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Mad-ass multiplayer mayhem that really busts your ribs

Just as once in every generation a Slayer is chosen (or used to be), every games generationhas a racer like Mashed: tiny cars whizzing around obstacle courses, with the most basic of driving techniques required to handle the breakneck pace.

Usually these games feature toys to explain the small scale, and simplistic nature. In fact, usually these games are branded Micro Machines, and we have learned to accept no substitution.

A few years ago, Circuit Breakers (a micro-style racer with a more realistic theme for PSone) caught us off guard by being pretty good. It was produced by the Micro Machines 2 team, so was on the money - though it got carried away with confusing viewing angles. Now, from the same creative minds, we have Mashed - possibly the Micro Machines 2 of its generation!


Under The Hood
Read almost any Micro Machines review, and you'll come across the same one-liner: 'In single-player mode this is fun, but in multiplayer mode it's really great!' Mashed escapes such a crusty critique by offering a solid single-player challenge too.

In addition to the manic race mode, solo games are kept alive by non-race themes such as The Fugitive, in which you must capture a runaway rival, and TimeBomb, where you're forced to meet checkpoints to prevent the car exploding. Even a 'standard' race is addictive, because AI levels are pitched just right to give a competitive race. You'll develop personal vendettas against AI drivers, and it's almost as satisfying to nail them as it is to destroy a mate.

The Race Never Ends
Of course multiplayer mode is terrific in Mashed, mainly because it is such a laugh. It's more of an occasion if you make the shortcut, of which Mashed has many. You'll have more satisfaction taking out friends with the likes of twin-mounted cannons, flame-throwers and mines.

Plus, there's a wicked option unique to multiplayer, called Air Strike, where anyone knocked out of a race can target the remaining cars with missiles. Multiplayer Mashed is so funny, it's worth a spin most days of the week.

The verdict

A game you need to play at least one rainy afternoon to appreciate. After that we're sure you'll be hooked - if not enough to buy, at least to rent for a while.

Empire Interactive
Racing / Driving, Action