Micro Machines is back after what has been quite a lot wait. Perhaps it’s just me, but despite playing many top down racers none ever seem to capture the excitement of Micro Machines. There’s nothing quite like speeding around a breakfast table, avoiding toast and spilt cereal as you try to pass your opponents to become victorious. All of this has been captured in this latest version, although there are a few disappointments along the way.
When you first load the game you’ll instantly be saddened at the lack of a single player mode, something which had me hanging my head in disappointment. On the bright side, after a bit of poking around the menus, you’ll discover that skirmish mode is the place to go for local play. Here you can either play with four friends or go it alone vs. AI in Battle Mode, Survival or the Classic race. Unfortunately, it’s all a bit bare bones, with the developer opting to offer you one race, before declaring the winner. You are given the option to continue racing, but it would have been much better if a tournament mode of sorts was included, allowing you to choose a set number of matches to be played before the winner is declared. It would also have been nice to see some sort of single player structure, allowing you to race through all of the courses and feel like you’ve completed the game, rather than just racing via individual races.
Curiously the same design applies to multiplayer, so once you have finished one race you are back to the main menu, rather than being able to continue with those you’ve just played with. It doesn’t really make any sense, feeling like a disappointing design choice in an otherwise decent game.
When it comes to the game modes and racing itself, Codemasters have really nailed it. The handling is fantastic, allowing you to skid around corners, easily stealing a higher position at the same time. All the pick-ups are there too, with a NERF branding, allowing you to blow up opponents or shoot them with rubber bullets. Each of the tracks are well designed and while at first, you’ll likely find yourself bashing into toasters or billiard balls, once you master the tracks you’ll be flying around them, with only the chaos of the other 11 racers stopping you from guaranteeing first place every time.
There are three game modes in all, the standard race, elimination, where you need to keep up with the pack or finish at the back of the pack and finally, Battle Mode, where you need to hold a certain area ‘King of the Hill’ style as part of a team in order to win the round or ‘Capture the Flag’ and take it back to your base, without being blown up. These modes are a lot of fun and completing them will earn you experience, which when ranked up will give you access to a loot box, providing new skins, voices and stickers for each of the vehicles on offer.
Once you reach level 10 you’ll be able to take part in Ranked Matches, while there are also special events to take part in, which I presume are chosen by the developer.
Overall, Micro Machines World Series is a decent game and a great nod to the games of the past. All we need now is for it to be fleshed out a little more, with improvements to the way multiplayer matches modes are structures and the addition of a single player campaign and local multiplayer Tournament mode.