Codemasters have never stated that they're do a re-imagining of Micro Machines but it is pretty clear that Toybox Turbos is definitely based off the classic franchise.
In Toybox Turbos you take miniature toys from the toy box, create a race track out of everyday household areas such as your kitchen, science lab or classroom and race them around it. Your arsenal of weapons helps you get to the front then it is a matter of staying there through various different means and ways.
You have 18 different variations of tracks that you can take on, although locations aren't as varied, and this is complemented by 35 different vehicles that you are able to drive.
two options, technically three options, when it comes to how you want to play Toybox Turbos.
You can take on the single-player campaign where you take part in seven different championships through a variety of tracks and gamemodes, where you eventually go on to unlock a boss battle and new vehicle at the end of each championship.
The second option is to get four of your mates together and do some local multiplayer in elimination stay on the screen style.
As soon as you start the single-player campaign it is obvious that all you should be doing in this game is playing the multiplayer portion of it. I found that the single-player campaign was over far too quickly - in just around an hour for me, and that included getting three stars on everything. The AI are far too easy and if you don't cock up you can easily finish one championship in around 10 minutes, depending on if you beat the boss quickly.
The campaign definitely keeps you interested, switching up the gamemode between things such as a classic race, overtaking as many vehicles as possible, collecting time through clock pickups or getting around three laps as quick as you can.
Once you've completed the campaign in around an hour or so you just need to buy all the vehicles and make sure you've three stared all the races. Job done and mirror mode is unlocked for multiplayer.
You've also got the ability to "customize" your vehicle in the campaign mode, which allows you to apply your own custom paint job using three different colours.
The only thing that has kept me interested in the campaign for so long was unlocking the 1,000,000 coins achievement and getting top of the online leaderboards for the challenge tracks. You can quickly compare yourself against either the world or just your friends, depending on how many of your friends actually have the game of course.
The biggest thing you notice compared to Micro Machines though is that the locations aren't as varied. Why don't we have races in the bath tub, or tracks that are outside in the garden? There are only four different locations in total, the kitchen, science classroom, kids classroom and a playroom.
Despite the small array of locations, the tracks themselves are pretty fun to drive. Each track has got its own unique characteristics with hazards, jumps and shortcuts. The hazards can range from things like rolling pool balls to blenders, sticky liquids and giant water filled sinks.
The weapon choice is adequate, with a giant hammer, machine gun, mines, magnet, rocket boost or an EMP available to you. The hammer is easily the deadliest of the lot, the mines are good for catching yourself out the next lap and you can use the magnet as a last resort to latch onto your nearest opponent to make ground up or save yourself.
The multiplayer in this game is enjoyable I will admit, and feels very much like the classic races that you used to have against your mates back in the days of Micro Machines.
The only problem was, the only mode you could play was Elimination where you gained or lost points depending on how long you could stay on the screen for. If you drop off you'll lose points, and stay on long enough and you can gain points. The first to ten points was then declared the victor and it was onto the next round.
The lobbies were simple enough to setup, allowing you to set various different options such as the track, car set, airstrikes, weapon set and the camera. Or you could just leave them all as random, it is totally up to you.
The good thing about multiplayer is that all vehicles and tracks are available (except the boss vehicles) even if you haven't played single player at all. You just can't earn any coins in multiplayer like you would in single player.
I definitely had a lot of fun in the multiplayer mode, with some very intense and tight races to boot, and if you want you can even bring your local co-op friends online if you so desire.
I just feel that it would be nice if the multiplayer gave more options in the way of being able to do a classic race as well as the elimination gamemode.
Although the online mode was a lot of fun it might be better if it was just four of you playing in local co-op so you can slap the closest person to you if you start losing, doesn't really work when you're against online opponents though.
I can't really say anything wrong about the presentation of the game either, the visuals are pleasing and suit this sort of game with the cartoon style look.
The tracks themselves are well done and the shortcuts available add to the excitement. They've definitely done a good job of making the environments look like where they're meant to be set.
The soundtrack is alright and gets stuck in my head after extended periods of playtime and the gameplay sounds are distinguishable from one another, there's even unique horns for each vehicle!
The menus are very basic, especially when it comes to the settings of the game. You can basically change resolution, change the camera style and turn music on or off. There are no advanced options such as being able to turn the volume down, which is a much needed feature, rather than using Window's volume mixer.
Codemasters will probably shoot me for comparing this to Micro Machines, but come on...
Overall, Toybox Turbos is a game that you need to buy if you can get multiplayer lobbies going with four of your mates. If you're going to get the game just for the single-player portion then you'll be disappointed as you finish it within an hour.
Like I said earlier, the only thing that kept me interested in the single-player campaign for so long was unlocking all the achievements (16 of them) and getting on top of the challenge leaderboards.
This is definitely a multiplayer orientated game, but with just the one gamemode it might become a bit repetitive. I would say that they definitely should've added at least the classic race mode in as well.
Although this isn't a remake of Micro Machines, it is a very similar format and has given us the chance once again to race micro cars around the kitchen table.
TL;DR - Get this game for the multiplayer, not for just single player otherwise you'll be finished with it very quickly. Probably better with local mates rather than online but some good times can be had either way.