Mini Desktop Racing
Nintendo Wii (2007)
In Mini Desktop Racing you race mini (as in tiny) cars that also happen to be Mini (as in Coopers). And unless you have a collection of Mini Cooper tattoos, the odds of you enjoying this title are smaller than a mini Mini.
Using the same game engine as Rig Racer 2, Mini Desktop Racing also shares many of that game’s craptastic qualities. The games’ menus are identical (sans the background wallpaper), and after playing one game after another you will understand the concept of “shovelware.” Mini Desktop Racing was released for the PC and PS2 back in 2005, but apparently the lure of making a few bucks off of uninformed Wii owners was too great to pass by.
In the mid-80s Galoob introduced Micro Machines, miniature toy cars about half the size of Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars. In 1991 the first of many Micro Machines videogames were released, a series that appeared on everything from the NES to the PS2. All eight games feature miniature cars racing on oversized race tracks. Of course Micro Machines does not have this market cornered; other games, such as Toy Story Racer for the PS1, also featured miniaturized racers competing in real world locations. And while Mini Desktop Racing is another game within this genre, it adds nothing new to it. The tracks are uninspired, the graphics are a step back from the 2002 Gamecube Micro Machines game, and the game’s controls are downright weird.
Micro Machines (Gamecube, 2002) and Mini Desktop Racing (Wii, 2007)
Using a unique and somewhat bizarre control scheme, steering is performed by pointing the Wiimote at your television screen and twisting the remote left or right as if you were opening a door knob. Other controls, like brake/reverse, are mapped to places like down on the d-pad. Of course, blaming this game’s failure on its wonky controls is kind of like blaming the stinkiness of a turd on a single peanut. The game’s graphics are barely on par with PS1/N64 launch titles, and the game’s music will have you talking about the great graphics. The tracks are all simple, similar, and headache-inducing. Gamers begin with one vehicle choice (not much of a choice, really) with promises of unlocking more, but I couldn’t bring myself to play long enough to find out.
By mixing a horrible control scheme with boring tracks and awkward controls, it’s almost as if Data Design Interactive is daring you to hate this game. Well, Data Design Interactive, I accept your challenge. This game is awful.