Mantis Burn Racing PS4 Review
Publisher: VooFoo Studios Developer: VooFoo Studios Genre: Racing Players: 1-8
Age Rating: 3+ Other console/handheld formats: Xbox One
The top down racer has had a number of much cherished and famous titles. Games such as Micro Machines, Super Sprint, Super Skidmarks, and Mashed have been popular choices in the genre, and it’s good to see similar games still being released every now and then. Mantis Burn Racing is one such game, and it’s a lovely little racer that has so much going for it.
Firstly, the vehicle handling in the game is absolutely excellent, and because of this, this is one of those games that handles like a dream come true. The mini vehicles drift around corners in amazing slides, and sometimes you don’t even have to touch the brakes to initiate such a drift. Drifting and jumping also fills up your boost meter, which then allows your car to get a quick burst of speed. There’s major satisfaction to be found in seeing the cars swinging around bends as well as hitting big bumps in the road and then ending up with their wheels very much above the ground.
The game also has plenty of pick up and play appeal, although with light, medium and heavy vehicles available, you do have to get used to the different weight classes, with each one feeling distinct. The above mentioned drifting is also something that needs to be mastered if you want to be truly competitive as well as to post impressive lap times on certain tracks. It’s certainly the type of racing game that will appeal to a lot of different people.
With seven seasons to work through, Mantis Burn Racing also has a rather big career mode, which starts out easy enough, although the AI does get steadily more competitive as you work your way through events. There are rookie, pro and veteran divisions for you to play through, with many events for you to participate in. These events include races, sprint racing, and time trials, which many will of course be familiar with, while accumulator, overtake, and knockout events add some spice to proceedings. Accumulator has you accumulating more points based on the position you are currently in, with the first to 10,000 points being the winner. Overtake has you overtaking as many vehicles as possible, and knockout events has the vehicle in final position being eliminated at the end of each lap.
Each event in the career mode has challenges, and completing each challenge will earn you gears, and winning the race will also earn you some, with the potential to win up to six gears in each event. These gears are essential, as you need a certain amount of them to unlock the final race in each season. As for the challenges, these include drifting for a certain distance, beating a specific lap time, reaching a particular top speed, destroying a certain amount of objects on the track, and so on. It’s an interesting progression system, and one that works very well.
When playing the career mode, you are also able to purchase new vehicles with your prize money, and can also fit your existing ones with upgrades. Said upgrades are unlocked during the career, with the potential for engine, gear, boost, and tyre upgrades. When you have fitted enough upgrades to one of your vehicles, you are then able to pay to level it up, which not only gives the vehicle a stat boost but a new look as well. You are then able to add additional upgrades to the vehicle.
Mantis Burn Racing also has some relatively memorable tracks, which are built for high speeds as well as skilful drifting, and are themed around city, desert and industrial environments. With few track themes as well as being limited to eight of them to choose from, it’s a shame that there isn’t a few more of them though. Reversed tracks are an option however, which does add at least some variation.
The loading times are also overly lengthy at the moment, so I’m hoping that these will be sorted out in a future patch. The waiting times between each event is just too long right now and does need improvement, but I will say that the loading times that you have to endure are more than worth it; the game really is so much fun to play when racing on each track.
The career mode is large enough by itself, but there are also plenty of options in multiplayer as well. Not only does the game feature online multiplayer for up to eight players, but, pleasingly, there’s also a four player split screen option. As multiplayer is where the game is obviously at its most competitive, there’s certainly plenty to satisfy everyone here.
Mantis Burn Racing is a hugely satisfying game, and it’s so pleasing to play a top down racing game that deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as the likes of Micro Machines. While more tracks and variation in the environments would have been welcome, and faster loading times would make things feel more immediate, the game otherwise handles superbly and is delightfully smooth and simple to play, with a gratifying career mode as well as local and online multiplayer options for you to delve in to. This is one game that deserves to build a large fan base over time.