Ah, the great outdoors. The wind in your hair. The sun on your face. The smell of burning rubber in your nostrils. The screams of rage burning your throat as someone overtakes you just seconds before you take first place so you ram their stupid car in its stupid rear and send their stupid face careening into the side of a building. Such is The Binary Mill's excellent and energetic casual indie racing game Mini Motor Racing EVO. Combining tons of tracks, beautiful visuals, it's a fun and frantic game you can enjoy by yourself or with three more friends online. Or enemies. Or frenemies.
It's a racing game, you know the drill. Complete all the laps on each stage before anyone else does to take top prize. The game allows you to play with your keyboard, a controller, or even your mouse, so chances are you'll find an option that works for you. Your car can't be damaged, so don't be afraid to give other vehicles a little... gentle persuasion... to get them out of your way. During races, you have three nitrous boosters to start that'll give you a quick burst of speed, but you can find more randomly scattered along the track too. Perhaps more valuable in the long term, though, are the occasional bonus cash pickups since these, when combined with your cash prize for each race, are what you use to upgrade your car. Each different vehicle has its own benefits and drawbacks, such as better handling at the cost of some acceleration, but by purchasing upgrades you can boost your favourite vehicle's performance. You have to upgrade each car seperately, so think carefully when spending your cash!
Analysis: Mini Motor Racing EVO is a tires-squealing, metal-grinding, all-cylinders-firing joyful rumpus of a game. It's the perfect fit for casual fans, players looking for something effortless to pick up but a lot of fun to try and master for however long you give it. The races are short and sweet, filled with lush visuals and satisfying little details like flying tire stacks and traffic cones. Though it starts out easy, you'll have to quickly learn how to handle your car like a pro to keep first place as the races get even more twisty-turny and densely packed with competitors. The relatively low level of customisation and realism might mean, however, that more hardcore racing fans find this one a bit too goofy and simple. I also sort of wish the game's cars were destructible, partly because I'm a terrible person, but also partly because it would up the challenge by forcing you to be more careful and skillful instead of sling-shotting your car around the track and off of barricades like a maniac.
Less Top Gear and more Mario Kart by way of the bumper cars, Mini Motor Racing EVO is a giddy, gorgeous, exuberant game that catches all the youthful exuberance of the best casual titles. It's the sort of thing you immediately want to play with friends, and would make an excellent party game no matter what the average age was. Though it lacks a lot of the deeper fiddly mechanics some fans may crave, its beautiful presentation and energy makes this one an easy choice for afternoons of reckless, easy to pick up fun.