The Finnish studio Mental Moose Games brings to Xbox its first title, Wheelspin Frenzy, a top-down arcade racing game inspired in classics from the 16 and 32-bit era. Choose your favorite car, select one of twenty different tracks in four different locations and accelerate to the finish line! Will you be able to beat the challenging AI or three of your friends? Follow us in this review and discover more about this game.
- The progression system for the game is interesting and original. From the beginning, you have at your disposal only three tracks and two vehicles. To have access to more cars and vehicles, you must complete some special tasks like finishing in top 3 or completing a lap under 30 seconds. Somewhat original for a racing game.
- Wheelspin Frenzy has a very simple gameplay. You (try to) control your car using the left analog stick, accelerate with RT, brake with LT and use the A for the nitro. If you need to respawn your vehicle, you can hold Y for a few seconds. To fill your nitro bar, you must destroy objects in the scenario: fences, plates, barrels… everything counts!
- The AI of the game is quite challenging! Don’t expect opponents to take it easy on you (not even on the first races): They will play dirt, hitting you, pushing you out of the track and leaning on your car during curves. Be ready for some real challenge!
- Up to four players can play in split screen for maximum fun! Just remember multiplayer is only available offline.
- Do you know when you play something and it feels like somethings is missing? I had this feeling in numerous moments while playing Wheelspin Frenzy. As a top-down racer, since you can’t see what’s ahead, I really miss a map to indicate the layout of the track. To win the races, to memorize the tracks is extremely necessary.
- Although the game has twelve different cars, the initial ones really don’t feel different from one another. Racing with a tractor or a sedan feels almost like the same thing. You only start to feel some difference later in the game, after you unlock some more advanced cars. I miss knowing the status for each car (between max speed, acceleration and handling, for instance).
- While you don’t exactly need to stay inside the track in each race (you can continue the racing even after being out of the track for a long time), sometimes if you use a shortcut in a U-turn, for instance, the game doesn’t warn you that you missed part of the track and will be penalized. It happened several times, especially while playing in split screen (when these shortcuts mysteriously become more desirable), when I had been penalized and had to complete another lap. There should be some sort of restriction to stay out of the track for so long, respawning you back on track and/or warning about it.
- Graphics in the game are very simple and I do respect this artistic option from the developer. But some more details on scenarios and vehicles would be really welcome. TIP: right on beginning, go to settings and reduce the size of pixels to have an overall better visual for the game.
- One last thing I missed in the game is the option to quickly restart a race. If things don’t go as planned, you can quit the race or race it to the finish line and only them start the race again.
- Controlling the cars is inexplicably tough in this game! Every track feels like it’s covered in ice, not only the dirty or the icy tracks. I’m not sure it’s deliberate, but others who played the game with me didn’t like the game especially because of it.
- The sound falls short in this game. There’re some good music in menus and during tracks, but as I do prefer to listen to the engine of my car while racing, the sound of each car and general sound effects are really disappointing.
- While the AI opponents can quickly respawn after falling from a cliff or overturning, it takes long seconds for it to happen for you. And if you need to respawn after overturning, falling from a cliff or getting stuck behind a tree, it’s almost certain that you’ll lose the race.
- The list of tracks feels short. The game has only 20 tracks divided in 4 different areas: countryside, with dirt tracks, winterland, with icy tracks, mountain, with plenty of cliffs for you to fall, and racetrack. In less than one hour of gameplay you will have already raced all its tracks.
- While playing in multiplayer, for several times I had problems to unlock new tracks even after completing the requisites.
Wheelspin Frenzy [Score: 60/100] an interesting racing game. Its challenging AI and the possibility to play it with three more friends is something that makes it worth your time. It misses some more polishing especially related to its gameplay. Hope the dev can make these small adjustments to improve this already promising game.
With a history of gaming that goes from his old man’s Atari 2600 to his Xbox One, Rafael or RAF687, our Brazilian editor, has a love for games as old as he can remember. He has already spent countless hours in many consoles (Mega Drive/Genesis, Sega Saturn, PS1, PS2 and Xbox 360) and is always ready for more (as long as his wife is asleep). Raf has been writing for LifeisXbox since 2017, with a passion for games of almost all genres – though we know he has a special place in his heart for RPGs, racing games and anything that includes pixel art. Writing about games has always been a childhood dream to Raf, dream that he has fulfilled reviewing games for you here. You can drop him a message at Twitter, Facebook or Xbox Live at any time.