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Micro Machines

Micro Machines

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Micro Machines is a series of computer and video games featuring toy cars, developed by Codemasters and published on several platforms (including Amiga, Mega Drive/Genesis, Game Boy and PS2) between 1991 and 2006. The series is based on the Micro Machines toy line of miniature vehicles.

Micro Machines games feature tracks based on household settings: for example, kitchen tables and desktops. The tracks also contain obstacles in the form of household items; often the possibility of falling off the track is a hazard in itself.

The Games

Micro Machines

Release year: 1991

Released in 1991 on the NES and 1993 on other formats, the first game in the series laid the foundation of the game play: a top-down racing game with miniature vehicles. The race tracks are unconventionally themed. For example, some races take place on a billiard table while others occur in a garden. The cartridge itself was gold with a switch at the bottom in order to be compatible with the American and European hardware. [1] It was also released as an add-on to the Aladdin Deck Enhancer created by Codemasters. [2]

Micro Machines 2

Micro Machines 2: Turbo Tournament

Release year: 1994

Micro Machines 2 featured cars that require different handling techniques for each course and also hovercraft and helicopters. There are different playing modes including "head-to-head", in which each player earns points by driving a full screen ahead of the opponent. PC version appeared track editor.

A selling point for the Sega Mega Drive/Sega Genesis versions was the J-Cart, a cartridge including two control ports, thus eliminating the need for a 4-player adaptor. It also included a 'pad-sharing' feature which allowed 2 players to share a single joypad; thus it enabled 8 players to compete simultaneously, on certain tracks.

Micro Machines Turbo Tournament '96

Release year: 1995 (Sega Mega Drive/Sega Genesis)

Only released for the Sega Mega Drive/Sega Genesis, this was an updated version of Micro Machines 2 that featured new tracks combined with some updated tracks from Micro Machines 2. It also featured a track construction kit previously included with the PC version of Micro Machines 2. The game was developed by Supersonic Software Ltd (DOS, Genesis version).

Micro Machines Military

Release year: 1996 (Sega Mega Drive)

Only released in Europe and Australia for the Mega Drive, Micro Machines Military features all new tracks and military vehicles. These vehicles feature weapons enabling the player to attack opponents. The game is intended to run on a PAL console and although playable, will run faster than intended if played on an NTSC system. The game was developed by Supersonic Software Ltd.

Micro Machines V3

Release year: 1997, 1998, 1999 (PlayStation, Microsoft Windows, Game Boy Color, Nintendo 64)

Micro Machines V3 (a.k.a. Micro Machines 64 Turbo in Nintendo 64) featured 3D-graphics and 8-player multi player matches. It was also released in 1998 for the Playstation and PC. It featured circuits in different areas of the household and had multiple weapons; it also included the controller share multi-player option.

Micro Maniacs

Release year: 2000 (PlayStation)

Micro Maniacs takes an unconventional step in the series by replacing the vehicles by running characters, though they occasionally use vehicles for certain tracks, such as jet-skis, skate-boards or even bees. It also features 3d graphics and up to 8-player multi player games. The 12 available characters each have different special attacks.

Micro Machines

Release year: 2002 (PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube)

This version featured advanced graphics as well as characters having unique vehicles. Though it adhered as far as possible to the original formula, something was said to have been 'lost in the translation'[1]. This may be because it is the only Micro Machines game not published by CodeMasters, but instead by Atari.

Micro Machines V4

Release year: 2006 (PlayStation 2, PC, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS)

The true sequel to V3[2] features over 25 tracks, 750 vehicles and a track editor though it's not present in the PSP version. Tracks also feature new settings such as a supermarket or swimming pool. The game was developed by Supersonic Software Ltd.

References:

  1. ClassicGaming - the home of classic gaming on the net
  2. Micro Machines for NES - MobyGames