Bring me to the Main Page   Bring me to the Reviews Index

Micro machines logo

Bei Codemasters will man weg vom Image des reinen Budgetlabels und produziert nun auch Vollpreissoft – zum Einstand gibt es eine Konvertierung vom Mega Drive, die den vollen Preis tatsächlich voll wert ist!

Micro machines Mit diesem Game knüpfen die Engländer erfolgreich an jene guten alten Zeiten an, als ihr „BMX Simulator“ für Furore sorgte. Zur Erinnerung: Das war nicht nur eines der allerersten Amigaspiele überhaupt, es ist auch eines, das man selbst heute noch immer wieder gerne hervorkramt, um mit Freunden schnell einige Runden zu drehen. Genau diesen langfristigen Suchteffekt könnten auch die Micro Machines entwickeln, bloß daß sich bei ihnen alles um kleine Modellautos dreht, denen man à la „Super Cars 2“ aus der Vogelperspektive beim Rasen zuschaut.

Dabei ist der Ausdruck Modellautos eigentlich zu eng gewählt, denn außer Wagen, Rennboliden und Trucks sind hier auch Panzer, kleine Boote und sogar Helikopter mit entsprechend unterschiedlichen „Fahreigenschaften“ im Angebot. Mindestens genausoviel Abwechslung herrscht bei den 27 ungewöhnlichen Strecken – die Auswahl reicht von Schul- und Werkbänken über Schlafzimmerlandschaften bis zu Frühstücks- und Billardtischen! Last but not least stehen zehn verschiedene Piloten bereit, um sich an einem von drei Spielmodi zu versuchen:

Im Challenge-Game tritt man gegen drei Computerfährer an und bleibt nur im Rennen, wenn man den ersten oder zweiten Platz belegt. Donnert man gar dreimal hinereinander als Erster über die Ziellinie, darf man am Steuer eines Trucks ein Bonusrennen bestreiten. Im Head to Head-Modus darf Mensch auch gegen Zweitmensch rasen, es geht nicht um den Platz, sondern um Punkte. Ja, und qualifizieren muß man sich zuvor auch noch – in der Badewanne! Ansonsten liegt hier der spielerische Schwerpunkt beim Abdrängen des Konkurrenten von der Fahrbahn, man ist also eindeutig im Vorteil, wenn man die Mad Max-Filme kennt. Nummer drei ist dann schließlich der normale Zwei-Spieler-Modus, bei dem der schnellere Fahrer und nicht der bessere Schubser gewinnt.

Micro machines Im Rennen selbst sorgen neben den unterschiedlichen Fahrzeugeigenschaften (der Panzer kann z.B. unbegrenzt ballern!) vor allem die ungeheuer vielfältige Hindernisse dafür, daß keine Langeweile aufkommt. Die wunderbar ausgetüftelten Kurse warten z.B. mit rutschigen Milchlachen, stark bremsenden Kleberflecken, Nadelöhr-Brücken, Sprungschanzen aus Frühstücksflocken-Packungen und dergleichen Abstrusitäten mehr auf. Dazu sieht die beinahe den ganzen PAL-Screen ausnutzende, tadellos scrollende und nett animierte Grafik trotz der Mini-Sprites noch mal um ein Stück besser aus als in der originalen Konsolenversion. Musik und Soundeffekte wissen ebenfalls zu gefallen, und die Steuerung hat man im Handumdrehen im Griff.

Vermissen könnte man bei den Micro-Boliden also höchstens einen Vier-Spieler-Modus oder einen Streckeneditor, aber von derartigen Sonderwünschen mal abgesehen sehen die in die Jahre gekommenen Mitbewerber „Nitro“ bzw. „Super Cars 1” & “2“ nun wirklich alt aus! (mm)

Amiga Joker, October 1993, p.18

MICRO MACHINES
(CODEMASTERS)
GAUDI-RENNEN
81%
"KURIOS"
Amiga Joker
GRAFIK
ANIMATION
MUSIK
SOUND-FX
HANDHABUNG
DAUERSPAß
69%
71%
70%
72%
80%
87%
FÜR FORTGESCHRITTENE
PREIS DM 79,-
SPEICHERBEDARF
DISKS/ZWEITFLOPPY
HD-INSTALLATION
SPEICHERBAR
DEUTSCH
512 KB
1/NEIN
NEIN
NEIN
NEIN


Micro machines logo  CU Amiga Screen Star

As the Micro Machines toys fade into memory, where is the sense in licensing a game based on their exploits? Mark Patterson jumps behind the wheel to search for the answer.

F Micro machines rom the NES through Mega Drive to the Amiga; it has been a long time coming but Micro Machines has finally made it. Despite its looks it has taken the console world by storm, but will it be as successful in the more discerning Amiga market? Read on...
So what is so great about a race game with tiny sprites, especially compared to classic race games such as Microprose’s Grand Prix and Gremlins’ Lotus. The answer is fun. When it comes to sheer playability, Micro Machines beats the competition into a bloody pulp.

SCALED DOWN
I guess whoever designed the real Micro Machines thought that the kids would race them around a variety of makeshift tracks. That idea has been carried over into this game with the result that you take on other cars in races around the breakfast table, the garage and other mundane locations. There is nothing mundane about this gameplay though – with hazards like spilled milk and beans and the odd pool ball, you will need the reflexes of a cat if you are going to come out triumphant.

You can play the game with a friend or against the computer, with the two-player head-to-head being the most fun. The aim is simple. All you have to do is drive your vehicle around scrolling levels staying ahead of your opponent. Do this for enough laps and you win that round. No gears, no thrills, just action. The biggest hazard in the game is the inertia, especially on the fast vehicles which is fantastically over the top. But this just adds to the enjoyment as it makes events like the formula one car race on the snooker table on the trickiest in the game as you are required to steer at top speed down narrow tracks and pencil-thin turns. To add to the danger, if you get a full screen ahead of the other car you win a point – do that seven times and you automatically win.

Micro machines THREE FOR ALL
A one-player game pits you against four computer drivers. These are chosen from a pool of ten, each of who have their own strengths and weaknesses. Some might drive aggressively, others slowly and carefully. The aim is to complete three laps and cross the line in first place, which is no mean feat. While the controls are simple, the tracks are laid out to catch the unwary driver. Often there will be just enough room to squeeze one vehicle through, while other areas contain lethal hazards and winning short-cuts.

To win a race you need to know the course. There is no room for wimps in this game, as you attempt to barge your opponents into track-side obstacles or off the track altogether. Several of the courses are designed with this in mind. For instance, the school desk which plays host to the sports cars has a bridge with room for one vehicle only. So, if you are not in the lead when you reach the bridge, you are liable to come a cropper.

TECHNO-DUFFER
For technical merit, Micro Machines scores minus figures. The scrolling is smooth and fast, but the graphics are poorly detailed and the sprites tiny. The sound is equally simple with snarling engine noises and precious little else. Somehow, this just adds to the game’s style, leaving it uncluttered so you can get on with the real business or trouncing your mates.

I have been addicted to this game in its previous incarnations, and I am no-less hooked now. Nothing has been lost in the translation, and while it is lacking technically, you will be hard-pressed to find a more playable game this side of the new year.

CU Amiga, November 1993, p.p.70-71

TABLE-TOP MENACE
The levels are pretty varied with each one throwing up new and interesting hazards. The Road Warriors level, for instance, is set in the garage and is dotted with spots of glue which slow the cars down. Either dodge them completely or time it just right to nudge the opposition into one.
Perhaps the most technically difficult level is the Super Cars one. These tiny terrors race around a pool table. Obviously, the table’s covered in balls, some of them across your track. If this was not hard enough, half of the track is placed on the edge of the table. This is perfect barfing territory.
Apart from the scenario chancing each level the vehicles do too. Though not wildly different each vehicle has subtly different handling characteristics. The Super Cars are fast but lack grip, the Road Warriors slow but sure and the Helicopters very responsive to the slightest nudge. You will have to master each one as well as the courses if you want to come out winning.
To give you a hand we have put together a quick guide to the biggest level. Some messy pup’s been spilt their breakfast everywhere, making driving your sportster across it doubly difficult. Here is a quick Murray Walker-esque tour of the hazards of table-top-driving.
Micro machines Micro machines Micro machines
1. Keep the accelerator button held down long before the race starts. The inside lane is the best to be in, so barge your way onto it if you are on the outside. 2. If you have made it into the inside lane, this is a perfect place to scupper your mate by ramming him off the track. At worst he will get trapped behind the orange and you will pick up a point. 3. Slow down well before the first turn. If you go too fast you will end up skidding off the table and handling your enemy to the point. Cutting corners is not wise as the Wheetos which mark the track also slow you down.
Micro machines Micro machines
4. Milk makes your car skid, and this particular patch is well placed to send you careering off the track. Either slow down really early and go round the inside or, if you are feeling confident, speed up and drive along the edge of the course. 5. Try to skid around the beans, they are not dangerous, but they do slow you down. If your opponent gets caught you are almost guaranteed a point.
Micro machines
6. Here is the best place to get one up on your opponent. Try to stop them getting onto the ramp and you will pick up a point with minimal effort.
Micro machines Micro machines Micro machines
7. You will be going pretty fast by this point, and even if you slow right down you will probably skid off the track, so start turning as soon as your car lands. Alternatively, you can take a short cut around the waffle, but it does take you extremely close to the edge of the table. 8. This straight looks innocuous enough, but by the time you come to the end you will be going too fast to stop. Hang back and let the other car take the fall for you. 9. You are almost home, but first there is the worst corner of the lot of handle. If you slow down really early you can steer around it with no hassle, although you run the risk of your opponent getting lucky and burning round it without slipping off the table.

ACTION STATIONS

Micro machines: Super cars

Super cars: These formula one demons tear up the pool table track and teleport through the pockets. Racing around the table’s rim will really challenge your reflexes.

Micro machines: Helicopters

Helicopters: It is off to the green house for a flight through the bedding plants in this level. Hazards include bushes and dad’s sprinkler system. One quick nudge and you are off the track.

Micro machines: Tanks

Tanks: This is not so much a race, more a war. The tanks are slow, but they have got guns, so whoever is quickest with their trigger finger will win. Let your opponent take the lead, then blast him.

Micro machines: Dune buggies

Dune buggies: these 4x4s are fast and very tough to control, making this event one of the most unpredictable in the whole game. There is loads of water traps to fall into on this track.

Micro machines: Road warriors

Road warriors: Although this is the slowest of the games, Road Warriors is also the most violent, The vehicles come with giant spikes mounted on the wings, giving them a destructive edge.

Micro machines: Boats

Boats: Bath time is hell for the speed boats as they leap over blocks of soap and come a cropper in a puddle of undissolved Radox. Pick the wrong route and you will end up down a plug hole.

Micro machines: Sports cars

Sports cars: Face the terror of the school desk, with rubbers and pencil sharpeners blocking your path. It is fast, furious and there is always the danger of falling off the desk. Get ready for the biggest jump around.

CODEMASTERS £19.99
A500
A1500
A500+
A2000
A600
A3000
A1200
A4000
CODEMASTERS, LOWER FARM HOUSE, STONEYTHORPE, WARWICKSHIRE, CV33 ODL. TEL:0926 814132
 
RELEASE DATE:
GENRE:
TEAM:
CONTROLS:
NUMBER OF DISKS:
NUMBER OF PLAYERS:
HARD DISK INSTALLABLE:
MEMORY:
 
NOVEMBER
RACING
IN HOUSE
JOYSTICK, KEYPAD
1
1/2
NO
512K

 
GRAPHICS
SOUND
LASTABILITY
PLAYABILITY
67%
60%
89%
92%
Very original and extremely playable.
OVERALL: 89%