There is no shortage of arcade racers with lofty aspirations of taking on Mario Kart. Mini Motor Racing X from developer The Binary Mill treads the line between imitator and competitor with flying colors and delivers an experience that will no doubt attract the attention of an whole new audience of players. Mini Motor Racing X features many unique locations, cars, and modes that make the entire package worth while – all it tries to be is loads of fun, and that’s exactly what it is.
The driving mechanics are impressively balanced between those of most Kart racers and something like Trackmania. There is a noticeable feeling of wheels on the road that is helpful for handling, but never makes the cars fully lose traction. Many Kart racers feel as though the cars are floating above the ground rather than having weight to them. Drifting along corners seems to be the default for Mini Motor Racing X, so that weightless feeling is never a problem. The only issue is that while the game hosts a large roster of vehicles, these are mainly only different in the way of aesthetics. Buses don’t really drive differently than race cars despite the game’s menu listing minor tweaks to speed, acceleration, and handling.
One great aspect of this game is that players can drive from virtually any angle. Many games of this kind feature a chase cam and possibly a camera in front of the vehicle. Mini Motor Racing X’s default camera is an overhead view, that while difficult to get used to at first, provides the most visibility and control over the cars. There are a multitude of slightly different chase cams included and even a first person camera with an animated steering wheel. This setting is clearly not intended to be anyone’s primary mode, but its inclusion says a lot about how much attention went into developing this title.
When choosing a race mode, players are given the option to activate Type X racing. Type X activates a series of power-ups reminiscent of those found in Mario Kart. Players can now grab rockets to shoot at other cars, or wrenches that bound around in the road causing cars to spin out. Trying to avoid a tornado in the middle of a race can be challenging, but is a welcome addition to what is already a solid experience. The option to turn these power-ups on and off is much appreciated as well.
The AI drivers can be impressively intelligent when on higher difficulties. They seem to plan out their strategies well in advance and only hit their nitrous when it would be advantageous to do so. This prompts the player to not waste abilities and power-ups as well, but to instead play smart. One problem is that on higher difficulty settings, the AI seems to be designed simply to beat the player at any cost, whereas on lower levels, they let the player win. This isn’t always a problem, but even when maximizing racing lines, the AI will often seem to be leagues ahead of the player.
The often overlooked part of these games is the bonus content. In this case, players are given a Rocket League inspired soccer mode called Bumper Ball, a Time Trials mode, and Micro Motor. Micro Motor shrinks all of the cars to an even smaller size, ups their speed, and places them back on the same tracks as the main game. Cars are also given near unlimited amounts of nitrous to use at will. This mode speeds up the action while giving cars some extra road to maneuver on. All three of these included modes are nice additions to the overall Mini Motor Racing X package.
Overall, Mini Motor Racing X is a fun little title that does everything it sets out to do. It may not beat out Mario Kart in terms of fans, but it clearly isn’t trying to. Players are getting a lot of content for their money, with the sheer number of tracks, cars and game modes. Clearly, no corners were cut when putting this game together and the fun that the developer had is relayed directly to the player.
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Mini Motor Racing X is available on Nintendo Switch on September 17th, and is also available on PC and PlayStation 4. Screen Rant was provided a Nintendo Switch code for the purposes of this review.