Everyone who’s 30-years old and over remembers Micro Machines in some capacity, whether for the various tracks across bathtubs and kitchens or for its smooth yet simple gameplay. Perhaps the biggest credit I can give to Make Way is that the joy I hold close to my heart from playing Micro Machines back in the day returned as I blitzed around the chaotic tracks, thanks mainly to how good it feels to play. That core, responsive racing is central to Ice Beam’s racer, but that’s not all on offer.
Far from it, in fact. What Make Way does is give players a chance to get creative and downright evil. In order to win, you must earn points by reaching checkpoints, finishing first, and ticking off other objectives in order to get more points the longer the tracks go on. It’s quite an intense racer anyway, as four cars make their way around courses, having the option to knock into another and take advantage of tight corners with potential to wave goodbye to the opposition (for a few seconds, at least).
Players respawn after each checkpoint, meaning revenge can come at any point. Annoy someone enough and they’ll come for you, which is something I found out time and time again. Throw in the fact the the track is built after each run by every player in the race. Before each race starts, all players scramble to pick a piece of the track, be it a loop, hairpin, straight, or one with a big hole in the centre, then frantically try and attach it to the pre-existing track. Once everyone’s chosen, you dive in and try to make your way to the finishing line.
As soon as you’ve finished with the newest iteration of the track, it’s time to add more pieces in another flurry of decision-making. Along with new pieces of the track, there’re also plenty of obstacles you can put in the way, or speed boosters that can be placed in awkward positions, ramps, and so much more. The more you play and rank up, newer pieces of the track become available, leading to a large amount of new additions to future races. This replayability is what makes Make Way so much fun to play, despite its frustrations that arise from other player’s track and item placement.
Make Way can be stressful, and it can cause the blood pressure to rise, but it makes those moments of revenge and victory all the sweeter. I remember one particular player kept ramming me off the track whenever I tried to drive past a blockade that led into a halfpipe. I grew wise to his shenanigans and decided to place a speed boost just before the blockade, which saw him fly past me and disappear into oblivion. It helps you have so much choice to make every race different from the last, but Make Way also has a selection of weapons and powerups you can use akin to the magical blocks seen in Mario Kart.
Drive through these, and you’ll be able to utilise rockets, green blobs to slow down opponents, and speed boosts to name a few. They’re just another layer of gameplay in Make Way that make it consistently fun. My only real gripe with it is the camera angles, and how they can zoom in too much, meaning you’ll have to rely on memory sometimes to know what part of the track is next. If you’re speeding up, it does zoom out, but it can be frustrating, especially when you’re already dealing with those sneaky opponents trying to make you fail.
Make Way is a very accessible game, with simplistic controls that take no time to get familiar with. Every race is different, and there’s always a need to win as you earn more track pieces and obstacles, along with new vehicles to unlock. If you’re after a racer that does something different (and does it well) while still providing fluid movement and fundamental handling, you’re not going to go wrong with what Ice Beam has pulled off here.
Every race is different
Lots of track pieces and obstacles to choose from
Great sense of progression
Camera angle can frustrate