If you were a kid growing up in the past 50 years, then you probably had Hot Wheels (or Micro Machines) cars in the house. If you were really spoiled (like me), then you had a ton of these plastic Hot Wheel track strips strewn all over your basement. Any solid structure was a potential ramp, and all of our other toys were transformed into building, obstacles, or innocent bystanders (extra points if you were able to launch these die-cast projectiles into the family pet). I have even recently witnessed my own sons’ prowess for mayhem as they converted our basement into a spiderweb of complex orange racing death… the legacy lives on! If any of this carnage rings a bell, then you most certainly will be interested in “Mad Tracks” for Xbox Live Arcade, developed by Load.
This new party arcade game has the same initial charm as Toy Golf, where typical rooms are transformed into obstacle sources (or in this case, miniature racetracks a la Micro Machines). The game has 15 race tracks that resemble every Hot Wheels fantasy you could ever imagine. To add some extra challenge to the game, the “safety rails” that kept your car on the track have been removed, allowing you to slip off a banked curve. There are lots of other racing challenges such as banked curves, death-defying ramps, and destructible obstacles like candlesticks, domino arches and action figures. There are several power-ups (in the form of gift-boxes) that can be used to blow your opponents off the tracks or zoom past them. There are rockets, oil slicks, freeze attacks and other tricks to win each race. The graphics are rather simple for an Xbox 360, but multiplayer is an absolute blast on Xbox Live (you can take on those bully kids from the other side of the tracks).