ManiaDrive - a (slightly crazy) arcade car game

  • April 10, 2008
  • Avatar for peter

ManiaDrive describes itself as "an arcade car game on acrobatic tracks, with a quick and nervous gameplay (tracks almost never exceed one minute)" and also as a clone of Trackmania.

What I can tell you is that ManiaDrive is a lot of fun, and extremely addictive at that.

Download the game from the site and on Linux, simply extract the archive and run ./ You will need 3D support enabled in your Linux distribution, or the game will run with terrible performance.

Once you're up and running, you can get started straight away with the Beginner's tracks. You drive a clapped-out Renault Clio around a simple track. The aim is to get your car through all the checkpoints and to the finish in the quickest time possible (beating the 'Gold Time' on each track unlocks the next, and is how you can progress through).

Once you've been taught the basics of the checkpoint system, how to run, jumps and more, you can progress into the real levels (under the Pro heading).

ManiaDrive menu

Each level is challenging, but not so much to make it frustrating. I found that progressing through the first few levels, after doing the Beginner series, was difficult enough to be rewarding (and addictive, for that matter), but was also easy to just pick up and play.

ManiaDrive screenshot

The game also features a soundtrack of Creative Commons-licensed (mostly punk rock) music (see the bottom of this page for the listings). The tracks work well as a backdrop to the game, but might get annoying after a while. Thankfully, you can easily mute the music in Options by turning its volume to the lowest setting.

Unfortunately, the website's News section hasn't been updated in a very long time, but you can find some additional downloadable tracks from there as well if you finish the set that the game comes with. Heck, if you're really ambitious, there's even a track editor (./ in the download directory) so you can build your own.

If you're looking for realism in ManiaDrive, forget it. This game is all arcade, and doesn't pretend to be anything more or less. For what it is though, it is very entertaining. A word of warning though - if you need to get stuff done, you might want to stay away.

Avatar for peter Peter Upfold

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