If you watched the trailer for Mantis Burn Racing and got excited, your senses are not fooling you. That's what you'll get while playing this game: a rush of adrenaline and bewilderment that will keep you focused for hours.
The main single player mode is the career mode, offering 3 levels of difficulty: beginner, pro and veteran. Overall, there are 9 racing seasons, through which the player navigates their way through races to reach the final season. Each season needs to be successfully completed in order to unlock the next one.
The game has a simple and straightforward gameplay. On its PC version, the controls are as easy as you expect. You'll use the keyboard arrows to accelerate, brake and turn while the ENTER button is used for nitro. Nitro builds up as you interact with the track, such as drifting or turning an aggressive curve.
There is an elite class, which its own season and playable from the beginning of the game without demanding you to complete all the main seasons beforehand. In the elite season, the player has the opportunity to pilot hover cars and battle other cars equipped with machine guns and deployable mines. It is a new challenge that adds a few more hours to the main campaign. The elite class stimulates the player to adapt himself to the new mechanics presented by hover cars, armored cars, and the battle tracks.
The cars can be customized in features such as color, suspension, boost, grip, speed, and acceleration. All of the customizations help the player improve performance and complete new challenges. New cars can be bought with G, which is the game currency, earned from winning races and leveling up. The cars are divided into three weight categories: light, medium and heavy. Each category has its own unique characteristics.
The races are assigned to weight classes. A player joins a race at a specific weight class that is determined by the weight of their car. The races themselves are separated into categories as follows:
- Race Against Time, in which a player runs a single lap or races a time trial;
- Two Lap Sprint;
- Peer-to-Peer Race of 3 laps;
- Endurance of 5 laps;
- Timeout, in which your goal is to travel as far as possible within a time limit;
- Knock Out, in which the last player in each lap is eliminated;
- Spotlight, where your goal is to remain in a spotlight to avoid elimination;
- Accumulator, in which the player earns points faster by staying in first place;
- Race to 10,000 points;
- Overtake, in which the first driver to overtake 10 cars wins;
- Scrap Attack, in which your goal is to collect scraps to earn as many points as he can before times runs out;
- Battle modes, in which survival is your main goal;
- King of the Track, in which you need to keep a crown without getting destroyed if you wish to win.
Within the races beyond the goal of winning a race, there are secondary missions that can be as simple as using the nitro to more complex missions such as breaking as much “stuff” as possible. In these missions, you'll find gears that need to be collected in a specific number to unlock the next race in the season.
The game offers 12 different very well designed tracks with aggressive curves and interactions with the car, requiring traction and stability. Some tracks have an ice terrain, requiring the player to control his car in slippery conditions. There are 3 environments where a season can take place: glacial with lots of ice on the track, a desert with a lot of dust, and a city with closed curves. All of these scenarios are detailed and well built. The light works very well, giving the graphics a well-polished look.
The camera positions itself very well during the races. There are no sudden movements or shaking, delivering a very consistent experience to the player. This helps you focus your attention on what really matters. The audio is also well produced, with real-life engine sounds and braking during a drift. The soundtrack is based on electronic music, which has a very varied intensity depending on the situation the player is in.
The online mode is an extension of the single-player mode. You can play with the same cars and modes as I described above, with the addition of weekly challenges and an online scoreboard. Lobbys are easy to find and can house up to 8 players at once. Its multiplatform makes it easy for players to join up with other players.
In conclusion, Mantis Burn Racing guarantees many hours of enjoyable gameplay on the good old arcade racing game genre. Various game modes, maps, vehicles, and customizations offer a diverse variety of options enough the satisfy even seasoned players. And lastly, with a top-down camera, Mantis Burn Racing is one of the best indie racing games on the market.