Making customised spaceships and vehicles is one of those childhood pleasures that everyone wishes they didn't have to grow out of. Luckily, for those of us who can no longer justify spending the mortgage money on the latest Lego theme set, Lego Racers includes enough knobbly plastic bricks to satisfy any building nostalgia as well as enough racing action to appeal to all those who're fortunate enough to still own a Lego set or two.
This is a driving game in the familiar Mario Kart style which also gives you the ability to race your own customised cars. You can make them as outlandish as you like, using a good selection of basic parts, and you can enter them in a series of seven different trophies, each defended by a Lego boss character. If you defeat them you'll be able to cannibalise their cars for choice bits, enabling you to remodel your current vehicle or just build a new one from scratch.
The Lego theme extends to the weapons you pick up on the tracks, which can be powered up by collecting extra white blocks. For example, if you get a speed booster, you can use it straight away to gain a limited advantage or hold on to it until you get a couple, in which case it turns your car into a rocket- powered flying machine. Unfortunately the actual game play isn't quite up to the standard the concept deserves. The handling is twitchy and imprecise, so it's annoyingly difficult to adjust your line to grab the right power-up, and the results of the three-lap races are usually determined at the start. If you miss time your turbo, it's often impossible to catch the leader - you can race like Schumacher, but you'll finish third or fourth, with the race winner almost a full lap ahead. But if you can put up with these shortcomings, Lego Racers is actually pretty good, and the create-a-car feature makes it a unique racer.