Mini Motor Racing Review
- Four easy to use control schemes; customizable with reversed buttons and manual acceleration.
- Gorgeous visual design; luscious, colorful environments and cute chubby vehicles.
- Local multiplayer; Wifi and Bluetooth.
- Advanced iOS features; iCloud saves, Airplay and iPhone 4S graphical optimizations.
- No position indicators for other vehicles; hard to know if I'm being tailed by 2nd place or 6th place after lapping them.
- Cripplingly aggressive AI; clear the pack and they'll often self-destruct.
- Problematic camera perspective; hard to see changes in terrain height, making jumps/ramps/dips difficult to anticipate.
Despite some initial frustrations, Mini Motor Racing still manages to provide a unique time waster for arcade racing fans.
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Sometimes, despite everything screaming at you saying it's wrong, a game can manage to remain compelling. This is how Mini Motor Racing feels and despite The Binary Mill's best efforts the game is realistically far from perfect... and yet the next level loads up much like the last and the numbers keep going up and up and up.
The first thing that grabs you about the racer is its cute aesthetic, with its miniaturized world populated with chubbily proportioned vehicles ranging from Sports, Hatchback, Big-rig and even Buses. Everything about the graphical design lusciously envelops these vehicles, creating a smooth and chunky world you could almost reach out and touch. Better-still are the night time variants that range from basic flood-lit tracks to sunset drives and even rain-drenched tarmac.
It's at this point you realize you're racing and things take a bit of a nose-dive. The world of Mini Motors is a distinctly Arcade one and physics take a back-seat while cars freely spin on a dime, cutting their momentum while drifting slightly or coming to complete halts after being rammed and turned off-course by the AI.
Turbo-boosts, which are in limited supply as a power-up, can help you to get clear of the manic self-destructive racers, but learning how to effectively handle each vehicle type can take some time - all the more-so when dealing with the game's huge amount of tracks that feature unique terrain variations.
All of this should kill an otherwise competent racer, but jumping back and forth between vehicles, mastering tracks and upgrading vehicles with your spoils (or unlocking vehicles such as the colorful cameo from Fruit Ninja) has an appeal all of its own. Of note, the controls feel fantastic with slide controls having an almost analogue smoothness to them and touch-buttons providing a decent alternative for those with sore thumbs. Once you master a vehicle you'll almost flawlessly corner as you nail that perfect line time and again with ease.
What makes or breaks Mini Motor Racing is how willing you are to absorb its Arcade-inspired quirks to find the juicy, fast-paced racer that lies within. It won't be to everyone's tastes, but it doesn't take long to work out whether you're coming back for more.