Mantis Burn Racing Review

mantis-burn-racingTop-down racers have been a staple of arcade gaming for many, many years, from Rally-X in the arcades, Rally Speedway on Commodore 64, Supercars II on Amiga, Super Sprint on Atari ST and onto Micro Machines on Sega Megadrive.

There have been many similar titles since, but few have been able to match those top five for playability and good old-fashioned fun.

Mantis Burn Racing is the latest attempt from VooFoo Studios to tackle the genre, and its quite possibly the best in the last few years. Unlike other recent games, you won’t find yourself edging your way to the head of the pack at the first bend and maintaining a healthy lead for the remainder of the race. Oh no! Get used to the back of the field, because that is where you will find yourself initially until you learn the ropes.

Keeping your foot on the gas isn’t an option here. The slippery, drift-style cornering needs to be mastered as one nudge against the edge of the track and you’ll struggle to accelerate back up as the opposition fly past you. Easing off the accelerator and drifting smoothly through the bends is necessary if you don’t want to finish last. You are rewarded for your driving style with power boosts that you’re going to need to make use of if you’re to get to the front and stay there.

XP is earned through good driving and spent on engine upgrades which make life a little easier as the races get harder. Lighter cars are faster, but heavier ones can throw their weight around those hectic corners. It’s a balance that requires experimentation.

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There are eight game modes to choose from – from knockout to time trials – and a career mode that last seven seasons, so there is plenty of racing to be had here. Multiplayer is catered for too, with four-player local split screen or eight-player online modes, with weekly challenges to show off your skills on the global leaderboards.

Graphically the game is beautiful, from the dusty desert tracks to the asphalt city streets, with destructible elements and hidden shortcuts to look out for along the route.

The audio consists of an ambient soundtrack that was apparently written for the game. It would have been nice to have an alternative techno track that always seems to get me racing more quickly, as the drone of the car engine does become slightly monotonous.

Overall, Mantis Burn Racing is a modern top-down racer done right, and one title that every boy racer needs in their collection.

Mantis Burn Racing is available on PC, PS4 and Xbox One