Micro Machines 2 Tournament: the best multiplayer Megadrive game?

Micro Machines 2 Turbo Tournament

Who could have imagined that a game adapted from a toy license would propel itself among the very best multiplayer games of the 16-bit era? Not many people, let’s be honest. And yet Micro Machines 2 Turbo Tournament did it and still remains today a cult cartridge on Megadrive.

At the antipodes of the battle of teraflops, 4K and 60 fps, NEO Classics offers you a return to the origins of video games. From the 2D title in large pixels to the less distant game to the hesitant 3D, this chronicle invites you to (re)discover the video game nuggets that opened the world to the 10th art…


Video game toy license adaptations have always proven to be big misses. Games Barbie, Action Man, Gi-Joe and others Hot Wheelsto name only the best known, were in fact only derivative products whose sole objective was to lure the somewhat gullible kids into clinging to their parents’ jackets and theirs.
claim as a Christmas or birthday present.

But there was an anomaly in the matrix, the exception that proved the grim rule: Micro Machinery. Do you remember those miniature vehicles of which we wonder today what the kids of the nineties could find them to arouse such enthusiasm among them? Personally, even as a kid, I didn’t really understand the point of the thing. But hey, some found it funny and
even collected.

So when the first Micro Machinery released on Megadrive in 1991 and while the magazines of the time were devoting reviews rather positive, it completely escaped my radar. You can imagine that in 91 I had other fish to fry: sonic, Quackshot, Streets of Rage, Another World Where Golden Ax 2there was already enough to do on the
console from Sega.

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Micro Machines 2 Turbo Tournament

A revolutionary cartridge

But now two years later, Codemasters reiterates with a sequel that will radically change the game. However, in form Micro Machines 2 Turbo Tournament is very close to its predecessor. Like the latter, it’s a top-down racing game, a perspective popularized by titles such as Super Cars, Badlands Where Super Off Road.

We also find many of the circuits of the first part, for some almost identical, as well as certain vehicles. Even the realization of the title has not changed much, when it was already not really dreaming on the first opus. But then what could have happened to explain the sudden popularity of this sequel?

Micro Machines 2 Turbo Tournament

In a word: the J-Cart. This is a cartridge with two additional controller ports, thus allowing Micro Machines 2 Turbo Tournament to gather four players around the console without having to invest in a multitap. And that makes all the difference. Already of one, because one multitap, personally, I’ve never come across it on the shelves of stores in my town, and in any case the games using it are not legion, the investment was difficult to defend against parents. You can believe me I tried!

Codemasters passes the second!

With four players, or even eight on the mode Party Game (two per controller), Micro Machines 2 Turbo Tournament takes on a whole new dimension! It is also a bit as if all that was actually missing from the original title was to update its full potential. But the developers of Supersonic Software also had the good idea to make some small changes to the gameplay of the latter to make foursomes even more frenzied.

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Micro Machines 2 Turbo Tournament

Like, for example, to further increase the speed of the cars in the running and to erase the differences in power between the different types of vehicles. Why bother with big trucks dragging themselves painfully on the track? Might as well go all out from one end of the race to the other! And the least we can say is that the buggers did not go there with a dead hand. The control of the vehicle is thus particularly difficult and the game almost has the air of die and retry. Added to this is also an even more extravagant vehicle physics with collisions with much more pronounced effects, punishing even more heavily the impacts between competitors or against decorative elements.

Fits of laughter and tantrums

It is thus necessary to memorize the tracks and anticipate the turns so as not to systematically fall into the void or get lost off the track at the slightest change of trajectory. Indeed, the perspective seen from above does not allow you to have an eye on what awaits our racing car and to prepare its changes of direction.

And there are also many obstacles to avoid, such as running drills on the DIY workbench, bumpers on the pinball machine or the sponge waiting for competitors in the kitchen sink and on which you have to succeed to stop to be able to cross. Races
are full of small ideas of this kind and are thus much more
inventive than were that of the first part. And then you obviously have to rely on collisions between racing cars to spice up the races a little more, the deceitfulness of some provoking the indignation of others!

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Micro Machines 2 Turbo Tournament

All this put together gives rise to totally epic battles where fits of laughter follow nervous attacks. Micro Machines 2 Turbo Tournament has thus become a classic of the Megadrive. Although also released on the Super Nintendo, it was Sega’s cartridge that made history thanks to the possibility of four players playing without having to put the
hand to wallet for a multitap. And the game has lost absolutely nothing of its interest almost thirty years after its release! Are we having a party?

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