make the Switch’/’A Switch Surprise’ is a series of articles discussing games that I think should come to the Nintendo Switch. In other words, this is just an OPINION PIECE. In this article, I’ll be talking about Trackmania from Nadeo.
I’ve always loved racing games, but one series that I spent a lot of time with when I was younger was Nadeo’s Trackmania, specifically Trackmania Nations Forever from 2008 (wow, 10 years ago was 2008. How old am I again?) What drew me to it was its incredible emphasis on speed, but what made it even more interesting was the track builder, hence the series’ name. I spent hours assembling tracks, as well as downloading creations made by others. While the formula of Trackmania is already great, I think it would be even better if it came to the Switch.
As mentioned, Trackmania has always had a strong focus on track-building. While this feature can be found in a few racing games, it’s not really that common. Trackmania’s incredibly fast-paced and stunt-oriented driving mechanics make track-building all the more exhilarating. While you can make a ‘realistic’ course, the real fun comes in from trying to create the most outlandish designs. Basically, instead of just building a normal flat track layout, you’re pushed to go for a more roller coaster design. Trackmania invites players to design courses that will put both themselves and others to the test when it comes to skill. As far as I’m concerned, this is basically like FAST RMX minus the futuristic cars.
Just recently, I featured Frontier’s Planet Coaster here in the ‘This Should Make the Switch/A Switch Surprise’ series. Like Trackmania, it has a strong focus on user-creation. As a result, the benefit of having Trackmania on the Switch is pretty similar to that of Planet Coaster: fluid creation tools. The pointer-controls of the Joy-Con would make track building quite easy while playing in docked mode. When on the go, the Switch’s touchscreen can then take over. I’m not sure which one would be better, but I think they’ll both make the course-creating experience great nonetheless. Of course, Trackmania is still a racing game and a great one at that. Due to the Switch’s native local multiplayer capabilities and thanks to the split Joy-Con, I could see this game being yet another title to add to the ‘play with a random person on the bus’ collection. I still have no idea how often that actually happens, but the point is that it’s possible and Trackmania would be a pretty fun game for that kind of situation. The sheer absurdity of some of the courses should make for some ‘interesting’ multiplayer matches, whether random or planned.
Great track-building controls and potential for split-screen portable local multiplayer and LAN parties would make a Switch version of Trackmania incredibly fun.
Even a LAN party mode would be pretty cool with this game. Imagine coming together with a few of your friends and each of you have your own Switch. You’ve all designed your own courses and decide to have a competition to beat each other’s courses.. Seriously, I’m getting excited just thinking about how fun that would be! If Nintendo would allow for courses to be shared online, that would make things even better.
Imagine a system where you could download courses and vote on which ones you think are best. The best ones get posted on a regularly-updated ‘featured/recommended’ list so that everyone in the world could see them. This would push players to make better and better courses, thus supplying a theoretically endless supply of free new content.
Let’s also throw in custom vehicle paint jobs into the mix, a-la Forza style. I’ve been enjoying downloading user designs for my cars in Horizon 3 and Motorsport 7, and I could see a similar system working with a game like this. With the Switch being such a social-oriented platform, stuff like this almost seem like a no-brainer. Which begs the question…
The Trackmania franchise is actually no stranger to Nintendo platforms. In fact, Trackmania DS released back in 2008 as the first ever entry in the series to come to a platform other than Windows. This was followed up a year later by Trackmania Wii. Up until 2016 with the release of Trackmania Turbo on PS4 and Xbox One, the Wii and DS were the actually the only consoles that the series released on. Both Trackmania DS and Wii featured the aforementioned touch and pointer-based track-building control schemes, so Nadeo already has a blueprint for those features on Switch. In other words, you have no excuse Nadeo—it’s time to make it happen.
Ubisoft has been handling the publishing of the series’ latest entries. Since Ubisoft has been one of the biggest supporters of the Switch so far, this would definitely make things easier for Trackmania to come over to the system. But, at the end of the day, there’s still no definite guarantee that this would ever happen. Still, I hope the benefits I mentioned at least made you agree that this would be a pretty awesome idea.
It would have the great track-building control schemes from the Wii and DS iterations, along with the HD visual flare of the latest entries. Throw in those user-creation sharing features, split-screen local multiplayer in tabletop mode, and LAN functionality, and Trackmania would pretty much feel right at home on the Switch. Seriously, Nadeo, Ubisoft; if you want to print some money, then this is one way to do it. The Switch currently doesn’t have a huge plethora of great racing games, so this could definitely spice up its library.
Having been introduced to video games at the age of 3 via a Nintendo 64, A.K has grown up in the culture. A fan of simulators and racers, with a soft spot for Nintendo! But, he has a great respect for the entire video game world and enjoys watching it all expand as a whole.