Trackmania is a racing game that revolves around arcade-style driving along tracks that boost your speed, elevate above the ground and even include jumps or loops. It was released to a soft reception but has gathered a cult following which has steadily grown with the subsequent new releases. The game featured a track editor but players had to purchase pieces (called "bricks") by spending an in-game currency called coppers which was attained by completing the various pre-made tracks for a bronze, silver or gold medal which rewarded the player with respective amounts of coppers. These bricks are placed in a grid and interlocked to create the track. The custom-made tracks could be saved and sent to another Trackmania player which eventually led to the Trackmania Exchange site being created. The game features 3 different environments that offer different playing styles and featuring their own custom bricks and environment mapping possibilities.
The desert environment seems to be set in an area around Texas or Mexico, where you will find cacti, tall plateaus and debris strewn around from the various oil fields. The track is asphalt and features loops and jumps, built for going fast. The car is an extremely sensitive racing car that accelerates and breaks in seconds can cut corners tightly but does have problems gripping the road when going too fast.
Rally is set in a classic Scottish countryside where you drive along tracks that go from dirt to asphalt to wooden bridges and which take you over rivers, between rows of trees and along the wall of a tall castle. The car is ultra light and has incredible horsepower which can be hard to handle so the car tends to swerve around the tracks, picking up lost speed in a second only to lose it as quick turns has it sliding into the roadside ditch.
The snow environment is set high up in the snowy peaks of Tibet, surrounded by thick forests and jagged peaks dotted with small buildings. The main track is composed of asphalt at ground level and a wooden track as the path elevates itself and the environment is snow which can be modified with icy parts and two different kinds of elevations. The car isn't particularly fast but handles well around tight turns resulting in tracks that are full of boosts to get the gameplay up to the same degree of speed featured in the other environments. Beyond the standard track you have a wide wooden track which can be used to create large drivable areas, underground tunnels and mesh pipes which come with boosts, checkpoints and obstacles.
Trackmania Original was released as a free update for people who already owned Trackmania and featured a lot of new bricks and an update to the game engine used, which was the same as was featured in the sequel Trackmania Sunrise. This incorporated a lot of changes to the physics and graphics of the game, but also added the function to start from the previous checkpoint rather than having to start from the beginning if the player messed up. Along with the updates was the removal of the purchasing function in the track editor. People could still gain coppers by completing the pre-made tracks, but were free to use as many bricks as they wanted with the total amount of coppers that the track was "worth" being used to determine how big the track was.