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Games for the Weekend is a weekly feature aimed at helping you avoid doing something constructive with your downtime. Each Friday we’ll be recommending a game for Mac, iPhone or iPad that we think is awesome enough to keep you busy until Monday, at least.
Mini Motor Racing and Mini Motor Racing HD ($0.99 iPhone(s aapl), $1.99 iPad) are excellent top-down racing games from The Binary Mill. A good racing game requires three main features to come together: vehicle control, a variety of challenging courses and a heart-thumping soundtrack. Mini Motor Racing excels at all three. But the real kicker is the game’s head-to-head multiplayer action.
Mini Motor Racing supports four styles of steering and an optional auto acceleration feature to accommodate your prefered style of gameplay. “Wheel” mode uses a virtual steering wheel on the left side of the screen very similar to the iconic d-pad. “Toggle” provides a left and right button on the left side of the screen, whereas “Tank” places the left and right on separately on either side. “Slider” allows the user to control the car by moving a slide bar to the left and right.
Each style of play will cater to different drivers. Some prefer the Wheel, but I found Tank mode to be the easiest to control. The final control in all modes is a button that gives the car a boost of nitro during the race. Thanks to the way that the car navigates the track, as well as careful camera placement, you will never find the controls getting in the way of the game regardless of your control scheme of choice.
The opening sequence and smooth 3-D transitions when navigating the game’s menu system attest to the development team’s attention to detail. There are over twenty different courses to choose from, and variations in weather and time of day keep replay value high. All fourteen cars on offer are customizable: You can select the color and style, as well as upgrade each as you collect money and customizations along the various tracks. If you want to upgrade in a hurry, you can use in-app purchases ranging in price from $0.99 up to $14.99.
Even without multiplayer support, the game is worth buying. Being able to play with up to four racers over Wi-Fi or two over Bluetooth, the multiplayer mode just adds to the bargain.