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Micro Maniacs

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Released: 2000

Genre: Racing

Format reviewed: PlayStation

Publisher: Code Masters

Developer: Code Masters

Submitted by: Crispian Driver

Following on from the brilliant Micro Machines V3, Micro Maniacs uses the familiar overhead racing view with the 3D twist of the former. As with all other 'Micro' games, the races are set in enviroments to match the scale of the mini racers, such as gardens and bedrooms. Where this differs, is that, on the whole, you now control micro people instead of vehicles. A few of the tracks have you on vehicles such as skateboards and scooters.

I must admit, i initially wasn't happy with the lack of vehicles in the game, but after a few races, you don't really notice and you get drawn in by the beautiful tracks and great playability. The maniacs run very fast by the way.

Dr Minimizer plans to shrink the worlds population to…save the world. Now, i'd like to meet him, because i'm over six feet tall, and believe me, there are plenty of times when i've wished i could be shrunk. Anyway, in a trial he's created these very competitive Micro Maniacs that happen to look like villans out of a Batman movie. They also have special power ups to hinder each other, my personal favourite is Beat Box's Sonic Boom. These power ups really can make or break races. There are twelve characters in total, some of which you have to unlock.

There are thirty-two tracks to race on all fiendishly designed. Retro fans will love the track with a Simon Says placed in it. You also get to race on model train tracks, in the loft and many others. The tracks get quite difficult as you progress. There are also bonus tracks, which if you complete, you gain an extra life.

There are plenty of game modes too, including the very popular up to eight player multiplayer, time trial and team races.