seem to have had their hands full over the past year as their
ambitious aspirations involved developing not one, but two racing
titles. Total Drivin' (GTR) highlighted the serious side of business
as the team succeeded in producing a high quality arcade racer which
would appeal to the sensible racing fan. I could imagine four rivals
linking up this game and settling down for an evening with a bottle
of wine at hand. An event that requires pure concentration and few
words spoken, where winning means everything.
Motor Mash, on the other hand, is a top down cartoon racer that
aims more for those evening when you gather a few mates together for
'a bit of a laugh', stocked up with a crate of beer. Bumping and
barging through the pack, blowing each other up with crazy weapons,
easing an opponent off the screen and out of the race, fast frantic
action that may gain you many trophies but kill off all of your pals
- metaphorically, of course.
Mash is a cartoon racing game from the programmer of the SNES
classic racing game Micro Machines II. As one of the twelve wacky
characters you can race across more than forty themed levels, each
with their own unique hazards. Each of the characters has a number
of weapons at their disposal which may be used to obliterate the
As a single player game it does have it limitations but the
real beauty of Motor Mash begins to unfold when up to four players
compete simultaneously by connecting a multi-tap or using the pad
sharing option and will not suffer from a screen dissection as all
of the players appear on a single screen.
Motor Mash also includes a selection of hidden weaponry which
can be added to the players vehicle.
game opens with a splendid cartoon intro which serves to wet the
appetite for the chaotic racing that lies ahead.
Each of the racing circuits are set in a true 3D modelled world
that allows the player to drive under and over obstacles, while many
circuits permit you to explore the multi-level track designs and
even leave the racing line to search out the many hidden secrets
that are scattered around the scenery. Every part of the environment
is constructed from polygons and is a true three dimensional object
which can be viewed from every angle.
The camera angle remains above the vehicle that you control but
intelligently anticipates each curve in the road showing just enough
of the track ahead to keep you on your toes and not too much so as
to spoil the gameplay.
The graphics are clear, bright and colorful and it is easy to
see that a lot of time has been spent coming up with overall design
of the game. Apparently the graphics for Motor mash were provided by
the same team responsible for the comedy adventure Bud Tucker in
Double Trouble. Using 3D studio, the cars were created as meshes
before 'Warner Bros style' texture maps were applied to create a
unique three dimensional cartoon look to the whole game.
There are some neat little touches that catch the eye while
racing, whether it be the rising dust from the vehicle as you
perform a powerslide around tight bends or the many interactive
objects that litter the course such as working oil wells that spew
their contents over the track.
There should be no confusion as to who is racing which vehicle
because they each have their own distinct shape, color and driver.
Cabby drives a large yellow taxi, Pretty prefers a red truck while
Hippy obviously could not make up his mind and opted for a
multicolored 60's style bus. Other vehicles include a submarine,
tank, rocket and a cool ice cream van.
music is quirky enough with most of the tunes adopting a style that
blends nicely with the theme for each circuit. The best of the bunch
is a rousing Western style featuring the sound of upbeat banjos with
the occasional 'YEE-HAA' thrown in for good measure. Another
favorite of mine was the Nightmare levels which amusingly sounds
like a cross between the old Batman theme (you know the one -
dinner, dinner, dinner, dinner... BATMAN) and the haunting effects
of the Adams Family.
Most of the sound effects are an array of bangs, crashes, toots
and skids which add to the whole cartoony feel of Motor Mash.
up is the options screen which offers a selection of 12 quirky
characters, each with their own unique attributes and mildly amusing
names. If the names don't take your fancy, then a click of the
square button allows you to re-name your chosen character. Hey, you
can even select and name the CPU controlled characters. Who needs
Select the number of players from 1-4 where Eutechnyx have
included the 'friendly' facility to share a control pad, so there's
no need to fork out for a multi-tap and you can snuggle up close to
your girlfriend at the same time. Very cozy.
Entering the 'Race Type' menu allows you to choose which game
mode you wish to play.
Practice is a single player race against 3 CPU cars from a
selection of available courses.
Knockout Races are based upon the process of elimination. The
sole aim of these races is not to win by driving skill, but by
forcing your opponents to lose. Knockout Races have a single, short,
medium or long duration.
Single Player Tournaments require you to qualify for the next
race by finishing in the top two places. The final race must be won.
Race lengths are once again short, medium and long.
Multi Player Tournaments allow you to compete against up to
three other human players. This mode is scored by using a credit
system. Finish in the last two and you lose one credit. Lose all
your credits and you go to bed early while your mates play on.
In the League, you compete against other players with one
simple goal in mind: to finish top of the league of course. Points
are awarded for your finishing position and the league tables are
presented after each round.
Beat the Clock is a straightforward time trial which can be
saved on your memory card so you can prove to your mates that you
are not lying.
Team Knockout allows four humans to compete in two teams
against each other, so sort out your own handicap system before
The racing takes place across a variety of wacky cartoon worlds
in which more than 40 levels are divided into a selection of themed
terrains, which are Atlantis, the Wild West, a World of Nightmares,
Arctic, the City and the Amazon Jungle. Each world has their own
For example, on one of the Wild West levels, the players must
drive across a ricketty railway crossing. Unfortunately the track is
still in use, and the Iron Horse Express is running late, therefore
the player must time their runs so as to avoid being flattened by
the oncoming train. There are many traps just waiting for you to
fall into as oil wells spurt their slippery contents onto the track,
while entering a cyclone will propel you high in the air before
depositing you at the back of the pack.
Slip and slide your way around the icy Arctic course lined with
snow laden pine trees. Watch out for the enormous footprints in the
snow forewarning you of your trip into the prehistoric monsters jaws
before exiting through it's spout onto a higher level. Timing is
important as you attempt to pass the giant snowman as he leaps on
and then off the racing line. This track takes balls... snowballs.
Prepare for your worst nightmares as you venture into the
frightening world of the Nightmare tracks. Man eating plants lean
over the racing line bring a new meaning to the term 'drive thru'
snacks'. Giant spiders crawl from dark corners, vampire robots run
amok and corpses rise from the graves.
Atlantis offers a new dimension to racing games as you submerge
into ruins of the ancient sunken city. Not only can you move forward
and reverse back but pressing the up and down buttons on the
direction pad will raise you to higher levels and drop you down into
The bustling metropolis is the setting for the City courses.
Drive through the winding streets or hop into an elevator and leap
across the high rise roof tops. But beware, it's a long way down.
The Amazon races are set deep in the heart of the South
American Jungle as you race through the ruins of the ancient
Stinkas, hurtling over spiked pits and leaping across the tree tops
of the giant pygmies.
So what about the weapons? Each of the twelve selectable
cartoon characters will have a number of weapons available which may
be used to dispose of their opponents or quite simply to destroy
main sections of the course and generally cause mayhem and
confusion. All the favorites are there, machine guns, shrink rays,
heat seeking missiles, projecting punch-glove and many, many more.
Simple to collect - just drive over the icon. Simple to use - a
click of the shoulder button.
As previously noted, Motor Mash becomes a game within a game
when multi-play mode is implemented. Your opponents are eliminated
by using a 'catch up' method of play, or simply blasting them to
smithereens with a wide array of destructive weapons.
graphics are cool and the sound effects are excellent, however I
feel that the single player game has limited appeal. Motor Mash is
certainly not the type of game that I could play alone for weeks on
end, but then again the same could be said for Micro Machines V3.
Get out and socialize, gather together a few mates and then enjoy
the multi-player experience that this game offers.
ARE a lot of similarities to Micro Machines V3, which is no bad
deal, but I felt more at ease with the way that the cars handle in
Motor Mash. If there was a slight flaw in the almost perfect M.M.V3,
it was the fact that the cars could be over-responsive. This
resulted in your vehicle toppling from the circuit on so many
occasions that an element of frustration crept into the gameplay.
Some people will argue that this was the difficulty curve that gave
the Codemasters racer longevity and after-all, practice makes
perfect, but correspondence from younger players proved otherwise.
Look, I'm not knocking Micro as it still stands as the ultimate
multi-player game available, I'm just saying that Motor Mash it a
bit easier to play which should suit the younger audience.