Toy Cars was developed by Eclipse Games and released on February 21, 2011 and costs 80 Microsoft Points.  A copy was provided by the developer for review purposes.

For anyone that has been gaming since the days of the original Nintendo Entertainment System, the arcade racing title Micro Machines was a game with tiny cars but with a lot of heart, and now the Xbox Live Indie Channel has been graced with a contemporary nod to that game in the form of Toy Cars.

Here’s what we liked:

4 player multiplayer – Nothing is more satisfying than ramming a buddy off track and then talking smack when he or she is sitting right next to you. Toy Cars does a fantastic job offering fun and thrilling multiplayer that adds more value to the overall game. Players control the cars from a top-down perspective sharing the screen with up to three buddies.

Colorful graphics – The game looks gorgeous with a cel-shaded look and tracks that have that Micro Machines trademark style of tiny cars zooming by real-life props like fruit, pencils and even notebooks to use as ramps.

Catchy soundtrack – A simple, yet fun soundtrack accompanies the game adding an additional layer of nostalgia to this throwback title to the NES days.

Progression system – Toy Cars has 8 different tracks and a robust career system that rewards the player with credits that can be used to purchase better vehicles.

Here’s what we didn’t like:

Car physics – The game offers up to nine unlockable vehicles, but most of them handle like the tracks were covered in ice, which none of them are. The player will be subjected to frustration because many of the cars have imprecise handling which are especially noticeable after landing a jump and they start to go haywire.

Unfair opponents – Although the player can purchase faster cars, when the A.I. opponents use the same car as the player they tend to go faster and are less susceptible to the awkward turns and car physics.

Toy Cars compliments the simplicity of the games of yesterday while adding a sense of 21st Century progression noticeably absent in a lot of other XBLIG racing titles. It’s flashy, fun and is great in small doses, especially when you have a few pals sitting next to you. The drawbacks don’t ruin the experience and the 80MSP price tag is more than enough reason to pick this title up.

Score: Buy it