Low On Gas

HIGH Quick races and co-op career modes.

LOW Too much padding to extend the game’s length.

WTF Mini mode for a mini racer seems excessive.

There have been plenty of games featuring ‘toy’ cars that race in a circuit, and Mini Motor Racing X feels no different from them.

In general, these titles offer loose, arcade-style action that provides an exciting time and some interesting visuals as tracks generally depict normal items as huge in scale — racing across a messy office desk, for example. While Mini Motor does have some modes that keep things interesting for a while, it’s not enough to stand out from the crowd, and not enough to support a singleplayer mode.

After starting Mini Motor Racing X and choosing a car, players will race through different circuits, earning cash for each win and using it to unlock new vehicles or upgrade the vehicles they already have.

Singleplayer mode offers a choice between “Classic” and “Type X” modes.

Classic has players racing only with their skills and a bit of nitro, while Type X gives players some type of weapon during each lap to cause chaos on the track. While both modes play similarly to each other, there are too many missteps in the execution.

While Mini Motor is reported to contain over 50 tracks in total, the number of unique tracks is much lower as each one has a day and night version. Also, apart from the scale of the cars, Mini Motor leans more towards a realistic feel in terms of design, so none of the tracks have interesting hazards or wild shortcuts. These decisions mean that each track is fairly boring to race on.

The upgrade economy doesn’t help things, either. Costs quickly increase, jumping significantly higher than the amount of money players can earn in each race. For example, a player might earn about $150 a race. Upgrades start at $400 and largely double in price for each successive upgrade. When the next options costs over $12k and I’ve played the same race 20 times trying to save up the cash, motivation to continue playing drains pretty quickly.

The Type X mode is a step in the right direction, but again, has problems with execution. In this mode, each racer will get one item per lap to use. While it does cause some chaos, the small amount of chaos potentially caused it is easy to avoid. Other modes like “Bumper Ball” (think Rocket League without vertical movement) and Micro mode (the same courses, but with even smaller vehicles) spice things up only temporarily.

Mini Motor Racing X runs smoothly, and for the first couple of hours it was enjoyable enough. However, the novelty wears off quickly and the whole thing soon becomes a slog — the career mode could be cut in half and the experience would be better for it. As it stands, there’s too much padding and not enough substance to keep me coming back for more.

Rating: 4 out of 10

Disclosures: This game is developed by The Binary Mill, and published by Nextgen Reality Pty Ltd.   It is currently available on PC, PS4 and Switch. This copy of the game was obtained via publisher and reviewed on the Switch. Approximately 7 hours of play were devoted to the single-player mode, and the game was not completed. One hour was spent in multiplayer mode, and the game offers both local split-screen and online co-op modes.

Parents: According to the  ESRB, the game is rated E10+ and contains Mild Violence. Players in Type X mode can throw wrenches and shoot missiles at each other, but it only makes the racers spin out in a cloud of smoke and sparks. If you ask me, this is approved for all ages.

Colorblind Modes: There are no colorblind modes.

Deaf & Hard of Hearing Gamers: All the information is icon or text-based (see above) and the text cannot be altered or resized. This game is fully accessible.

Remappable Controls: Not all controls are not remappable, and there is no control screenshot. Players will use the analog stick to steer, R to accelerate, L to brake, A for Nitro, and X to use a weapon in Type X mode. Players do have the option to change how they steer, but that’s the only remappable option.

Eugene Sax
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