APP OF THE DAY: Mini Motor review (Android, iPhone and iPad)
Top-down racers are a thing of beauty and today’s App of the Day on Pocket-lint is another great in a long line of classics. So, if you’re a fan of Supersprint, Badlands, Micro Machines, Reckless Racing and the like, then it’s time to get your wallet out and get downloading.
Mini Motor is a familiar kind of game. It’s a top-down, non-realistic, lap racer with all the usual power-ups, car upgrades and track, cup and vehicle unlocks. A quick glance at all the padlocks on the menus is a good sign that there’s plenty of gameplay to get through; certainly enough for your £1.50 outlay or thereabouts, anyway. What’s also interesting to note is that, even though there is an iPad-friendly HD version, it plays just as well on a smartphone.
Generally the game is pretty standard fare. You choose your car, you choose your track, you get behind the wheel and you get racing. The only real choice is your method of control and, if you can manage the default steering wheel option, then you’re a better (wo)man than we are.
What really sets Mini Motor apart - and, ultimately, makes it worth downloading - is the stunning graphics and smooth way that the game is put together. It’s a treat to watch each menu roll seamlessly into the next and, once you get driving, it’s as much a pleasure to enjoy the sights and sounds of the environments as it is to screech, skid, boost and bump your way around the bends.
Perhaps the only real shames, so far, that we’ve discovered are that, first, it’s possible to unlock everything by the means of in-app payments, and that’s just a bit nasty. Of course, that’s totally understandable. Developers want to get paid and fair enough, but it does leave a nasty taste in your mouth and might just make a difference when it comes to the multiplay mode - and that, incidentally, is the second pity.
Multiplay is a great idea. You enter you handle and then wait to join a game or, indeed, select options like cars, tracks and laps and host one all of your own. The trouble is that we couldn’t actually find enough players online to get a multiplay game going. Hopefully that’s something that will improve once the app gains traction, so to speak.
In all, if you like this kind of title, then Mini Motor is a must. Sure, it’s derivative but it’s derived so well that it would be a real shame not to.