Back in the good ol’ days of the PS1 me and my brother used to burn several hours on Micro Machines! Something about hooning about in little cars on kitchen tables and over rulers was super fun and kept me coming back for more! So when I found out about Micro Machines World Series you can probably understand how excited I was. A chance to relieve a major part of my childhood was approaching and I was geared up to launch my tiny car out of a toaster all over again. Is that what I got? Well not far off!
Developers Just Add Water and Codemasters are the team behind this latest entry in the series of tiny racing games and they seem to have missed just what made Micro Machines so popular in the first place. The racing.
That’s not saying that there isn’t any racing. The core gameplay that made the last games so fun is still there and there’s something immensely satisfying about skidding around a kitchen table in a tank through some baking residue dodging a spinning whisk and kicking up flour dust everywhere all while a hungry dog watches it unfold from the floor ready to swallow any car unlucky enough to tumble off the side.
While the environments are a fun place to be with many exciting items to dodge they’re also gorgeous! I found myself really enjoying the scale and just how cute the game world looks. With some stunning visuals and effects that really immerse you in the world of micro machines!
A feature I didn’t expect was each car having different perks and skills to bring to the table (pun intended). I had a lot of fun experimenting with the various classes trying to find something that would suit me. Was it the Police car with a roof mounted shotgun? Or the snowmobile with a (wait for it) snow cannon. These lead to a few interesting mash ups in the races AND the new game modes!
Like I said before driving about over furnishings and interacting with the now giant sized items was amazing and set the games apart from other kid friendly racing games at the time (Crash Team Racing I’m looking in your direction) but in World Series the tiny world seems to have become obsessed with some tiny car battle mode?! You can tell that Just Add Water and Codemasters have tried to make the Battle Mode the key feature but it’s just not working. While capture the flag and conquest are fun in their own right it’s just not got the same charm that the races have. Especially when most of the scenery and giant items become just stationary and boring barriers.
I had fun in all the game modes really. Nothing felt wrong really and I was enjoying myself. That was until it crashed on me. For the fifth time… There’s a few game breaking bugs here and there that bring your fun to a screeching halt in online play and even the single play which definitely need to be patched as soon as possible but let’s be honest they shouldn’t have been in a released game in the first place.
So while Micro Machines World Series still has some of the fun and joy from the old days it’s the attempt to add more to a game that already had enough to hold its on that really hurts it. Battle Modes needed to be just a small side note not the main selling point. Focus on the racing! I’d definitely recommend World Series to anyone looking for a less serious family friendly bit of racing but maybe you should wait for a patch first yeah?
Overall I’m giving Micro Machines World Series a 6/10