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Mantis Burn Racing – VooFoo Studios
Almost every gamer will have come across a racer at some point during their gaming career. Whether it be beloved kart racers like Mario Kart, or traditional racers like Gran Turismo. But does anybody remember top-down racers? This is where the racing genre began and VooFoo Studios are looking to bring this style of racer back to the forefront, with Mantis Burn Racing.
This top-down, isometric racer combines realistic, physics based driving with deep RPG customisation to deliver a robust and energetic experience. Frequently drifting around tight bends and the constant sense of speed feels very arcade like and refreshing, despite the formats historic roots.
Mantis Burn Racing is VooFoo’s first IP, after operating as a work for hire studio producing games such as Pure Pool and Hustle Kings. Known for their graphical fidelity, the studio looked to what genre they could apply that attribute to. Creative Director, Shaun Read, explains how the idea for Mantis came about:
“We’re big racing fans and the owner of VooFoo only made racing games before starting the company, titles such as Juiced, Ford Racing and Lamborghini. Eight of us then decided to make a top-down racer with a deep RPG element to it.”
It’s this RPG element that really gives the game legs. Vehicles can be upgraded and customised extensively, with each feeling unique, Shaun describes:
“Each of the vehicles have a certain amount of slots, and as you earn XP and go down an infinite XP line, come one of five different kinds of upgrades that are infinite, too. So you can upgrade the engine, gearbox, suspension, boost and tyres.”
Once those are filled, the vehicle can be upgraded, changing its appearance and granting you additional slots to keep upgrading. There are 300,000 different upgrade combinations on the top-tier vehicles. That vehicle can then be taken through a 20-hour career mode with “9 different events within that,” Shaun states.
Some of those modes include varions to the classic race mode, like sprint, but then there’s Knockout and Accumulator which spice things up a little. Knockout eliminates those last over the finish line after each lap until only one remains, whereas Accumulator revolves around racking up a certain amount of points.
Mantis Burn Racing fills a long lost void in the racing space. Top-down racers may exist in the mobile market, but they are certainly lacking on home consoles. Mantis is a fun pick-up and play experience, with much enjoyment to be had competing against friends via split-screen or online.
Mantis Burn Racing is available now on Steam Early Access, and is coming to PS4 and Xbox One before this quarter of the year is over.