A good arcade racing game
One of the most famous stunt racing games arrives to the portable systems with this TrackMania DS for the Nintendo DS. This game has the same concept as all the other games of the series, featuring time attack races. You can see the other drivers but you can't touch them (no dirty play), you can only beat the time that they've achieved to win credits to unlock new circuits and appearances for your cars.
In TrackMania DS there are three environments to race which are Desert, Rally and Stadium. Each one has different cars with different characteristics adapted to that environment, so, it's like having three different racing games in one.
Besides that, there are new game modes that are really funny. In platform mode you don't need to race so fast because you only have to get to the goal without restarting to a previous checkpoint. As you may guess, there are many holes and jumps in these kind of circuits to make it much harder. It's not an easy task but it's really funny.
The game uses the hardware of the system in a game mode called Puzzle mode, in which you'll have to edit a circuit and place in the right places all the parts of the circuit. To do that you can use your stylus. You can also edit and build circuits just for free playing instead of this mode.
Graphics are good, defined, varied and colored, a bit simple but adequate anyway. TrackMania is not a game that put a lot of effort in graphics and other technical aspects because they're much more focused in things like gameplay and originality.
Circuits are as short as always, if you're looking for a real racing experience or just a classic racing game this is not your game. Trackmania has an arcade feeling and if you liked the previous Trackmania games you'll like this one too.
The circuits aren't as spectacular as they were in other games of the series. It's still stunt racing when you play the Stadium mode, but not as incredible as we've played before.
About gameplay, there are some problems in ramps and some jumps that could ruin your race. Fortunately, circuits are short and that's not a frustrating problem for the player.
There's only one song for each kind of environment, and there are many circuits, so, there's a lot of time to detest the music. No problems with FX.
The Bottom Line
A good racing game perfect for those who'd love something different and unique. If you've never played a TrackMania game and you're not searching for a real racing simulator this is one of the greatest games of its kind. If you've played a TrackMania game before and you really liked it you should play this one because it has many original new game mods to be played.