Mini Motor Racing is an excellent little racer for your pocket
It’s true that there are more than enough racing games available on iOS devices, and there more than a million ways that people try to set their games apart from the pack. The group behind Mini Motor Racing went for the seldom used but always successful “just make it awesome” approach that eschews gimmicks and showers you in a good time.
Mini Motor Racing is an isometric top down racer, seemingly inspired by tooling around in R/C cars. It’s sort of cartoony, but still somehow grounded in reality – just exaggerated. Cars are big and bulky with sweeping body shapes, and the tracks seem micro, but full of life. It’s an interesting combination. It feels like it could be a kart racer or combat game, but unlike the similar playing Death Rally, there are no weapons to be had – this one is all about racing.
The following statement cannot be overemphasized: the visuals are fantastic. Everything about the game just oozes style. The tracks are bright and beautiful and the cars look like they leapt out of a kid sketch book. Since the driving isn’t overly realistic in any way, it all fits together perfectly.
The game has the usual modes like Quick Race and Career. Online multiplayer isn’t included at launch, but is apparently “on its way.” In career mode you’ll be able to battle for cup wins, where you’ll earn money to upgrade different aspects of the different cars that you can choose from. It’s a simple system, since you’ll only focus on acceleration, nitro, handling and top speed. Gran Turismo this ain’t. You can also use that money to unlock new cars.
If you’ve ever been stymied by a title’s weird or unchangeable control scheme, then you’re going to want to grab the designers at The Binary Mill and just cover them in big sloppy kisses. Never have I seen so many choices of controls in a racing game. Virtual wheel, slider bar, or buttons can be used to steer your racer. And it’s your choice if you want auto-acceleration or not. And all those varieties can be swapped to be left-hand friendly. I easily found the auto-acceleration and virtual wheel the best, but you’re never going to catch me complaining about options.
There are a ton of tracks in the game and you’ll encounter each of them numerous times, albeit switched up. Sometimes you’ll race it backwards, or with different weather effects or different times of day. This helps keep it fresh even with the large number of tracks. They’re all very short so it won’t take long to remember and get used to them all. You even get a few Fruit Ninja related ones!
My complaints about the game are minor, but bear mentioning. The AI, for the most part, is ruthless. But I don’t mean in that “wow they’re really good and difficult to beat” way where they race perfectly. Really it’s kind of the opposite. They’ll race their lines no matter who they need to drive though, often to their own detriment. Expect lots of jams as other cars try to plow through you. If you can get out ahead of them, sometimes they’ll get tangled beyond being able to catch up. It would’ve been nice if they raced a little more cleanly.
It’s easy to let Mini Motor Racing get its hooks into you, since it comes with quality from so many places at once. It’s a well polished racer with fantastic visuals, lots of varied tracks and cars, multiple control options to please all comers and oozes style. Minor issues keep it from being perfect, sure, but this one is an easy one to give two thumbs up.