If you want to communicate the amazing effects of VR to someone in just a few seconds, make them a giant. There’s something about Mini Motor Racing X’s Micro Machines-inspired camera view — in which players tower over Scalextric-sized tracks — that really pops inside a headset, more than you may have felt in a while.
It’s enough to rekindle an early VR giddiness that often feels lost in today’s grander adventures, and developer Binary Mill capitalizes on that. Mini Motor X can be the game you want it to be; either a nostalgic love letter to party games of past, or you can take the driver’s seat for a slightly more authentic touch (if you can stomach it). Whatever your preference, you’ll find more than enough game here, with a lengthy career mode that supports multiple ways to play. Mini Motor Racing X is as versatile and generous a VR game you’ll find; it’s just lacking a little spark to seal the deal.
If you were to judge this by the regular box tickers, it’d be full marks. Mini Motor X comes with a full garage of differently-specced vehicles, a career mode that spans multiple difficulties and classic (no powerups) and arcade (powerups!) gameplay, plus cash to upgrade your ride and cosmetic items to unlock. Plus the multiplayer ranges from competitive modes to even tackling the campaign together with a friend.
It’s as smooth to play as can be expected in the button-input mode, too. You can also play the game with a virtual RC car controller and mimicking steering a wheel, and they’re both adorable options, but stick input is necessary to perfect lap times. Still, much of the fun here is in the toybox experimentation; switching to cockpit view and swerving around the tracks using a steering wheel is about as delightful as something that will make you want to throw up in seconds can possibly be (seriously, Teacup Rides have nothing on this).
Taken more seriously, Mini Motor X is a perfunctory piece of VR racing. As with other rock-solid isometric racers, it finds its flow in the drifty corners; tough to angle but addictive and rewarding to master, especially when paired with a last-moment boost to send you soaring into first place. The satisfaction you’ve come to know and love from the genre is all here and accounted for.
But that’s just it – it’s all expected. A litany of options and VR support doesn’t disguise what is simply an adequate racer designed to kill time (notably, the Mini Motor series was born on mobile) as opposed to something more spectacular. Tracing a toy car around the map entertains and unlockables encourage you to keep on trucking, but it never ascends above a decent way to spend time between more exciting VR releases.
That sentiment stretches to other modes, too. Bumper Ball is, you guessed it, a Rocket League clone for VR that hits the same notes.
Still, it’s a vibrant little game with charming VR touches. Ant-sized birds hover below in god mode, and oceans are filled with concerningly adorable sharks. There’s real novelty to seeing friends hop and wave around in multiplayer, especially when you switch up racing styles and suddenly discover your giant-sized competition staring down at you. The hyper-generic soundtrack, though, sounds like it was hastily scavenged from a YouTube advert.
Mini Motor Racing X Review Final Verdict
Thanks to a generous amount of options and a welcome bit of structure, Mini Motor Racing X is an easy recommendation in the middle of a slow time for VR releases, especially when it so quickly and efficiently demonstrates just how cool VR can be on a base level. But don’t expect anything more than a game that does a decent job imitating its influences, with little ambition to surpass them. Like a box of Micro Machines itself, Mini Motor Racing X helps pass the time, but when something shinier comes along it will soon be forgotten.
Final Score: 3/5 Stars | Pretty Good
Mini Motor Racing X is available on Oculus Rift, Quest and PSVR for $24.99. For more on how we arrived at this score, check out our review guidelines.