Micro Machines is a circuit-type racing game with top-down graphics. Players select a character from a vast roster and race against CPU or human opponents; neither the races nor the cars the player finds himself in are related to the character. Each character has a CPU strength rating but there are zero differences between them when played by human players.
Micro Machines is based on the toy line of the same name of very small collectible car models. To suit their miniature form, each course in the game is set in a region of a regular home: the kitchen table, a games room with a pool table, a garden, etc.
Micro Machines was released on almost every console and home computer system available in 1994. It also saw a sequel: Micro Machines 2: Turbo Tournament.
One Player Mode
In this mode there are only two vehicles are in play: one player controlled and one AI. The objective is to gain enough distance between the opponent as to make him stay out of the screen, when this happens the car on screen is awarded a point from the opponent's pool (each player starts with 4 each). These points go back and forth until someone has all eight points or the race ends naturally after three laps.
This mode places the player in 25 races against three other AI controlled vehicles. The player starts with a set number of lives, and loses them for each race where they don't place in the top two places. Once they run out of lives, they are eliminated. The AI characters are also eliminated and replaced by stronger opponents as they place badly through the races.
Two Player Mode
This mode is the same as described in the "One Player" section, only both vehicles are human-controlled.
In Tournament two players are pitted against each other in the same fashion as Head-to-Head for a series of five races and whoever wins most races out of the five is declared winner.
Vehicles and Environments
The type of vehicles change, and are fixed for each environment:
Bathtub - Powerboats
These are standard powerboats with standard handling. The Bathtub stages are relatively free of course hazards.
Breakfast Table - Four by Four
A four-by-four jeep like off-roader that controls well over rough terrain. The breakfast table is filled with food spills that the four-by-four has little trouble with.
Desktop - Sportcars
These convertible cars may be small but they do put out a fight with a high top speed and finicky handling. The Desktop environment has a lot of ramps and barricades.
Worktop - Warriors
A group of mean looking cars that look like they come right out of Mad Max. Decent handling and speed but are best suited for bumping each other off the course. The worktop is filled with tools and other impassable objects.
Billiards Table - Formula One
Formula One (or open-wheel) racecars, like in real life, sport extremely high top speeds on straights and high acceleration without a compromise on the corners. The billiards table naturally has a lot of pool balls and cues to get in the players' way.
Sandbox - Turbo Wheels
Dune buggy vehicles designed for the sandy terrain of the sandbox. Obstacles include buckets and spades.
Garden - Choppers
The helicopters have tricky turning cycles but are able to fly over all but the tallest obstacles in the garden course.
Bedroom floor - Tanks
Tanks are slow vehicles with poor turning but have the advantage of shooting one's opponent, forcing them to respawn behind the player's location. The goal of these stages is to stay ahead and elude the shots of those behind them. The bedroom floor stage is filled with toys and other obstacles to use as cover.
Backyard - Rufftrux
Huge monster trucks in a special time trial race. Fit through the obstacles to earn a 1up on this stage.
Although the player's character doesn't determine the racing characteristics of their vehicle, the computer A.I. of each character is different. Spider is notably a very fast opponent.