30th June was a nostalgic day for gaming fans when both Crash Bandicoot and Micro Machines made their way onto PS4, stealing the hearts of those who loved the games as children all over again — maybe even their kids or nephews and nieces too! Whilst Crash Bandicoot knocked it out of the park, Micro Machines World Tour leaves a lot to be desired.
You can experience everything that the latest Micro Machines game has to offer within one hour. With close to no single player content, only three multiplayer modes and a local multiplayer mode to be found, there’s very little to actually do — you can’t even play the standard race mode in offline multiplayer, but only in single player! Earning loot boxes to unlock new colours for the twelve cars available, voice lines and other things is almost offensive considering that you can only grind out three modes to get them — many of the games I played had AI intermingled with real players too, presumably because online isn’t very active right now. It likely never will be.
The three modes are Race, which is self-explanatory but you now have weapons you can use to get ahead, Battle, which again is self-explanatory in that you need to destroy your opponents, and Elimination which sees cars destroyed when they go off-camera or fall off of the map, and they don’t return until the next lap — whoever has lived the longest wins the game. These three modes are good fun but, other than Race, they all suffer from one glaring flaw — they’re just too long. Elimination and Battle can both easily outstay their welcome, and I found myself becoming bored long before the winner was announced.
The greatest shame about this game is the lack of content, which is only made more notable by the game itself actually being very fun to play. Well, bar the camera which can sometimes cause an undue death due to how very little it shows you of what’s ahead — when you’re in first place in Elimination, you’re more likely to be eliminated by the camera. Micro Machines doesn’t have the tightest controls when it comes to racing games but it doesn’t need to have them, because at the end of the day you’re essentially driving remote controlled cars. It still sports that familiar arcade-inspired feel but has very little opportunity to show it off and it’s clear that Micro Machines World Tour could have been much more than it is, and it certainly deserves it. The simplicity of the game makes it accessible to everyone, but design choices and a focus on multiplayer-only makes it far harder to jump in.
Visually, Micro Machines looks fantastic. The maps are fun and make use of the Hasbro licensing, meaning you’ll see familiar items such as Nerf guns and board games such as Hungry Hippos, and they’re a blast to see. Micro Machines still feels as if you’re a kid playing around, making the most out of the normal environments around you, and a lot of love, care and thought has gone into each of the maps. The twelve cars are all very different and even have their own individual personalities, so you might even find yourself picking your favourite car as opposed to which you feel is best. The music is unremarkable and the voice-acting is vibrant, though not very prominent.
Micro Machines World Tour isn’t the game that it could’ve been, and it feels as if so much attention was poured into how the game looks and feels that there wasn’t enough time to really make them worth their while. Decent, faithful controls and beautiful, fantastical maps can’t save a game with so little content, and it’s understandable why it released at only £20. Even so, it’s hard to not feel slightly cheated at how little there is to do. Micro Machines World Tour is a mixed bag because of this because it has nostalgia-fuelled fun which stands on its own two feet in regard to how it plays, but I can’t see the online on this being very lively for a long period of time. It’s an underwhelming experience, and Codemasters are capable of so much more. As it stands, this feels like a cash in on wholesome nostalgia.