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Synopsis

The race is on in Mantis Burn Racing, where fast-paced bumper-to-bumper racing combines with intuitive, tactile gameplay and stunning visuals in one of the best-looking and most immersive top-down racers around. Drive incredible built-for-racing vehicles across highly detailed, visually stunning tracks, in high-risk, high-speed races where winning is everything. Prove your skills in an extensive career mode and take on friends with 4-player local split-screen racing and online modes for up to 8 players in ‘one-more-go’ style competitive racing. With a RPG-style upgrade system providing players with deep tactical choices and excellent replay-ability, this is racing at its rawest but most exciting!

Review

When I first saw Mantis Burn Racing in action, I fell in love with it straight away. There was an instant nostalgia kick which took me back to my Micro Machines days. Oh how I loved that game and it’s pool table track!

Mantis Burn Racing is a top down arcade racer that doesn’t take itself too seriously and gives you that element of fun that should come with arcade style games like this.

The looks very nice with lots of detail going into each of the tracks, and there are also a lot of finer details there as well such as the designs to the off track elements such as buildings etc, this really adds to the polish of the game and is beautifully done.

There are several modes which you can choose from within the game, you have your career which you race through to earn gears and XP. There is also online and offline elements to the game, where you can play with others and race online, or have some spilt screen fun with friends at home. This is a nice little touch to the game, especially the online element to it, which is something I didn’t expect to see within the game, so it is nice to see that the extra mile has been taken and more options opened to keep the games longevity going.

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During your career you earn gears by completing challenges and objectives within races, and these are used to buy upgrades for you vehicles. These come in 5 elements and you can upgrade suspension, engine, tyres, gearbox and the boost of the car. Each of these upgrades helps your car in various ways, for example the suspension upgrade allows your car to absorb more of heavy landing and not lose as much speed.

There are different types of cars within the game, classed as light, medium and heavy, and each of these cars has a class attached to them which can either be rookie, pro or veteran. Different classes and car weights can be mixed up and matched to make different types of cars.

The different types of cars can be used in the few styles of races that are available which are standard, sprint and endurance. The 3 of which speak for themselves as to what they do, and there are times in which I found that I had to think about which car to use with which race. Sprint races would require a faster car to help with the quickness of the race. Within the different races as well you have a boost meter which is filled up by the XP gained within the race. This can be accomplished from doing different things such as drifting, overtaking, getting good air from jumps and improving lap times. There are a lot more, but these are probably the main thing that you will get XP from.

I mentioned earlier about earning gears within races from completing objectives and challenges and these can be used to purchase cars, faster and more powerful cars as you get further into the game. When you have these cars, you will be able to upgrade them with the sections I mentioned above. When upgrading you start with 3 slots which you can mix and match any of the 5 elements with. Eventually you will be able to level up your car and this will add more upgrade slots for the car and you can add more elements to it.

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During your career as you play through the different styles of races, which comes in all shapes and sizes from single 3 lap races, to endurances races and multi-race events. All of which come with objectives as again mentioned above. These objectives can be from drifting a certain amount during the races, to jumping a certain distance, all of which vary from race to race. As I was going through the different seasons, I found the game to start getting a bit repetitive as it was the same style races being done over and over, just on different courses, and which it was nice to see all the different courses available, it would have been nice to get a little more varerty within the seasons and shake things up.

Mechanically, the game is very smooth when playing, I loved driving and drifting around corners and flying down the straights. The game feels very accomplished and was a joy to play, combining that with the wonderfully detailed graphics this game is very enjoyable to play and has a very good replay factor with it when it comes to the online races and the split screen element.

There was one tiny thing that I found with the game, when I was in first place and the roads would zig zag back and forth on some of the tracks, when I went round a corner and whoever was in second came up on the other side, it would bring up an ‘overtake’ message which obviously didn’t happen as I would be first. It worked out best for me as it would give me the XP for it, but it is something that maybe needs to be looking into. It doesn’t effect the gameplay, I think it’s just down to the way the system is recognising the cars.

The game overall is a very good one and I highly recommend it to anyone, it’s a nice little entry into the genre and I would love to see more games like this in the future. Good work VooFoo!

8/10