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Mini Motor Racing X Review

Mini Motor Racing X review for the Nintendo Switch, out now in all decent Nintendo eShops.

Racing games have had a boost these past few weeks with the likes of Inertial DriftWRC 9Drift21Hotshot Racing and now Mini Motor Racing X on the Nintendo Switch.

Already available on the PS4, this game from The Binary Mill has had an influx of tweaks specifically for the Nintendo version, but for a game that looked pretty damn good on other platforms, is it as good on the Switch?

Mini Motor Racing X Review – Nintendo Switch

There’s nothing much like Mini Motor Racing X. Think about the opening list of titles, and you have some fantastic games to choose from. The closest driving game from the list would be Hotshot Racing, but unlike this Daytona USA racer, our specimen is a ‘self-contained’ racer, similar to Micro Machines.

Unlike the latter, the tracks aren’t tabletops or toilet bowls – perhaps not the kind of locations you’d see on a typical racing circuit, but tearing it up at a resort or haunted mansion is pretty liberating.

In fear of a driving pun, The Binary Mill don’t reinvent the wheel here as the objective of the game is to win each race. Scattered across each track includes nitro boosts and cash to upgrade your vehicle, switch over to the ‘X’ part of the game, and you have a Mario Kart-esque racer, weapons and all.

Mini Motor Racing X - Hot Rod
Hot, Rod. Source: PR

You earn money from your winnings or the notes you find on the track. The game is a little tight on distributing the wealth, so expect to plough through several tracks until you can upgrade the acceleration, top speed et al. of your chosen four-wheeler.

As an arcade-like game, the vehicles on offer are quite light-hearted with sports cars through to military trucks and buses. Surprisingly, the latter has a good deal of speed and control so don’t be dismissive in thinking the Lambo clone is the way to go.

As an arcade-like game, the vehicles on offer are quite light-hearted with sports cars through to military trucks and buses. Surprisingly, the latter has a good deal of speed and control so don’t be dismissive in thinking the Lambo clone is the way to go.

But make a note that if you’re slowly dismissing this as child’s play and too easy, think again: Mini Motor Racing X is very challenging and the AI in the game, while not on par with Skynet or Neuralink Corporation, gives you a good run for your money and after the first three or four races where you think “Yeah, I got this”, the AI ups its game and will frequently boost past or clip you.

Training Wheels

Unlike some other recent titles, the clipping from other cars doesn’t cheese it, per se, as you can recover from it. Likewise, you can’t do that old Gran Turismo PS1 trick of pinballing off another car to get ahead. Don’t be fooled about the other vehicles as mentioned – the mini-vans often outclassed the sports car.

There are so many tracks in the game and just as much variety as the vehicles. You can even play the campaign with a pal if that’s your sort of thing, and if we’re talking about being sociable, the game offers up to four players locally in split-screen, or you can play online.

Mini Motor Racing X - Scooby
Scooby. Source: PR

Racing your mates in custom games is definitely fun as a standalone, but if you like titles such as Rocket League, you’ll see a bonus game called Bumper Ball and Micro Motor Racing. As a fan of racing games, these type of party games or battle modes that you see in games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe aren’t my thing, but a great option to have.

On the subject of options, other than the huge career mode, tracks, vehicles and game modes, one of the highlights in the game is the seemingly endless possibilities of changing the view. Ok, so they’re not endless, but switching from first-person to ‘over-the-shoulder’ through to chase or cinematic cams, they’re oozing with such finesse that playing the game was a mixture of racing and finding the right angle for it.

The visuals are ‘cute’, but they’re juxtaposed with such sharp clarity that this looks and plays like a top title. It is a top title. Playing Mini Motor Racing X on the Switch plays like a dream and just as good as the PS4 or Steam, considering. Would I play this as a four-player split-screen? Hell yes, but I don’t have that many friends. I mean, social distancing…

Catch My Drift?

While this isn’t a new title, it is for the Switch, so it’s new, and it’s arguably the best version as you have the bonus of playing it on the go, which this game excels at through its simple, yet challenging gameplay.

If you think Mini Motor Racing X is coated in Teflon, it’s not. While the handling is tight, it does feel like the cars are on rails and will neither spin out nor feel like they’re moving fast. In fact, the game doesn’t feel incredibly fast like say Inertial Drift does when taking a corner, or even Real Drift Racing (and that’s not because both are drift-based games).

Mini Motor Racing X - Split
Split. Source: PR

In other news, it also doesn’t feel like a racing game in that you are racing against other cars, more that you are trying to upgrade your vehicle until you’re overpowered. That might not bother you, but on that basis, it can feel like a grind to unlock better gear rather than get better at the game. That sounds like a contradiction, but that wasn’t the intention.

Alright, so who’s this for? Driving fans really – and a broad group of them. There’s something for arcade fans, grinders (as in upgrades), party/casual players and those who just want to feel comfortable leaving skidmarks without being scolded for it. 

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