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Note: Review was updated with thoughts on the online side now it's live.

I’ve been playing through Micro Machines World Series [Steam, Deliver2] and I have to say it’s absolutely fantastic. It’s really damn fun and great to have it on Linux!

Disclosure: Key provided by the porter, Virtual Programming.

It’s incredibly hard not to feel completely giddy with excitement with this one. I remember playing with Micro Machines toys a lot when I was younger, collecting hundreds of different vehicles and flinging them around the house.

Then when I got a bit older, I remember being introduced to an actual Micro Machines racing game for the Amiga and I loved how utterly insane it was. Driving along a pool table, entering a pocket and coming out another one, it was absolute bliss for a young child. I remember then moving onto Micro Machines V3 years later and rediscovering my love of this silly racer. Ah, memories! They continued making Micro Machines games until 2006 when V4 landed, which didn’t really get the best reviews. Very close to 11 years later (I’m not counting the mobile title), give or take a few days, how does Micro Machines World Series feel?

A note for any youtubers: Prepare for Content ID claims thanks to the included music.

Thankfully Micro Machines World Series sees the return of great game. A true return to form you might say! It’s very similar to some of the older titles, so there’s a good amount of nostalgia. It has nicer visuals, a decent variety on offer and a mix of online and local multiplayer to keep everyone entertained.

I haven’t been able to test the online modes, but thankfully the AI is really quite good and will give you a real run for your money. I’ve been constantly beaten in the battle modes and beaten a number of times in the races. They’re slippery little devils, add in the weapons and they can be really quite menacing.
Update: Since the game is now released, I've been able to try it out online too and it works perfectly.

Note: I've been told the online play is compatible with Windows, Mac & Linux.

There’s three different game modes which I will go over. The first of which, is the standard race mode! The courses themselves are fantastic and detailed. You will be bashing into beans, slipping over spilt milk, avoiding toy soldiers and harassing your competition with various weapon pickups. Just be sure not to fall off the arena, because that respawn time feels like forever. The tracks are messy, sometimes a little difficult to tell exactly where the track is and what’s a shortcut, but that’s part of the entertainment.

The AI does act a little odd in the race mode sometimes in regards to the weapon power ups. I’ve seen them rather a lot drive around without attempting to hit anyone, then suddenly the moment you’re next to them and—POW—you’re toast, warm buttery toast.

I have to say it never gets old driving into a toaster, to be flung across the map.

The elimination mode is similar in style to the race mode, but with one major difference. You’re battling to stay alive as long as you can. If you fall off the map, you’re out. If you get blown up, you’re out and you get the idea. It’s a very challenging mode, where I’ve possibly had the most fun. When you’re eliminated, you do have the chance to launch a rocket at any of the remaining vehicles, to really screw with them. Although that rocket ability is only available in the offline mode, I imagine to make it more fair when playing online.

The free for all battle mode is absolutely nuts as everything happens so fast and I never manage to stay alive for very long. Each round is a different vehicle, with a different set of weapons and it’s manic fun for sure. The maps in this mode are smaller in size with an arena-style, but still damn fun, especially since they have other effects at play. From electricity that switches around the map, to the pockets of a pool table to quickly get to the other side and so on.

The other online battle modes are also incredibly fun. The team game modes like King of the Hill where the capture area switches are the map, or the Bomb carrier mode as you try to destroy the enemy base are all stupidly fun. Each vehicle having a different set of weapons, with the maps expanded in size utilizing multi-part maps where you need a teleporter, or a launch pad to throw you across are hilariously. Especially hilarious if you manage to nudge someone off at the right moment so they fall to their doom.

The Ranked mode unlocks once you reach a Rank of 10, but the problem is that this splits the online community in two. The community probably won't be huge for the game, which could cause problems later on. Unless you can basically guarantee your game will be massive, there's no need to split the community further.

Each mode has a few mutators you can enable if you're playing against AI or friends locally, but they’re all pretty standard. You can adjust health pickups, weapons and a few others. I was hoping for a few more, since the mutators could have been something to make it even more hilarious, but they seemed to play it a little too safe with them.

The port quality is absolutely fantastic. On max settings, the game has been swimming along like a champ. During my testing I didn’t get a single crash or a single bug, this is probably Virtual Programming’s best port quality to date. Really looking forward to more Linux ports from this team for sure!

The Steam Controller is utterly flawless with the game. It works out of the box, with Steam Controller glyphs (awesome!) and has some really good rumble support with it too. It perfectly switched between keyboard and Steam Controller glyphs and input if you happen to switch between them for any reason.

I do take issue with one part of the game though in regards to local multiplayer. The game does have a big focus on the online play, perhaps a little too much, which is noticeable. It boggles the mind why they limited the racing mode to one person. This would be a fantastic racer to do locally with friends or kids, but no, you can only do the free-for-all battle mode or Elimination with other people locally. This feels like a massive missed opportunity. You can of course race online with others, as all modes are available online.

That’s my only issue with it which won’t affect everyone, considering plenty of people never do any form of local multiplayer and everything else was quite literally perfect.

In regards to unlocking skins and other items, it seems this can only be done by playing online. Which I imagine will be an issue for some people. Skins can be used in offline and online games once unlocked.

If you like top-down racers, with combat elements, then this is absolutely hands down a must purchase. For me, it’s all the little details in Micro Machines World Series that make it a delight to play, as well as the reasonably good AI.

It’s great for me in terms of nostalgia and having another decent game, but also for another younger generation to be able to experience the manic fun of Micro Machines.

I look forward to racing with some of you online, could be a new regular game for us!

You can find Micro Machines World Series on Steam and Deliver2 (VP’s own store).
16 Likes, Who?
Comments
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rustybroomhandle 30 June 2017 at 7:38 am UTC
If it had proper single player I'd be totally into this.
Janne 30 June 2017 at 7:56 am UTC
Is it worth it if you only play single-player? And how does it compare to that other combat racing game you wrote about (forgot the name?)

Edit: Thinking of Rocket League.


Last edited by Janne at 30 June 2017 at 8:24 am UTC
liamdawe 30 June 2017 at 8:01 am UTC
JanneIs it worth it if you only play single-player? And how does it compare to that other combat racing game you wrote about (forgot the name?)
Well the AI has given me a good run for my money so still worth it.

Compared with the other game I wrote about recently (the name evades me) the choice is easy: micro machines.
Janne 30 June 2017 at 8:25 am UTC
liamdawe
JanneIs it worth it if you only play single-player? And how does it compare to that other combat racing game you wrote about (forgot the name?)
Well the AI has given me a good run for my money so still worth it.

Compared with the other game I wrote about recently (the name evades me) the choice is easy: micro machines.

Rocket League is what I was thinking of. Not quite the same kind of game perhaps.
liamdawe 30 June 2017 at 8:31 am UTC
Janne
liamdawe
JanneIs it worth it if you only play single-player? And how does it compare to that other combat racing game you wrote about (forgot the name?)
Well the AI has given me a good run for my money so still worth it.

Compared with the other game I wrote about recently (the name evades me) the choice is easy: micro machines.

Rocket League is what I was thinking of. Not quite the same kind of game perhaps.
Ah, no, very different games.
mcphail 30 June 2017 at 8:41 am UTC
  • Supporter
Micromachines with limited local multiplayer? This is really disappointing. I've been looking forward to this one to play with the kids. That's what I loved about the old games.
opera 30 June 2017 at 8:49 am UTC
As it's a VP port can I assume it's not a native port? Can someone check please?
liamdawe 30 June 2017 at 8:53 am UTC
operaAs it's a VP port can I assume it's not a native port? Can someone check please?
People are still hung up on that huh?

Yes, it does use eON, I imagine all VP ports will.

You do a realize all Feral & Aspyr ports also use a form of "wrapper" too right? Very few big games won't have some form of wrapping done. For the tiny market we are, it doesn't pay to completely re-write a renderer for us. People seriously need to accept that.

As noted in the article, the port is fantastic.
liamdawe 30 June 2017 at 8:57 am UTC
FYI: Going to do a little livestream of it now https://www.twitch.tv/gamingonlinux

Edit: Stream is now over, all went well!


Last edited by liamdawe at 30 June 2017 at 9:56 am UTC
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