Summary Give a short introduction to the game and a brief summary of the review e.g. A great iPad game for pre-school toddlers learning their first letters.
Description Type: Racing
Platform: Playstation One
Players: 1 - 4 players
Age: 3 plus
Game Time: Endless
Developer or Designer: Traveller's Tales
24 characters and vehicles to choose from
34 tracks based on Muppet films
Different modes of play
Instruction manual can get patronising after a while
Controls aren't the easiest to use
I'm no great fan of the Muppets, but I do love cartoony racing games, so I knew Muppet RaceMania was a something I wanted to try. Surprisingly, the Playstation One is the only platform RaceMania was released on; usually you get versions across several consoles, but this 2000 release was made exclusively for PS1.
Although the Muppets are not my thing, I do appreciate the attention to detail Traveller's Tales put into creating the game to ensure fan satisfaction. All the characters remain true to their unique personalities and even the same voicer actors were used. The thirty-four track designs are also based on locations from Muppet films.
With up to twenty-four Muppets to play (once unlocked), you can either choose your favourite character or be more strategic. Each character has their own vehicle with different stats, and it is up to you to determine which works best according to your style. An easy way to do this without the risk of losing a race is to go into test drive mode and get a hang of the controls.
The controls are not the easiest to handle: turning and reversing seem to alternate between being too sensitive or too stiff (whichever is the most inconvenient at the time).
There are all kinds of ways to get ahead (an behind) during a race, and the winner of an overall tournament isn't based purely who comes first. Before the wave of the flag, you can press a given sequence of buttons to get an acceleration boost; there are tons of power ups to and booby traps to throw at your opponents, and there a lots of misleading routes that look like they could be short cuts, but turn out to be dead ends.
At the end of a race you are given points based on where you came past the finish line, but also how many times you hit an opponent, and how good a boost you got at the beginning.
Aside from a four-race tournament, there are also other modes of play, which include Battle Mode (two -four players in an arena throwing weapons at each other), Stunt (one player tackling obstacles on a track), and unlockable races available after completion of the game.
Muppet RaceMania succeeds at satisfying the wishes of Muppet fans, racing fans, and gamers looking for something challenging.