If you were a fan of the classic Codemasters top-down racer Micro Machines, then you might be excited about the fact it’ll be released on mobile devices ‘later this year’. As the news comes at the start of November, we’d imagine it’ll have to be out pretty soon to make it in 2015. It’ll be published by EA’s mobile division, Chillingo.
Graphically it looks OK – but are those power-ups/weapons we spot?
The Micro Machines series originally launched in 1991 for the Sega Master System, Mega Drive, Game Gear and Amiga. It did come to the SNES and Gameboy via Merit Studios and Mindscape respectively. The sequel, Micro Machines 2: Turbo Tournament was notable as the Sega Mega Drive version was a J-Cart which allowed 2 extra controllers to be plugged into it. That meant 4 player racing – and if you used the ‘pad-sharing’ option to let 2 people use a single controller, you could even have eight racers playing at once.
And despite the cute cars and settings, it was possible to spark grown-up arguments by nudging racers off particularly narrow sections of track. It’s still as enjoyable today, having recently tested that theory with the help of my son and a Mega Drive from my collection of retro consoles.
A couple of follow-ups appeared – Micro Machines V3 and V4, plus the spin offs Micro Machines Military and the related Micro Maniacs. Micro Machines V4 was last in the console series, with a PlayStation 2 release in 2007, along with the Sony PSP, Nintendo DS and Microsoft Windows versions.
We’ll have to wait and see whether the mobile version is any good – in the meantime, we’d always recommend keeping an eye out at boot fairs and secondhand shops for an old Mega Drive and a copy of the game ( or there’s always eBay). While emulators are OK, there’s something inherently more fun in using the original Mega Drive controllers. Just stay away from some of the frankly way overpriced Buy It Now examples.