Image: Brainz Gamifiy
I have just spent the last three hours racing around my apartment in mixed reality with mini cars, and it has been just great.
Czech indie studio Brainz Gamify has achieved a small stroke of genius with its debut work. With Track Craft for Meta Quest 3, the developers impressively demonstrate how to use simple means to awaken the play instinct in adults, make them completely forget about time, and at the same time demonstrate the immense potential of mixed reality in a simple way.
Track Craft is a Mixed Reality Hot Wheels Track
After seeing the trailer for the Track Craft demo a couple of days ago, I thought I would just take a brief look. This turned into a full-blown mixed reality session, which was only stopped by the battery limits of my Quest 3 with Elite Strap and extra battery.
Warning: Track Craft is addictive.
Track Craft is basically what many of us used to have in our children’s rooms: a toy motorway. The only difference is that here it virtually blends into the physical space through the Quest 3. The tracks are full of obstacles, loops, half-pipes and tight bends. The aim is to maneuver a small vehicle from one end to the other — and that’s easier said than done.
Fun driving physics and Evel Knievel stunts
The driving physics are designed to allow you to do all kinds of crazy stunts. For example, when you drive over a jump and move the joystick, the little car will somersault or spin in circles. During the jumps, you have to keep the car balanced or maneuver it directly into the next corner or the finish line by making clever turns.
If you go too fast, you will immediately fly out of the turn and the little virtual car will land on your physical floor. If you accelerate too much or too little in the loop or on the jump, the same fate awaits you. There are also green areas or puddles of oil and water that will cause you to skid.
The pre-built tracks are wonderfully creative and get more challenging from level to level. Some of them even cover several floors, and you have to cross little portals to get to the next level.
Easy to learn, difficult to master
The controls of Track Craft are wonderfully intuitive. At the beginning, the app introduces you to the game mechanics in a pleasant way, using short clips to explain how to control the small vehicles and adjust the size of the track.
If you place both controllers on the track and hold down the grip button, you can move the track freely in your room. Pulling your hands apart or together will make the track bigger or smaller.
Use the right trigger to accelerate, the left trigger to brake or go backwards, and the left joystick to steer. As each toy car drives differently and the tracks become increasingly chaotic, the game remains pleasantly challenging.
Let your creativity run wild
So far, there are three different types of tracks with over 50 unique levels that you can unlock bit by bit. Both the tracks and the little cars are lovingly and creatively designed and full of little details.
My personal favorites are the Malibu tracks, made of virtual cardboard boxes, which you drive around in a rickety VW bus with surfboards on the roof. Once you have completed all the tracks in just under two hours, you can use the track editor to create your own.
In the editor, you set a start and end point, and in between you can freely place and even paint various track elements, obstacles, portals, or decorations. If you like, you can turn your whole house into a mini racetrack — and that’s precisely what I’m going to do now.
Track Craft is now available in Early Access via Meta’s App Lab for Meta Quest 3, Quest 2, and Quest Pro and costs just under $10. The game will be continuously expanded. In the coming weeks, the developers want to introduce a ghost multiplayer like on Trackmania, a live multiplayer mode and many other features.
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