Hot Wheels Unleashed has proven to be a surprisingly fun little racer, channeling the spirit of Mario Kart's Rainbow Road shenanigans across an entire $50 game.
Unleashed got its first substantial DLC yesterday with the release of its Batman expansion. $15 nets you 5 cars, some customization options, and, most crucially, a Batcave level to build your tracks in. From the official website:
“A fantastic new environment is waiting for you to race and build tracks worthy of this epic challenge between good and evil, with a new themed module! Explore the secrets of the Batcave, through hi-tech devices, rocks and of course… the Batmobile! Plus, new customization items inspired by the world of Batman for your Basement and your Unleashed Profile!”
The idea of building Hotwheels tracks in the Batcave really tickles my fancy. It's a fun, lovingly-crafted representation of the World's Greatest Detective's very serious and important office, and we get to fill it with silly little toy race tracks with die-cast Batmobiles zipping around.
Join me in my mind palace where Bruce Wayne is tripping over the toys we've left strewn around, or better yet, where he's huddled over a track in full Bat-regalia, prepping for a race. It's almost a funnier image than Batman fighting shirtless and still wearing his cowl.
Still, it's a little hard to recommend at this price, and if you're totally fresh to Hotwheels Unleashed, you're looking at a $65 minimum buy-in to experience some Bat-goodness. While they're a couple years old and don't have as many bells and whistles, Ubisoft Nadeo's Trackmania games offer similar loop de loop arcade racer goodness at a lower cost, particularly Trackmania² Stadium, which is currently just $10 on Steam.