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Micro Machines – World Series 2017 Review

January 1st, 2018 by

Micro 001As a child, the highlight of the week was going shopping within my mum.  In among the rice and pot noodles would be a tiny  section of the store with toys, or more importantly toy cars.  I would be able to buy one a week which added to my slowly growing collection of matchbox miniatures.  Then one day, whilst down my local Budgens, I happened upon something new.  A Micro Machine.  This was no normal little car, these were brightly coloured engineering marvels in a pack of 4.  However, once the shock had subsided I realised that they were actually smaller than my current automotive replicas.  “Nah, can’t get these”, I thought.  “These would look ridiculous next to my Corgi Bond replicas and my cherished Ertl Knight Rider Firebird with its little red sticker instead of a light on the front”.  I put the box down and bought an orange Dukes of Hazard car.

As time progressed, I move away from childish notions and I got into games.  Or, more specifically, driving games.  I played Grand Prix Simulator on the ZX Spectrum then moving to Ivan ‘Ironman’ Stewart’s Super Off Road On the Atari ST.  I lost count of the amount of hours I lost to Supercars on the Amiga.  All the time in the background Micro Machines was slowly becoming phenomena and in 1991 the first game of the series was released by Codemasters.  This of course completely passing me by.   I had a “proper” computer, not a Super NES, or a Mega Drive.

In the old days being small was the future.  Not the little fella from Paradise Island or The Man With The Golden Gun.  I mean radios the size of credit cards, tiny computers, TVs on your wrist, that sort of thing.  There are of course times when small is not good.  A micro manhood is an obvious one and Micro Machines World Tour would appear to be another.

When I was presented with an opportunity to play the latest incarnation,  I was really looking forward to playing what many consider to be a classic.


Micro 003

Once the novelty wears off of racing around the cutlery, spilt baked beans and flower pots you are left with a poorly balanced free-for-all.  There’s nothing wrong with having a top down version of Mario Cart with weapons and power-ups  If the racing bit was actually any fun.  Which it isn’t.  It’s frustrating.  Coming first seemed to be more luck than anything, constantly being scuppered by a barrage of Nerf darts from an opponent behind you on the final lap as your poorly handling car slides off a table.  I said Nerf, as in actual Nerf, powerups sponsored by Nerf.  It was like playing Zool on the Amiga in the 1990′s with its incredibly not so subtle endorsement of Chupa ChupsOr Cool Spot, where you played the red circle from the a can of 7up, who endorsed the game at the time.  If we had carried on like this then your horse in Red Dead Redemption would have been sponsored by Ferrari and your furniture in the Sims would have been courtesy of Ikea.

Adding to the race mode there is Battle where your shoot each other in an arena, like a miniature top down Twisted Metal with toy cars.  Each vehicle, 12 of which to choose from, with their own unique abilities and charged power ups.  Then there is Elimination where you race until you are knocked off the screen.  All very hard and not much fun.  There is only 10 tracks, no single player championship mode, and a multiplayer that couldn’t seem to match me up against any real world players.  You can’t even quit a mode if you select it accidentally.

Whilst there are many negatives, it all looks nice enough seemingly aimed at the younger players.  The real fun no doubt lies in local multiplayer but being that I have no friends who live locally and my kids are busy playing Destiny or Roblox, I did not get to experience this as it was intended.

Micro 002

Since the launch of the franchise there have been numerous iterations and pretenders both on home console and mobile.  This version appears not to bring anything else to the table other than being a racing game that doesn’t appear to be much fun in the racing department.  Although this is a budget release it didnot feel like you are getting value for money.

Midlife Gamer Rating: 5/10     Format: Xbox One / PlayStation 4 / Steam    Release Date: Out Now

Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a copy of Micro Machines World Seriesby the publisher for review purposes. The title was reviewed over the course of 5 days. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.


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