Jim: Kieron: does Trackmania matter in the larger scheme of things? Do you care about it as a game?Kieron: Yes. The thing with trackmania is that it's... Well, when I started going gaga over Trials. Ste Curran noted about Trackmania. And he's right - that's in the same lineage. He describes Trackmania as the PC's one good game. Because he is, of course, a terrible human being - but his point is it's a game which went went its own way, and continues to go its own way. In that way, it's probably more important than most of the games which are traditionally seen as important. And it's fun, which helps.Jim: If I could hold forth for a moment, I think the reason I enjoy it is something to do with the way you're able to grasp it completely, instantly, and yet it's continual exploration. I imagine that it must be something like a toddler feels once they're up and walking: it comes naturally, it makes sense, but you've got to keep seeing what you can do with it, what trouble you can get into etc.John: I can't think of another racing game where I care about mastering the corners. But because each race is about 30 seconds long, perfecting my approach to it is not an overwhelming experience. Finally nailing a perfect route to get the Gold is so awesome.Kieron: I'll echo all this.Jim: It's ultra-speed scientific method: trial and error. If science was conducted with an instant reset button we'd all be living inside the sun.Alec: It shows you the science at play too - that moment where the ghostly rival racer suddenly emerges from inside your own car and you think "aha!" That's how to do this.John: Unlike Alec, I find I rarely bother with the leaderboards though. I prefer to beat the medals on my own.Jim: Yeah, I've not really looked at the leaderboard stuff much. I've just be using it as one of those games that is a toolbox of distractions. "Ooh, this, and now this" and it's different enough from track to track, mode to mode.Alec: I've not been actively chasing leaderboard spots, but to see myself climb by like 1000 places everytime I complete a track feels good. You know there's some guy - possibly me - seeing your name on the board and trying to top you. In the Club or whatever, you don't get that unless you're Super Ultimate Guy.Kieron: I'll say I'm with Alec - seeing my world rating skip up is awesome. Trackmania is the game The Club would dream of being.Jim: Which is interesting in itself, Kieron, you're always more interested in chasing hi-scores than me. Like it's a definite personality trait.Kieron: And you play Eve.Jim: I do chase kills in Eve though, which is the most abstract hi-score system available.
So effectively, the trackmania now availble on steam, is an updated re-release of the previous trackmania games all together.The free edition is what used to be a seperate game, updated to be a demo of the full game.
Trackmania has come a long way since the first release over four years ago, not just in terms of content, but also polish and quality. All things considered this is a game which can keep you occupied for months, if not years on end, while keeping the fun factor marvellously high. I've played United for nearly two years now, racking up over 600 hours of enjoyable gameplay time. With the Forever expansion it really could literally last forever. If you're into racing games which aren't all about hardcore realism, you will love this. If the genre doesn't normally appeal to you, there is still a high chance that you will end up falling in love with it anyway. So if you haven't already, try the free version of TMNF right away. If you liked that, you've only just touched the tip of the iceberg. 781b155fdc