Review: Micro Machines World Series

  • Title: Micro Machines World Series
  • Developer: Codemasters Inc.
  • Publisher: Deep Silver

Today, we look into the miniature mayhem contained in the madness that is known as Micro Machines (sorry, not sorry).The purpose of this game, as anyone familiar  the brand might expect, is to both race and fight against tiny vehicles of various makes and models. These range from tiny police cars to….equally tiny tanks, to be honest. For the most part, each machine has its own handling scheme and its own weapon, which ties in to its gimmick, which is cute, and leaves plenty of room for trying new things.

Summer sprinkles

When it comes to gameplay, first and foremost, it is worth noting that the game comes with a disclaimer that it is a co-op party game with single player possibilities. This warning (for indeed, it is a warning) is not to be dismissed easily. Single player mode pits you against merciless AI that, no matter the difficulty, will almost certainly have an advantage over you, as they spawn with near mastery of their vehicles as well as knowledge of the timing and location of map drops and supply boxes. It is partly for that reason alone that this game is best played with friends; everyone can be equally clueless together.

Battling on thin ice

Conceptually, this game is quirky in a good way, the various vehicles and weapons are amusing, and there are enough tracks and arenas and vehicles to keep things diverse.

Mechanically however…this game feels like a bit of a mess. All of the movement controls in this game are relative to the screen as a whole, and not your position or the direction you happen to be facing, whether you’re on an arena map or a racing map, essentially giving the feel of a slot-car type racing game, except that you’re still required to actively steer on every track, which honestly, I very much disliked; call me old-school, but if I’m racing someone, I like being able to actively steer my car relative to my car’s position. Additionally, while every vehicle has different stats and handling, I don’t recall ever actually seeing a way to compare the stats or handling of the vehicles; which means that you’re essentially starting blind every time you decide to try something new.

Pulling out the ace card

Overall, this game had a lot of potential: I enjoy the concept quite thoroughly, and I’m a huge  fan of subtle quirks. That said, I firmly feel that the mechanics could have been much better, and that the AI could have been more balanced in the single player mode. Final Score: 6/10

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