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Monster Minis Extreme Off-Road Press Release

Retro Style Monster Racing Makes an Explosive Impact

Monster Minis Extreme Off-Road, the initial offering from micro studio Mindwedge, lays on the nitrous in a big way and gets some serious air off with retro racing that takes off-road in new directions. But this is not a retread of past retro games. As an independent, this studio has been able to explore some very unique and unexpected racing challenges along with a mix of terra-firma themes. A retro look and a surreal style are only the beginning of the ways that this single-player title takes you back to when racing was a personal experience for as long as you could handle it.

Lean and mean, this game puts you in the action fast and keeps you there, not in menus or watching pretty animations. With a whopping 90 tracks over 18 themes, you'll be racing for hours and hours before you finish this game on the first run. Think you're a hardcore racer? Not until you beat this game on hard difficulty where the AI are relentless and cut you absolutely no slack.

But it's not all hardcore either. Easier difficulty modes add unexpected game mechanics to the mix, such as a feature called "Bully Truck" which lets you bash your way through the competition as if they were toys. Tested and proven, even a 5-year-old can have fun with this.

Are you ready to race?

If you have a mouse in your hand you're all set to go racing. That makes this title accessible to everyone with a PC. In addition Monster Minis Extreme Off-Road supports all types of inputs, and even has an auto-setup routine to handle any type of wheel and pedals setup you have. Just follow the on-screen pop-up directions and you're ready to rock!


The Gameplay

The action here is fast and furious and the trucks handle very well as you might expect from an arcade style racing game. There are 3 difficulty levels here ranging from "just finish the race" to "you must finish first to advance", and 2 basic racing modes. Arcade let's you run through all 90 tracks in succession if you just want to race. Competition mode adds a points and trophy system so you can keep track of how well you race, and in this case you can choose which races you want to run in what order.

Starting with the initial level 1 performance upgrades and several models, paint and wheel choices, this game starts you off a bit easy, giving you time to adjust to what's going on. Terra-firma themes begin the action with auto-recharging nitrous and explosive "track mines" scattered about. But the explosive action doesn't stop with that. In a few themes the game throws the explosives such as laser-guided bombs, depth charges and meteor showers around the track and you have to avoid them to stay in the race.

Performance upgrade levels ramp up fairly quickly so you have most of the performance features you want for the majority of the game, though you continue to unlock new models, paint and wheel styles throughout. Performance and appearance upgrades appear in an all-in-one menu that makes it easy to customized your ride quickly.

Just when you think you have the first 9 of 18 track themes down everything gets more than a bit surreal as the themes switch to all-new types of racing. In the very next race volcanoes start throwing random explosive "firestones" around the track and each lap can be very different from the last. Some of the race challenges can get a bit trickier from this point on with game mechanics that include slippery oil pools, bouncing off of "Elastic Air' jumps, racing under water in a floaty environment, and even in light gravity on the moon. There's one theme in here called "Black Matrix" which is so out there that we can't describe it except to say that you should prepare to get some massive air here. And there's even more that you just have to see for yourself to believe.

As an added twist halfway through the game, limo-style Monster Mini trucks are unlocked as an option. While you can still race the standard size trucks, these super long machines add a whole new dimension to the racing action.

For the final 18 out of 90 race challenges you get access to double nitrous. If you thought things were flying up to now, you'll really be blown away with the massive bursts of speed here. Timing your nitrous use becomes even more important if you're going to win, making completing this game an unusual challenge.

Also of note here is the autosave feature. There are no save game menus to navigate, further demonstrating the "stay in the action" philosophy of this game. Every race is tracked and saved so when you're done with your session, you just quit the game and you're on your way. This feature also records replays for you which you can watch as many times as you like, and even has a fast-forward button for some wild looking replay scenes.

The menu system is lean and mean keeping you in the racing, but if you should take a break for more than 5 minutes the game won't wait up for you. It kicks into a demo mode and the game starts playing itself.

Sound and music

As you might expect from an "explosive" and "extreme' racing game, and with your use of nitrous at every chance the feel of the action is absorbing. Each track theme has its own musical score which surprisingly ranges from classical to country, rock, industrial and techno music. Most of these scores are fast paced to encourage you to race hard, with few exceptions which are theme appropriate such as underwater racing.


While on the surface this may appear to be a bare-bones racer as it is intended to be, it has a surprising amount of depth to its design and features, and provides many hours of racing experiences that are like no other game out today. Download the free demo, and find out where to get this game at: Monster Minis Extreme Off-Road Official Site


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