Micro Machines: World Series

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Micro Machines: World Series Game Poster Image
Battle racer loses tire air with limited single-player mode.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

No positive, negative messages.

Positive Role Models & Representations

No characters; players race vehicles around miniature tracks, use over-the-top weapons to take out opponents.

Ease of Play

Simple controls, easy to learn.

Violence

Players use weapons -- like giant machine guns, flame throwers, missile launchers -- to take out opponents on miniaturized maps. No blood, gore.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

Based on popular toy, game franchise, you can drive over, around other Hasbro board games like Hungry Hungry HipposOuija board. There's also G.I. Joe, NERF-branded weapons (also Hasbro toys).

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Micro Machines: World Series is an arcade racer with a battle component. Not only do players control miniaturized versions of cars and other vehicles, but each has a unique weapon to inflict damage to others, although no blood or gore is shown. These weapons include a flame thrower, machine gun, missile launcher, and more. The game advertises other Hasbro brands, like Hungry Hungry Hippo, NERF, G.I. Joe, and Ouija, since they make up some of the maps you can race over. The game can be played with others online, with the option to chat via a headset microphone.

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What's it about?

MICRO MACHINES: WORLD SERIES lets you race miniature vehicles, each equipped with weapons to take down enemy cars. Based on Hasbro's collectible toy cars, this new game includes multiple interactive tracks around the home -- including a garden, kitchen, workshop, hockey table, poker table, and others -- with various solo and multiplayer modes to choose from. Along with classic game modes such as the straightforward Race and battle-heavy Elimination, Micro Machines World Series introduces additional game types and maps, including "Capture the Flag" and "King of the Hill" and battle arenas. Gamers can play against the artificial intelligence (AI) or with friends beside you (up to 4 players) or online (for up to 12 participants). The game also offers online support for leaderboards, competitions, seasons, playlists, and multiple divisions. 

Is it any good?

If you can handle limited car options and a missing single-player mode, you'll find an entertaining game for racing fans. At under $30, it's considerably less than most other titles. As long as you don't mind the gratuitous product placement of many other Hasbro brands, you'll find this lighthearted racer a gratifying way to waste some time by yourself or with friends. Because of the frantic battles, specialized vehicles, and various maps to fight on, you might liken this game to Overwatch -- if you swap out Blizzard's colorful characters with miniaturized vehicles -- mixed with Mario Kart-like power-ups and weapons. For instance, the spy character is a car with cloaking abilities, the medic is an ambulance (as you might expect), plus there's a Cobra HISS tank, and others. On the downside, there aren't as many vehicles to choose from. In fact, there's only 12 cars to be found here. Another beef: There's no proper single-player mode, other than against driver AI, so it's too bad that there's no career mode or story-based campaign to choose from.

That said, the multiplayer modes offer a good variety, including fan favorites like Capture the Flag and King of the Hill, and another battle arena option where you try to drive a bomb into the opponent's base. Elimination mode is fun, too; in it, you pick up and use Mario Kart-style power-up boxes, which give you a variety of weapons and temporary boosts. Along with HD graphics, the locations are clever, such as driving over pieces of toast propped up like ramps, and steering away from the biting Hungry Hungry Hippos. Micro Machines: World Series is a decent-grade title that should satisfy fans of battle racers, and of Hasbro toys. If it offered more variety in solo modes and vehicles, it would score higher, but even as it stands now, it's an engaging game -- and the fact it's less than half the cost of other games doesn't hurt its appeal either.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about marketing to kids. Is this video game simply a ploy for Hasbro to sell more collectible cars? Is it purely marketing? Or is it fair that fans of these cars would welcome a virtual version?

  • Talk about gameplay. Do the weapons add a new level of strategy to races, or do they just make the action more hectic on a track that's already busy and overactive?

Game details

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For kids who love racing

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