Mantis Burn Racing, developed and published by VooFoo Studios, is a top down racing game that is similar in style to the classic micro machines game, or rc pro am, without the miniaturization. If you are looking for a racing game, and Horizon 3 is outside of your budget, this game may fill that void.
Mantis Burn Racing is a fun game. I enjoyed all of my time with the game, and it didn’t feel like the AI rubberbanded much, nor were they able to pass you if you didn’t make a mistake. If you were passed, or couldn’t get first place, you probably made a mistake, or were under powered for the race. Luckily, there are a wide variety of races in the game, with a good progression system that allows for easy upgrades to your vehicles.
On each race, there are “Gears” to collect, which are basically optional objectives to do during the race. They are usually to get first place, don’t use boost, run over a certain number of objects, or take a shortcut so many times. They do vary, and some of them will take multiple attempts, but luckily you will obtain the majority of them through regular racing. There are certain stop points in the game that require a certain number of gears, but these are only there to prepare you for the next set of races. If you do not have the minimum number of gears, then you most likely need to go back and do some of the previous races again. For one, it increases your XP, and 2, you will most likely unlock upgrades that will help you progress. These checkpoints don’t feel tacked on, and have reasonable numbers to achieve.
There are multiple varieties of race types, from regular racing, knockout, time trial, etc. Each season of racing unlocks more racing types, and increases the difficulty slowly. You will go through multiple seasons as you progress through this game, from rookie, to pro, to veteran, and along the way you will unlock a variety of cars to help you on your way. Each set of cars is geared toward their race tier, and some races require a certain car type (light, medium, heavy) to allow you to race. This works out because it forces you to try various cars and not just stick to one car for every race, which I most likely would have done. This also means you need to spread out your upgrades, and not give them all to one car.
The types of upgrades can be stacked, but if you add all engine and boost to your car without a tire (tyre) upgrade, your car will be more likely to spin out and lose control. This requires some thought to be put in before you place the upgrades. You can discard upgrades, but it is recommended to get them right the first time. Upgrades are obtained by getting to a certain point on the XP timeline, or by completing sets of races. Some upgrades only require you to finish one race to unlock, while others you need to complete multiple races that surround the upgrades on the map to unlock. I think this works well, and you can clearly see how to obtain the upgrades.
While the game is great, no game is perfect, and it does have a few minor annoyances. The first, and most obvious thing are the long loading times. Now these are not long compared to other AAA games out there, but because they happen so often, they are very noticeable. With each race having a loading time it kind of drags the whole thing down.
There is also not a lot of variety in track locations in the game. While there are a variety of track setups, all of them kind of blend together over time. Also, some of the darker sections of the game seem too dark in transition. A larger variety of places to drive and varying scenery would have been a nice thing to have, but again, you will still have fun with this game, the tracks just get old.
My only other complaint with the game is that it is fairly easy to get stuck on a wall, with no quick recovery option that I could see. Having to slowly reverse, then get back up to speed again almost always means you are playing catch up, for what should be a minor mistake. The devs might have been going for realism here, but a quick reset option would at least allow you to get back into the race faster.
I enjoyed the achievements in this game. When you start the game, you will be getting achievements left and right as you progress the early stages. Other achievements will come over time, and a few of them require skills like unlocking all 6 Gears 15 times, etc. I think the achievements in the game provide a wide selection of achievement types, and only include a few multiplayer ones. One thing to note though, is that there are 2 achievements for beating an online player with a higher ranking than you, so if you don’t unlock it early it could be difficult to unlock, and could even become unobtainable for you without a save reset if you progress too far in the game.
The Final Verdict
Mantis Burn Racing is a great, fun game that will give you many hours of enjoyment. If you like racing games, you should give this one a shot. The game provides a wide variety of races types and is genuinely fun all the way through. The progression system guides you along, and there isn’t a huge difficulty spike if you perform upgrades, while still being challenging. It does have some strange camera movements that take some time to get used to, but the game does provide camera options. The loading times are long, but not longer than 10 or 15 seconds. They just seem longer because they happen so often. Overall, I would recommend this game to anyone that likes racing games, or anyone that likes fun games in general.
Developed by: VooFoo Studios
Published by: VooFoo Studios
Xbox Marketplace: https://www.microsoft.com/store/p/mantis-burn-racing/c4477gnrjptj
Steam Store: http://store.steampowered.com/app/446100