The Hot Wheels are one of the best-known brands of the toy giant Mattel. So far, the company has focused more on a younger target group, with a new video game for mobile devices that should now change. With the racing game Hot Wheels Infinite Loop, a free-2-play title will soon be released worldwide, which is supposed to combine fast races with direct control and low entry barriers. Mattel presented the game at Gamescom 2019.

There are countless different Hot Wheels racing cars available on the market: speedsters based on animals, beefy trucks, fast racing cars - in the mobile game Hot Wheels Infinite Loop, the diversity should be reflected directly in the feel of the game. The release of the Free-2-Play-Racer coincides with Gamescom 2019. The publication will initially take place for iOS. Android is also planned, but will come later.

Cult brand comes as a mobile game

With the introduction of Hot Wheels Infinite Loop, Mattel wants to establish a new digital racing game on mobile devices. The plan behind the project is to reach an older target group than before: “The game is aimed at children aged 13 and over,” reveals Russel Iriye, Head of Marketing at Mattel Digital Games. With this racer, the developers have focused on an easy entry. Nevertheless, there is enough room with Hot Wheels Infinite Loop to improve as an ambitious player. Iriye aptly describes it as “Jump right in”. The feel of the game approaches the motto “easy to learn, hard to master” at least. Every Hot Wheels car is characterized by its individual driving characteristics: racing cars are extremely fast, but are difficult to control; Trucks run at a more leisurely pace and are great for bumping into other players.

Crashes play a big role in Hot Wheels Infinite Loop: the game is reminiscent of Mario Kart - and feels comparable. With simple touch buttons (left, right, slide and boost) players control their speedsters through the streets.

Despite the simple operation, the different Hot Wheels cars play each other quite differently. Photo: Marie Volkmann

Despite the simple operation, the Hot Wheels Cars play each other quite differently. Photo: Marie Volkmann

The route is reminiscent of the Hot Wheels franchise - including countless jumps and stunts. In terms of play, Hot Wheels Infinite Loop looks confused in the first few minutes, but the first successes come quickly: with every race you drive (and there were only a few in the play-off session), the handling improves noticeably. "After a week of practice, players should have mastered the basic cars," says Russel Iriye of the entry-level friendliness of Hot Wheels Infinite Loop. As part of a solo mode, players can complete challenges and thereby unlock rewards. 

However, the focus is on racing against other players (PvP) - online. An active internet connection is therefore absolutely necessary in order to be able to play the Hot Wheels Racer. Racers get new cars through trophies and achievements. Everything that fans of Hot Wheels expect in terms of crazy creations is included: bone-racing cars, sharks, fat trucks. Racing cars that are based on external licenses (such as Star Wars) do not exist at the time of publication, reveals the head of marketing at Mattel Digital Games: “Franchises may come in the future,” says Iriye. They also thought of rare skins for the cars - so this idea could also make it into the game in the near future. 

Hot Wheels Infinite Loop is aimed at mobile gamers who enjoy racing and collecting cars. Photo: André Volkmann

Hot Wheels Infinite Loop is aimed at mobile gamers who enjoy racing and collecting cars. Photo: André Volkmann

The release will take place on two routes: a futuristic version of New York and London. Further routes are also planned for the future and will be implemented free of charge. Optional microtransactions, on the other hand, cause costs. Cars can be bought with coins or activated in a playful way using blueprints. Mattel does not ignore the delicate subject of loot boxes. There will also be a paid, monthly bookable VIP program at Hot Wheels Infinite Loop. With regard to the free-2-play system, Mattel Digital Games is not breaking new ground and is relying on proven purchase incentives. 

Mattel Digital Games has limited the number of races at Hot Wheels Infinite Loop. Participants must pay a ticket for each race. Five of them are available to the player. When all are used up, players have to wait for new top-ups - or visit the shop. Even if there are microtransactions, all content should be able to be earned without using real money, promises Russel Iriye.

 The racer for the “best-selling toy in the world” is already available for iOS. Android users can already pre-register in the Google Play Store. 

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