☆ Review: Mantis Burn Racing "Burn Baby Burn!" ☆

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It's been a while since I played any type of racing video game seriously other than arcade racers in the arcades on holiday. Wracking my brains I think the last time I bought a racing video game would have been Need For Speed Shift on XBOX 360.

It's not usually my genre but I do love fun racing games and especially, of course, fun racing games like Mario Kart, Micro Machines, and Super Off Road Racer.

Mantis Burn Racing is a top-down racer that is fun to play and easy to pick up.

VooFoo studios have kept it simple with only a few things to worry about. 

Accelerate, Brake and Boost....

The brake is not really required too often once you get the hang of drifting around corners and accelerating out of them. For me that's exactly where the fun lies in this game, it's the getting used to the tight corners using a well-honed driving mechanic where the controls are spot on. I never felt out of control and if I did crash it was because of me and not the controls. That for me is half the battle with racers that are fun. The controls have to be fair.

When playing this nice looking top-down racer I spent most of my time in career mode and it had me hooked. The learning spike is just right and the racing is challenging but never frustrating. The career mode had me pitted up against AI drivers in a 3 lap race first of all. In order to progress, I needed to finish top 3. This took some time as I honed my driving style but all the time I raced I was being rewarded XP towards a new driver level and a new upgrade for the car. It kept me playing and made me excited to progress. Next up was a challenge to get around 3 laps of solo racing against the clock. Once through that hurdle, there was another challenge for the fastest lap race against the ghost of my fastest lap. Then came a race whereby being in front meant you earned points at a faster rate than being in second etc. The race was the first racer to achieve 1000 points wins. Next up was the Elimination Race whereby at the end of each lap the person in the last place is eliminated and therefore it becomes the last man standing.

The races were fast and fresh and the XP system was spot on. The upgrades were quite simplistic but I like that in a racing game as I don't have a clue about real life cars and add-ons and I've never been a Gran Turismo type either. Upgrades to the car give it more grip, better handling, and better boost and as you pay for more upgrade slots you can bolt more things on to make your car better, simple, just like me.

The only detracting thing for me was the track types. They seem to be pretty limited in variety. Currently, there's a Mountain side racing track with caves and variations on that layout. Then there's a cityscape track and now there's a snowbound DLC too. I'm quite happy to play these tracks now but in the long run, I think I may tire of them (no pun intended). There's also an element of the fact that the track names are a bit anonymous and forgettable. If you are making a brand new set of tracks you should let your imagination run wild and think up memorable names for the tracks so as people say things like "Did you play the River Mountain Rush track? That's my favourite because of X, Y and Z"

Instead, you are tending to say Mountain Track, City Track and Snow Track which is a little stale. What I do love though is the on-screen pop-up notifications when you earn in race XP for overtaking or drifting or destruction. I loved that and it kept me going even when I was trailing in the last place and smashing into the sides of mountains!

Another variety issue for me was the lack of significantly different cars. Granted there is a Battle Cars DLC which is pretty cool as it gives you the opportunity to shoot opponents down and lay bombs on the track but other than that the selection of cars is a little lacking. Maybe it's something to keep an eye on for future DLC?

The other mode I had fun with was the Weekly Challenge mode which pits you against online players over the course of the week in an online challenge. This week's challenge was based on getting the most overtakes in one long race. I managed 6 overtakes but the leader was something like 41! I have some work to do and I think my weekend will be taken up overtaking people after they overtake me for the 41st time. 

I like this Top Down Racer. It's slickly made and it's fun to play. It's made me want to progress in the career mode and unlock as many of the career mode challenges as I can. It's a slight shame that the variety of Tracks and Cars is a little way off what I would expect considering that the devs could come up with whatever cars they want (Ice Cream Trucks anyone?). I also wish the game had a little bit more character in terms of track names and soundtrack. An announcer would have fitted this game perfectly for me and would have built a bit of race hype. This being said, I will be spending a lot more time playing this game and I know I am gonna enjoy every minute of it.

Right, now where did I put my racing gloves and goggles? 

I've got a weekly challenge to win!


Ratings Explained
ICE COOL (Great Game Recommended)
MELTING (Just Falls Short Of Greatness)
MELTED (Not A Recommended Purchase)

Game Link: Steam 
Dev Link: VooFoo Studios 

Review By Rich

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