Given that I spent vast amounts of time after school engaging in multiplayer Micro Machines madness on my Mega Drive, it's no surprise that I have a fondness for all things miniature.

Whether it's toy cars, episodes of Land of the Giants, or my greatest hits of Daniel Bedingfield record collection, sometimes it really is a case of the less the better.

There's something about Microcopter – the adventures of a mini-helicopter racing around the insides of a typically generic, and equally sterile, family abode – that makes it especially annoying, however.

You could even go as far as to suggest that it's the very minute nature of play that, at times, makes it unbearable.

Mini history

Like Micro Machines before it, much of Microcopter's timed contests rely on your ability to manipulate general household objects to your advantage.

The goal is simple: reach a finishing line somewhere on the other side of each 2D stage, flying the copter in and around the maze of furniture and inanimate objects that intentionally litter the path

It's not the controls that cause any frustration, to be fair. Gaining altitude is a case of pressing '2', while steering is handled with keys '4' and '6'. The helicopter also has a handy winch that can be dropped and extended with the '8' key.

Acting like a magnet, the idea is to attach it to any number of objects in each stage, picking them up and dropping them into more useful areas of the map.

For instance, sometimes the finish line itself has to be picked up and placed in designated area – a particularly tricky task, if only because said line, as with all such objects, has a habit of landing face down when dropped.

Flying farce

While none of this is especially challenging – the game sometimes offering huge pointers about what needs to be done to progress – at other times it leaves you utterly clueless, with the name of the level in question often your only clue as to what's required.

Given that completing the stages in quick-time to win medals is the only way to unlock new stages, Microcopter's setup is not one designed to encourage experimentation, either.

In fact, the most common reaction if the solution isn't immediately apparent is to simply abandon the stage in question and Microcopter altogether.

This is a game that deserved a touch more time on the drawing board, sculpting levels so that they're just as engaging as they are true tests.

As it is, Microcopter simply comes across as an unsophisticated, unrefined experience - a game that demands you play by its own fiddly rules, with an appeal that proves to be just as minuscule as its setting.