07th Jun2019

‘TT Isle of Man’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Britt Roberts


Motorbike-racing games with a heavy focus on simulation are not exactly plentiful on the Nintendo Switch, this is a gap that TT Isle of Man could plug perfectly for a lot of people that crave depth in their racers. Whilst there’s a lot to commend here, unfortunately a few aspects work against the title and end up making it feel like it could have been a lot more.

The titular race is a thirty-eight mile track around one of the most difficult courses in the world. It’s also, unfortunately, extremely dangerous, as I found out during my research for this review, with a high amount of fatalities, including Daley Mathison only hours ago at the time of writing this article.

The game of the event itself is a high-speed jaunt around this most famous of tracks (although there are other courses available) with, as previously mentioned, a focus on capturing the sense of risk and realism. Originally released last year on PC and consoles, it has finally found its way to Nintendo Switch and, due to the difference in power on offer here, there are some caveats.

Focusing on the positives first, the game has a lot of options when it comes to racers, bikes and fine-tuning. Whilst there are other courses here, the main focus is the Isle of Man race which is an absolute monster. In docked mode, the game looks tasty and has a genuine sense of thrills and speed as well as a ‘sidecar’ mode which takes the quite involved controls of the normal races to an even deeper level with the player now also having to contend with the weight of an extra individual and all the bonuses and pitfalls that can bring.

The main issue I had with TT Isle of Man were the controls, in a bid to feel simulatory, with the dual Switch Joycons’ reduced playing field when compared to other controllers, the game comes off feeling twitchy, this isn’t helped with the slowdown that comes into play when a lot is happening on the screen. For the first few races I hit almost every corner and came off the bike in quite visceral and weighty crash scenes. Finding my groove, it became clear that this isn’t a game that messes around, crash a couple of times in a race and the difficulty means that you’ll have a hard time climbing back to the pack, I’d definitely advise play with a pro controller to have more of a sense of control over the action.

In handheld mode, the issues are more pronounced, a further graphical downgrade means things are quite rough on-screen and, when racing with a pack of other riders it felt quite sluggish at times.


TT Isle of Man is a game that I would find hard to recommend to anyone but motorbike fans, it’s not a title you could pick up straight away because of the way it’s designed, with a good few races required to fall into the groove and even then, it never really stops being challenging, feeling as if some of the difficulty comes from technical issues as opposed to purely your skill-set. The online multiplayer was pretty sparse in my experience and whilst the game ‘features’ local multiplayer, it appears to be in the form of taking it in turns in a tournament style and so there’s no split-screen options available.

A game for the riders out there who can look past the flaws and enjoy the gritty game beneath, as stated at the start of this review, there’s hardly a pile of motorbike simulations around on Nintendo’s console and so this will fill the Kawasaki-shaped gap in your life, I’m just not sure for how long.

TT Isle of Man is available on the Nintendo Switch now.


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