Mini Motor Racing X is the best arcade racing game on the Oculus Quest, with plenty of content to keep petrol-headed racers happy.
If there was one genre I wish there were more VR games of on the Quest, it would be racing games. I get why we have not seen many racers on the Quest, there are controller obstacles to overcome and being put in a car, racing around a track at breakneck speeds, there is a comfort factor to work against too.
When I heard Mini Motor Racing X (MMRX) was coming to the Oculus Quest, I was super interest to learn how well this mobile racer will port over to VR, and how it will look on the Oculus Quest. Thankfully, it’s developers Binary Mill has done a grand job with the port of this game to VR. If you’re a bit of a petrol head, or you’re a fan of its mobile version of the game, then you’re in for a real treat!
On first entering into the game you’re met with familiar surroundings – if you’ve played the mobile version of Mini Motor Racing. The garage remains as your hub in this game. As your currently selected vehicle sits in front of you, a dashboard sits between you and your vehicle. Using buttons on this dashboard you can navigate trough vehicles, upgrades, select the many championships, racing modes and the tracks you can play.
MMRX boasts a very rich track lineup, each with various day and night conditions that help to expand on the total amount of tracks you can choose from. In the game’s career mode each track is locked away, and once you complete the first four tracks in the championship, you will unlock the next four. Each new track you encounter adds variety and increased difficulty along the way, that also helps encourage that ‘just one more go’ feeling every time.
Mirroring the tracks, you have a big number of vehicles to choose from too. Each vehicle features various specs that suit the different tracks on offer. In the early races, you rarely have to swap to a different vehicle, other than having something visually different to look at. You can also enhance your favourite vehicle by spending your race winnings to boost its attributes, such as their handling, nitro boost strength, acceleration and top speed. Some vehicles remain locked until you complete championships, but there are a variety of vehicles to keep you entertained until that goal is achieved.
MMRX features two main play modes, Classic Mode and Type X. In Classic Mode you compete in arcade races against a few other AI vehicles, using just your chosen car and your ability to beat them all to the finish line. In Type X Mode you get to pick-up weapons and extra powerups on the track to gain an advantage against the other AI opponents, who each can do just the same at you.
Whichever racing mode you choose, you then have four different difficulty-based championships to compete in, from Beginner, Standard, Expert and Master. Each championship unlocks after the current one has been completed, so with 36 races in the Beginner championship alone, you have plenty of races to get through to completely beat the game, and it shows just how much value to will get if you are a petrol-headed completionist.
Competing in the races themselves are great. The same fun factor has been precisely carried over from the mobile version. In Type X mode, with its addition of weapons and power-ups, this fun factor has been heightened even more so. With its distant, isometric viewpoint and playful toy-like gameplay, it’s very easy to compare MMRX to classic older games such as Micro Machines, Badlands and Super Offroad. If you opt for its radio control car method of controller, in VR it can feel much like standing alongside one of those the real-life miniature radio control racing car tracks. In this classic viewpoint, you are easily punished in races if you take the corners incorrectly or bump into an obstacle on the side of the track, however with a vehicle tooled up with the right attributes, you can quickly regain position, at least in the Beginner championship races.
Compared to other VR racers this viewpoint is great and rather refreshing, but on some tracks, your vehicle can go behind buildings or enter tunnels, this is where an outline overlay appears to help keep you on track. Thankfully, if this visual obstacle troubles you, you can choose to select the game’s new VR viewpoint that places you inside or behind the vehicle. This viewpoint does look great, however, due to the car’s twitchy nature, it made me feel a little nauseous after a long session. I found using the furthest viewpoint from behind the car to be the most comfortable viewpoint for tracks that had visual obstacles in them. This viewpoint also had a VR Mario Kart vibe to it. Another effect of this viewpoint was that the tracks felt a lot smaller than when playing from the more distant, isometric viewpoint.
If the MMRX’s wealth of modes, vehicles, tracks and unlockable helmets, gloves and wheels weren’t enough to keep you engrossed in the game, the additional multiplayer and arcade modes offer some added value and additional repeat play with family, friends and strangers online. The two arcade modes worth mentioning here are Bumper Ball and Micro Motor. The latter offers much the same as before, but with even smaller and faster vehicles that make it, even more, feel like Micro Machines. Bumper Ball is a mix of car football and a mini version of Rocket League, its a good fun mode that is very challenging against other AI opponents.
If you take any of these modes online, there is a lot of fun to be had in MMRX’s multiplayer aspect of the game. There are two options at the bottom of the dashboard that allow quick access to the game’s main multiplayer modes. You can select either Random or Invite Friends. Selecting Random searches for any available players doing the same, whilst you wait you can also play a few races and once an online match is made you’ll be taken into the lobby.
From the online lobby, you can change your car, its livery and vote for tracks to play. Online races are a bigger challenge than solo races, with some skilled racers out there you might find it is less easy to win races. You can still choose your viewpoint on the track, however, I found using the closer behind the car camera view to give myself an advantage than the higher viewpoints, where mistakes can be more easily made. Thee is voice support in the game as well as each online racer’s helmets and hands being visible, which offers up victory solutes and gestures whilst on the grid and at the finish line.
MMRX launches on the Quest with very little competition in the genre, so it is very easy to say it is the best racer on the Quest. What it lacks in being a real-life racing simulation it makes up in its overall fun factor. I had a lot of fun in the mobile version of the game, and its VR adaptation works just as well and I found it to be even more fun. With the addition of so many tracks and championships races to compete in, as well as racing against other petrol heads online, the result is a highly enjoyable racer that is well worth the relatively small ticket of entry.