Give me a game that puts you behind the wheel of a vehicle and I’ll be more than happy. Throw in some top-down visuals that bring back memories of the likes of Supercars 2 or Micro Machines, and you may not see me worrying about anything else for a long old time.

So getting the chance to go hands on with Mantis Burn Racing at EGX 2016 was something I was never going to turn down. Especially seeing as the team behind it, Voofoo Studios, are the same team who have produced visually stunning titles from the Pure series; Pool, Hold’em and Chess.

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You may wonder how on earth a developer can go from making something as slow paced as pool or chess, and then head straight on out to the world of racing. But as they were more than happy to point out to me, a racing game is something they’ve wanted to create for some time and with their reputation of stunning graphics well in place, has finally put them in a position to create one.

And so Mantis Burn Racing has been born and if I’m being honest, it’s nothing short of brilliant.

Those who can hark back to the good old days of top-down racers will be instantly familiar with the concept. Jump in a car, and fire it round numerous tracks as fast you can, beating off other opponents, drifting like your life depends on it, and above all else, trying to take down those personal bests that constantly get set. Winning is everything in Mantis Burn Racing – and you should never settle for second place.

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Vehicular wise, there are three categories of cars in place with dune buggies, trucks and road racers all competing side by side. An RPG style upgrade system allows for plenty of unlockable opportunities and should see you being able to shape your vehicles to your own liking, with additional boost options and the like all present. And you’ll need to mess around with the tuning a fair bit if you wish to succeed across the numerous track types that are in place.

But whilst Mantis Burn provides a very deep solo career mode that brings the opportunity to participate in fast paced bumper to bumper racing, all videogame racers are ultimately judged on their multiplayer capabilities. Mantis Burn doesn’t look lost in that department either with both a 4-player local split screen option, and then the chance to go online with up to 8 players ensuring that the racing action never stops. Obviously these are going to be key to how well Voofoo’s product appeals to the masses, but chances are, the gamers will flock.

Should you somehow get bored of the standard racing, the inclusion of plenty of challenges, fun game modes and the promise of regular updates will keep your Mantis Burn experience sweet.

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Already out on Steam Early Access, Mantis Burn Racing will be arriving on Xbox One and PS4 very soon, and if you have even the slightest interest in a new racer, one that goes about things in a very different way to the likes of Forza Horizon 3, then you should be checking it out.

The hands on at EGX proved to me that Voofoo Studios have exactly what it takes to create an awesome racer. Not only does it look stunning (which you would expect with their history), but the in-house physics engine that has been included allows for a winning experience.

Because you see, winning is everything!

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