Micro Machines - GameCube

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Micro Machines (GameCube)
Also for: PS2, Xbox, GBA
Viewed: 3D Combination Genre:
Arcade origin:No
Developer: Infogrames Soft. Co.: Hasbro
Publishers: Infogrames (GB)
Released: 17 Jan 2003 (GB)
Ratings: 3+
Accessories: Memory Card


It's now knocking on five years since the super-small toy cars last graced a Nintendo console. That's a long time in video gaming, but not quite long enough for us to forget what a great little title it was in a simple-yet-utterly compelling kind of way. Well, hats off to Infogrames - and their newly-acquired Atari label - because Micro Machines are back, bringing with them the same classic racing action along with all the eye candy we've come to expect of the GameCube.

As before, there are no Donington Parks, Silverstones or Suzukas to be found here, as all the racing takes place on small-scale, mock-up tracks in domestic environments. Remember the ones you used to build around the house and in the garden when you were a kid? Well that's the order of the day here, with the tiny cars battling it out across an assortment of weird and wonderful environments, such as a barn, a jungle, an attic, and a graveyard.

A diverse array of characters injects a little personality into the proceedings. Each of the characters has at their disposal a unique set of vehicles that enable them to traverse the various terrains. Eighties playboy Miami Mike, for example, cruises the off-road sections in a cool 4X4, which transforms, Spy Hunter-style, into a swanky speedboat for the water sections.

As you may expect, there's an abundance of different game modes for both the single and multiplayer experiences. The self-explanatory Time Trial and Single Race options are available in both cases but, as far as the more lonesome player is concerned, Championship mode is where it's at, offering no less than four competitions to race through. Anyone who is familiar with Micro Machines games will be aware that the multiplayer mode is by far the best bit. This latest release is no exception, offering a host of different challenges in which up to four players can compete. From the classic Micro Machines mode - where everyone's frantically trying to keep up on the same screen - to games such as Bomb Tag and GP, this title has more than enough stuff to keep you and your mates entertained (or should we say at each other's throats).

One of the game's saving graces is that the developers have retained the same isometric game mechanic of its predecessors rather than opting for the usual 3D makeover which we are used to today. In its day, the original Micro Machines was fast, frantic and a whole heap of fun because of this element. So is this.