Top down racers usually aren’t my thing as there really hasn’t been a lot of great ones over the years. Micro Machines is probably one of the best ones I can remember and we all know how long ago that came out. Motorstorm RC was another one I enjoyed that is more recent but for the most part this genre hasn’t been treated well. Well VooFoo Studios have now decided to take on the challenge of making a great top down racer with Mantis Burn Racing. This is a big departure for them as well as you probably recognize VooFoo as the makers of all of the “Pure” games such as Pure Chess, Pure Hold’em and more. Has VooFoo managed to achieve what so many others have not?
Mantis Burn Racing features a career mode, local multiplayer, online multiplayer, weekly challenges and more. If there is one thing that Mantis Burn Racing delivers it is the content. The career mode is pretty in depth in both its length and the mechanics as VooFoo has thrown some RPG mechanics into their racer. There are seven seasons to progress through and they are made up of different types of races such as time trials, regular races, elimination and more. Beating one unlocks the next and each one has six objectives to work towards. These help encourage you to replay the races as some of the objectives will be to destroy a certain number of objects, achieve a really good drift and more.
The RPG elements come from you being able to upgrade stats of your car. As you complete races you earn XP that is used to get new cars and purchase the upgrades. You can upgrade your speed, your drifting ability and more. Different paint jobs are available as well to give your car a different look. There are different “classes” of cars if you will ranging from light weight vehicles that are faster to bigger, heavier models. Each class controls differently so it’s up to you to kind of figure out what you like racing with best. Some of them you’ll find are more useful for certain events though. The controls in the game feel nice and responsive which is important for any racing game. Learning each class of vehicle is critical to finishing the career mode and earning all of the gears.
When you get tired of the career mode you can get some friends together for some multiplayer. Locally you can play with up to 4 people and online you can have up to 8. There’s eight tracks to choose from ranging from deserts, to cities, to industrial areas and more. The Weekly Challenge gives you a certain task and times you on how fast you can do it. You are then placed on the leaderboard to see how you stack up against the rest of the community. The graphics in the game look good not great and it runs well with no real framerate problems. The only real issue I had performance wise came when doing split screen where I noticed the game does suffer some slowdown.
If you’re a trophy person the game has a large list of them including a Platinum to work towards. Now while Mantis Burn Racing performs and handles well it does have issues. The music in the game isn’t anything special at all and the same goes for the sound effects. Load times are also a big issue right now as loading into a race can take more than a minute. Hopefully they can address this in a future update but for now it’s kind of annoying having to wait that long. Also while the game has 8 tracks there really isn’t enough variety between them and I would have liked to have seen more locations.
So in conclusion has VooFoo built a good top down racing game that stands above most of the recent competition? Yes they have as Mantis Burn Racing looks good, controls good, and has a pretty good amount of content. It needs some more track variety and the load times really dampen the rest of the experience but this is one well built racer outside of that.
*Review copy provided by the publisher