Micro Machines (video game series)

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Micro Machines
Micro Machines logo.png
Developers Codemasters, Big Red Software, Merit Studios, Mindscape, Supersonic Software, Atari
Publishers Codemasters, Camerica, Ocean Software, Midway, THQ, Atari
First release Micro Machines
1991
Latest release Micro Machines V4
27 June 2006

Micro Machines is a series of computer and video games featuring toy cars, developed by Codemasters and published on several platforms (including Nintendo Entertainment System, Amiga, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy, PlayStation 2 and Sega Game Gear) 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.

Games[edit]

Main series[edit]

Micro Machines[edit]

Micro Machines
GB Micro Machines.png
Micro Machines on the Nintendo Game Boy
Developer(s) Codemasters
Big Red Software (MS-DOS)
Merit Studios (SNES)
Mindscape (GB)
Atari (PS2, Xbox & GC)
Paragon 5 (GBA)
Publisher(s) Camerica (NES)
Codemasters
Ocean Software (SNES & GB)
Atari (PS2, Xbox, GC & GBA)
Platform(s) NES, Amiga, Sega Game Gear, Sega Master System, Sega Mega Drive, MS-DOS, CD-i, SNES, Game Boy, PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, Game Boy Advance
Release date(s) NES
EU 1991

NA 1991
Amiga, Sega Game Gear, Sega Master System & Sega Mega Drive
EU 1993

NA 1993 (exc. AMI & SMS)
MS-DOS
CD-i
  • WW 1 June 1994
SNES
EU 1994

NA 199412December 1994
Game Boy
EU 1995

NA 199501January 1995
PlayStation 2 & Xbox
  • EU 8 November 2002
  • NA 19 March 2003 (PS2 only)
  • AUS 2005 (PS2 only)
GameCube
  • EU 17 January 2003
Game Boy Advance
  • EU 21 February 2003

Micro Machines is the first game in the series laid the foundation of the gameplay: 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 (black in Europe) 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]

The game was ranked the 14th best game of all time by Amiga Power,[3] while Mega placed the game at #10 in their Top Mega Drive Games of All Time.[4] MegaTech gave the game 92% and a Hyper Game award.[5]

A remake of this game was later released in 2002. This version featured advanced graphics as well as characters having unique vehicles. Though it adhered as closely as possible to the original version, something was said to have been 'lost in the translation'.[6]

Micro Machines 2: Turbo Tournament[edit]

Micro Machines 2: Turbo Tournament
Mega drive j-cart.jpg
Micro Machines 2 as a J-Cart
Developer(s) Supersonic Software[7]
Codemasters (GG, SNES & GB)
Publisher(s) Codemasters
Ocean Software (SNES & GB)
Platform(s) Sega Mega Drive, MS-DOS, Sega Game Gear, SNES, Game Boy
Release date(s)

Micro Machines 2: Turbo Tournament 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. TV presenter Violet Berlin features as a playable driver. The MS-DOS version featured a track editor.

A selling point for the Sega Mega Drive versions was the J-Cart, a cartridge including two control ports, thus eliminating the need for a 4-player adaptor.[8] 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.

The 93% review in Mega described the game as "multi-player fun at its best".[9]

An updated version of Micro Machines 2: Turbo Tournament was only released in Europe for the Sega Mega Drive entitled Micro Machines Turbo Tournament '96, The updated version featured new tracks combined with some updated tracks from Micro Machines 2. It also featured a track construction kit previously included in the MS-DOS version.

Micro Machines V3[edit]

Micro Machines V3
Micro Machines V3 cover.jpg
North American PlayStation cover art
Developer(s) Codemasters
Novalicious (GBC)
Publisher(s) PlayStation, Microsoft Windows & Nintendo 64
EU Codemasters

NA Midway Games (exc. PC)
JP Namco (exc. PC & N64)
Game Boy Color
THQ

Platform(s) PlayStation, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo 64, Game Boy Color
Release date(s) PlayStation
  • EU March 1997
  • NA 30 November 1997
  • JP 1 January 1998
Microsoft Windows
Nintendo 64
  • NA 24 March 1999
  • EU 30 April 1999
Game Boy Color
  • NA 13 November 2000
  • EU 24 November 2000

Micro Machines V3 featured 3D-graphics and 8-player multiplayer matches. It featured circuits in different areas of the household and had multiple weapons; it also included the controller share multiplayer option.

An N64 port of Micro Machines V3 was released in 1999 entitled Micro Machines 64 Turbo. This port can let 8 people play simultaneously while using a Pad Share, where one person uses one side of the controller, steering with the Directional pad, while the other player uses the four C-buttons. The vehicles accelerate automatically in these modes. An official micro machines vehicle was packaged with each copy.

Micro Machines V4[edit]

Main article: Micro Machines V4

Micro Machines V4 is the sequel to Micro Machines V3[10] features over 25 tracks, 750 vehicles and a track editor, although the track editor is not present in the PSP or DS versions. Tracks also feature new settings such as a supermarket or swimming pool. The game was developed by Supersonic Software Ltd, Also In PSP And PS2 Version Features Extra Tracks.

Spin-offs[edit]

Micro Machines Military[edit]

Micro Machines Military
Developer(s) Supersonic Software[7]
Publisher(s) Codemasters
Platform(s) Sega Mega Drive
Release date(s)
  • EU October 1996

Only released in Europe for the Sega Mega Drive, this game features all new tracks and military vehicles. These vehicles feature weapons enabling the player to attack opponents. The game is developed by Supersonic Software.

Micro Maniacs[edit]

Main article: Micro Maniacs

Micro Maniacs is a racing game that takes an unconventional step considering it a near spin-off as part of 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 multiplayer games. The 12 available characters each have different special attacks.

Reception[edit]

The games received critical acclaim, being regarded as some of the most fun racing games and one of the few good licensed video games.[citation needed] The cover for the first game claims that one review magazine gave the game 97%.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "the home of classic gaming on the net". ClassicGaming. Retrieved 14 September 2009. 
  2. ^ "Micro Machines for NES — MobyGames". MobyGames<!. Retrieved 14 September 2009. 
  3. ^ Amiga Power magazine issue 64, Future Publishing, August 1996
  4. ^ Mega magazine issue 26, page 74, Maverick Magazines, November 1994
  5. ^ MegaTech rating, EMAP, issue 22, page 99, October 1993
  6. ^ Navarro, Alex (8 November 2002). "Micro Machines Review for PlayStation 2 - GameSpot". Uk.gamespot.com. Retrieved 14 September 2009. 
  7. ^ a b http://www.supersonic-software.com/older.htm
  8. ^ "Mega Drive Background". PicoDrive. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  9. ^ Mega review, issue 26, page 39, November 1994
  10. ^ "De Codemasters officiële website | release datum, trailers en nieuws over racen, sporten, RPG, FPS en actie video games". Codemasters.com. 10 September 2009. Retrieved 14 September 2009.