Trackmania = addictively addictive

Ok, do you ever get that feeling, in a LAN Party, that you just wanna play something that doesn’t really take much time, is competitive as hell and funny? And, most of all, a game that ANYONE can play, even that friend of yours who’s always complaining about “complicated” games that take hours just to learn, and days (or months, if we’re talking about EVE Online) to get the hang of it?

Well, we sure felt that. But we solved the problem. The solution’s name is Trackmania. It’s been some time since we’ve been trying to find a game like that, and after some googling we found out what a lot of folks out there already know. And yes, we’re ashamed to not have found out about it before. It’s a simple racing game, it’s free, you play it with only the directional buttons of your keyboard (occasionally hitting enter and backspace too), and a lot of people around the world are playing it. You can expect all kinds of crazy things, like loops, driving on the walls and challenging jumps (anyone can build a track, so that’s part of the reason why you can see all kinds of things happening).

trackmania screenshot 1

Basically, you don’t race against each other in the regular fashion. You’re not struggling to reach the finish line before your opponents do. But, actually, you are. Here’s how it works: you got a track, long or short (some last only about 5 seconds), and you compete for the best time. You can try as many times as the clock allows (it’s usually five minutes a track). If you hit a wall, jump off the track, land upside down or screw up somehow, you can instantly respawn in the last checkpoint or restart the race.

trackmania screenshot 2

It’s got good graphics too (if you got a good computer to show ‘em, though it doesn’t need much), and once you’re in the game, it’s hard to let go. You can’t believe when you’re behind someone because of 0.01 seconds (and that happens a lot), so you’re always trying to improve your time.

We started out playing it in a micro LAN (about five people), hosting a local game just for ourselves. Later, when we thought we were getting good, we risked ourselves in an online server, and realized we were NOT good. Most servers are always busy, and we got to a point of playing with 50 other players, from all around the world. You can just get in a server and get out at any time, even during a race. We tried all kinds of different ones, for short tracks, long tracks, easy tracks and hard as hell tracks, and they were all really funny. If playing by yourself online is already funny, imagine doing that with other people, shouting, laughing and punching the wall around you… Got the idea?

trackmania screenshot 3

Once you download the game, you setup a quick login account (just name, e-mail, country and state), and you can play online to gain rank, to break records (that are displayed on the tracks) or just to have a good time. You can see your rank position in your state, country or worldwide (almost 3 million people). How’s that for a challenge? Oh, and you can also play a single player mode (and the multiplayer, as already pointed), which has a lot of tracks too. With a few minutes of practice, you’re good to go, and that’s probably the most attractive thing about this game; really, anyone can play (but it’s not easy winning, depending on who you’re playing against).

Finally, if you really like it, you can buy other Trackmania’s payable versions, which have much more resources, allowing you to do all kinds of different things (which we don’t know what exactly, ‘cause we haven’t bought it… yet).

trackmania screenshot 4

Try giving it a go yourself. Just access Trackmania’s website and download it for free (Trackmania Nations Forever), and prepare to shock yourself while five minutes’ races make you waste long hours of your day if you don’t pay attention (or if you just get as addicted as we  have).

If you still have any doubts about it, check the game trailer:

Good game!