Micro Machines is a fun racing game, with a truly original concept. So many racing games in the 80s and early 90s tried to simulate real racing cars in the real world, without really succeeding due to the limited capabilites the consoles and computers they were on had. So what Codemasters did with Micro Machines was "absolutely brilliant" (which was Codemaster's own slogan) - instead of making yet another racing game in a realistic environment, they decided to use toy cars instead of real racing cars, kitchen tables and desktops instead of real racing tracks. This resulted in a unique game, unlike anything else, and I would even go as far as describing this game as a classic!
When I say the cars in this game are not based on real cars, that's not completely true. They are in fact based on real toy cars - the "micro machines" toy cars made by Galoob from the mid 80s, so it's fair to say Codemasters got some starting help when they made this first Micro Machines game in what turned out to be a series of several Micro Machines games. The game was released for several platforms, including the Sega Master System. It was the PC version of the game I played when I was young though, and I had a lot of fun with it. This Master System version is just as good, but I'm kind of glad I didn't buy it as a kid, as I had a SMS 1 and this game only works with a SMS 2 (the cover doesn't mention this at all). I can only assume some people who bought this game must have been quite annoyed realizing the game wasn't compatible with their version of the Master System console.
So, what can I say about the game? It's fast, it's challenging and it's fun! That sounds more like an advertisement, but it's really a good game. The challenge mode is quite easy in the beginning, but once you advance to the later levels, it get's quite difficult. I have never managed to beat the game, but I sure will keep trying!
Micro Machines Trivia
This and a few other CodeMaster games are some of the only titles for the Sega Master System that feature a 256x224 resolution instead of the normal 256x192 resolution. The downside to this increased resolution is that it was only supported on the Sega Master System 2 console and didn't work on most of the original ones. Also due to the internal tables increasing to accommodate the bigger resolution, less space was available for graphics data meaning less unique tiles could be displayed at once.
Many of the CodeMaster games used a different onboard mapper instead of the usual Sega one. Whether this was to save costs or for other reasons is unknown.
In two-player mode, on the pool table tracks, try reversing, or being pushed by a collision, into some of the pockets. Sometimes you can get weird effects, including removing the speed limiter on your car - you just keep accelerating until the game crashes - but in one-player-mode the effect is generally bad.
Micro Machines Cheats, Hints, Tips and Walkthroughs
At the title screen, press UP,BUTTON2,DOWN,BUTTON2,BUTTON2,LEFT,BUTTON2,BUTTON2,BUTTON2. You can select any course to race, but after finishing it, you will go back to the title screen.
At the title screen, press UP,DOWN,LEFT,RIGHT,LEFT,BUTTON2,UP to activate Hard mode, in which your car skids more.
Rock hard mode
At the title screen, press UP,DOWN,LEFT,RIGHT,LEFT,BUTTON2,UP,UP,BUTTON2,UP to activate Rock hard mode, which causes your car to skid a lot more.
Go to the honey puddle in the centre of the table on the "The Breakfast Bends" track and press BUTTON1+BUTTON2. A sound will confirm the code. This will cause your car to skid more (similar to hard mode).
On the qualifying race, get well ahead of the pack and then stop just before the finishing line, turn around, and hold BUTTON2 to reverse over the finishing line in first place. A sound will play if you do it right. Now all your vehicles will be faster.
On the first race ("The Breakfast Bends") stop your car at the top left corner of the table and press BUTTON1+BUTTON2. A sound will play if you do it right. This makes your opponents explode when they touch you.
On the first race ("The Breakfast Bends"), drive off the bottom right corner of the table forwards. A sound will play if you do it right. This gives you infinite lives - although they don't show they are infinite if you lose that race.
On the first race ("The Breakfast Bends"), drive off the top right corner of the table backwards. A sound will play if you do it right. This makes your opponents' cars slower.
Always finish in first place
Start the Breakfast Bends level as usual. When the round starts, turn around and race the lap backwards (ie. anticlockwise, not in reverse). When you cross the finish line you will hear a sound to indicate the code has worked. Whatever happens, you will now finish every race in first place.
It's miniature mayhem! Race micro cars, choppers, boats, tanks and formula one! Whiz around the spectacular scale mini tracks. Can you handle sand pits, pool tables and school desk courses? It's excellent!
C'est un chaos en miniature! Faites courir des micro bolides, hélicoptères, hors-bord, tanks et voitures de formule I! Filez à toute allure autour des mini-circuits spectaculaires. Pouvez-vous piloter sur des parcours de bac à sable, tables de billard et pupitres d'école! C'est génial!
Es geht drunter und drüber, diesmal klitzeklein! Rennen Sie winzige Autos. Motorräder und Boote! Rasen Sie durch die spektakulären, maßstabsgetreuen Ministrecken! Schaffen Sie Rennen in und auf Sandkästen, Billiardtischen und Schulpulten? Dann los, es ist einfach super!
Esto es un caos en miniatura! Corre en bólidos, chóppers y lanchas! Recorre como una bala las mini pistas a escala espectacular. Eres capaz de conducir sobre rutas llenas de hoyos de arena, mesas de billar y pupitres de escuela! Es excellente!
È un caos in miniatura! Gareggia su micro bolidi, bici e fuoribordo! Saetta sui mini circuiti spettacolari. Sai cavartela su percorsi disseminati di fosse, tavoli da biliardo e banchi da scuola? È superissimo!