Small is beautiful

Codemasters builds from the bottom up with Micro Machines v4

Small is beautiful
| Micro Machines v4

When it comes to games like Micro Machines, it's all a matter of scale. Featuring tiny vehicles racing around tracks constructed from looming household debris, there's also the slapstick violence of Tom and Jerry meets the high octane handling of World Championship Rally, with heavyduty multiplayer features thrown in for added party fun.

At least that's what Codemasters is promising as it revitalises the Micro Machines brand. Currently in development for both DS and PSP, Micro Machines v4 will offer hundreds of vehicles, from tiny street and stock cars to 4x4s, beach buggies, low riders and muscle cars, each with their own handling and special abilities. There'll be an array of explosive power-up weapons too, such as a giant hammer and an arsenal of guided missiles and other assorted projectiles, so you can attack as well as race your way to the chequered flag.

Like small boys with a box full of Tonka toys, Micro Machines v4's designers are marking out its tracks through the breakfast table, on kitchen surfaces, across the pool table (beware those deep, treacherous pockets) and around the rim of an overflowing bath. The game will also venture outside the house, with garden tracks, roof-top race outs and sewer-based skid pads, and tracks in supermarkets, museums and even one on a farm.

Due for a summer release, expect plenty more details to be forthcoming, most notably how Codemasters will be supporting the game's crucial online multiplayer options. Here's hoping for a Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection mode.