Mad Tracks came out at an interesting time, the same week that another racing game called Forza Motorsport 2 appeared on store shelves and the two games are polar opposites. While Forza strives to be realistic, Mad Tracks is a party game where you play with toy cars. You don’t have to worry about shifting gears or balancing your car’s weight, you just get in the game and race. It has much more in common with a kart racing game with one exception, the spring at the bottom of the screen. When you hold down the accelerator the spring coils up and if it completely winds up your car’s speed decreases. To make sure this doesn’t happen you have to occasionally take your finger off the accelerator button, which is a little unusual when you first play it. Like other party racing games Mad Tracks has weapons to find in question mark boxes. Weapons like rockets let you knock out cars ahead of you so you can speed past them. The weapons add a sense of randomness to the game that takes away the challenge of testing your skill when you’re playing against the computer.
But you shouldn’t get Mad Tracks expecting to spend your time competing against the computer. Mad Tracks is designed as a party game and it is best enjoyed with at least one other person. There are fifteen different challenges you can play with friends and not all of them are racing. It’s actually the non-racing mini games that make Mad Tracks interesting. In one game you’re in the driving in the middle of a foosball table and in another you’re driving a toy car off a ramp onto a target. There is more variety to Mad Tracks that isn’t found in other racing games. Having mini-games makes Mad Tracks fun to play when company is around, but they aren’t as entertaining as racing when you’re solo.
If you have a lot of people over Mad Tracks is definitely worth a purchase, but it really isn’t that great a single player game. There are two expansion packs that might change my mind, but it looks like Load Inc. is spending more time on the multiplayer experience.