Bigger isn’t always better


Micro Machines (3)

Micro Machines – Like Puppy in my Pocket … for boys

Every boy who was around in the 80’s or 90’s will remember Micro Machines, those tiny heavily stylised toy vehicles that were cheap to buy but insanely expensive to collect. The toys were immensely popular and the were literally thousands to collect cars, trucks, planes, helicopters etc at the height of their popularity these little belters even out-sold the toy car giants hotwheels. Anyway getting to the point these toys eventually spawned a series of video games.

micro21Everything is more fun in video game form

My main memory (aside from hours spent playing with the toys) was of a particular game on the Sega Mega Drive (Genesis for you American folk) Micro Machines 2: Turbo Tournement a stupidly brilliant title which saw you racing across pool tables, bath tubs and desks through gardens and bedrooms just the types of places you would be playing with your toys. This kind of miniature racing game was never bested despite numerous attempts (Notably the Revolt games on Dreamcast) but now we have a new challenger.

icon_minimotorracing

Mini Motors available on Android and iOS from The Binary Mill provides a similar experience to the classic mini racers of the past albeit without quite the same imaginative settings. The tracks are based on your more classic racers with High speed race tracks and battles through winding city streets taking the spotlight rather than jumping over plant pots and trying not to drop into the vortex of a toilet or pool table pocket this may not seem at first glance to be quiet as much fun but the game actually handles really well.

superchargedOne of the many great looking cars available

There are options for controls but I prefer to stick with the default mode of having the little wheel down in the bottom left hand corner which you spin to the desired direction. It starts out a little challenging to get to grips with due to the games static viewpoint (something which will be familiar to those who have played Micro Machines V3) but you will soon get the hang of it and be drifting around the courses like a pro. Once you get the hang of the controls the difficulty jumps up a notch the AI racers become more skilled and highly aggressive  luckily the game has an upgrade system which will allow you to ensure your tiny car has enough oomph to keep you ahead of the competition.

grand prixTracks galore

You can unlock a few cars just through playing but many others have to be purchased with  in game cash, however since you are going to want to focus on upgrades rather than making rash purchases of cars the pricing seems a little off. In some respects I feel this is a bit of a cheap shot since it means that to fork out for the new car you are likely going to have to make some in app purchases, don’t fret however none of this is actually necessary because you can just repeat a few races to earn the dough, though that may take the patience some folk don’t have.

fruit ninjaLiscenced tracks and vehicles inspired by other games

It may not be a groundbreaking title but it’s a neat little racer than uses the touch screen to it’s advantage rather than struggling with it, the tracks are well designed and fun to play (with the odd exception) with various surfaces on show (dirt, sand, tarmac, gravel etc) actually affecting the handling of your vehicle. The cars are well designed and each one does handle very differently which gives you ample opportunity to find and max out your favourite model. I appreciate it when a app dev puts out a game for a reasonable price (£0.69 in this case) and doesn’t over use the in-app purchase side of things which is far to often the case now, there is an extra championship on show here that rather than being a paid for dlc is actually purchasable with the money you earn from playing the game which is a real nice touch.

Perfect for playing a few quick races on your daily commute Mini Motors is a title that doesn’t take itself too seriously and rewards you for playing rather than being something you need to throw money at in order to progress. In short this is the type of game I would like to see more of on phones and tablets from a dev who clearly deserve to be taken seriously.

eremenko

5 thoughts on “Bigger isn’t always better

  1. Micro Machines V3 was my go-to game when I had friends around. Honour was gained and lost in the back gardens and pool tables which formed the arenas where our destinies were decided. Alliances were forged, friendships were broken. All that mattered was the thrill of the race, the smell of hot plastic upon the road to victory, the wayside of which was scattered with the remains of those less worthy… or maybe it was less dramatic than I remember.

    I still have my Micro Machines collection somewhere. I have like 4 of those big trucks that opened up into a city. I was really obsessed with them.

    • I am so jealous right now I always wanted those trucks. I had a big car that I could store my smaller ones in but I never had any city pieces. Yes the PlayStation micro machine games were a brilliant extension of the series and those old multi tap 4 way tournaments were legendary for their fight starting abilities not least over who gets to play as “spider”.

    • I also remember some controversy back in the day as codemasters produced and sold the cart without any authorisation from sega. The real genius move was the inclusion of two controller ports on the cart and pad full of tournement invites in the box. I’m so full of nostalgia right now…

      • Violet Berlin … man that’s a blast from the past. I do remember her being in that, what else was she in? She was like the original crush worthy gaming girl … madness. I don’t remember that about the cart but I do remember having some amazing four player games so I guess that makes sense those crafty codemaster buggers it was a simpler time for gamers back then imagine a dev trying to pull that shit with Microsoft or Sony these days? Not gonna happen.

        Cheers for commenting as always man it’s good to have you back.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s