A review by Jeremy Hardin
Game – Kart Krashers
Developer/Publisher – Big John Games
Version – DSiWare
Price – $4.99
Obtained – Review Copy courtesy of Big John Games
Gameplay and Controls
In Kart Krashers, you play as one of 6 Kart racers whose goal is not to race other Karts (you’ll be the only Kart out there), but to collect stars and earn Gold Wheels based upon your points. Earn enough points and you will win up to three Golden Wheels in each event, which are the key to advancement in the Kart Krashers competition. You can win up to three Golden Wheels in each event and each stage has 3 events. The first event will always be the easiest, no enemies. The following two events get harder, but never were any of them too terribly difficult. As you no doubt can tell, the goal in Kart Krashers is simple and straightforward. The most convoluted part of this game, is the story. I’m not even going to get into the story, but I will say it involves ‘aliens and forced labor’. Even better is the fact that the developers at Big John Games never try and take the story seriously, so you can just laugh along with them.
In order to achieve the necessary score to move on, you have the scoring bonus multiplier on your side. Hitting objects quickly will increase the multiplier, so when you collect let’s say, a Gold Star worth 100 points, it’s value will be multiplied by your bonus. Of course, you can’t just drive around haphazardly and not expect there to be consequences. Throughout the stages, there will be obstacles and baddies that can hurt you, however you do have access to power-ups, including a shield. If you grab a shield and activate it, you can crash right into the baddies and earn major points! Power-ups will re-spawn after a few seconds, so no need to worry about them running out. There are three ways in which the event will end, 1)Kart destroyed, 2) Collect the last star, 3)Time runs out. I found myself on several occasions ending the event earlier than I expected by collecting the last star.
Controlling your Karts is easy, you will accelerate with A and reverse with B. The handbrake is controlled with the R shoulder button and items and power-ups are used by pressing the X button. You can also pull up a very basic map by holding the L shoulder button, but I never needed it. As you would expect from any game involving the use of motor vehicles, each of the 6 Karts has it’s own unique characteristics and some racers will be better suited than others in certain stages. The only trouble I ever had with controls is when my Kart would flip over, it would sometimes take several tries to flip my Kart by pressing the Y button. This was annoying, but didn’t happen enough to detract from my enjoyment.
One last point worth mentioning – achievements. There are a total of 42 achievements/medals you can earn while playing the game, plus you can be a completionist and try to obtain all 90 Golden Wheels. I know your score and multipliers factor into some of the medals, so it’s worth trying to rack the multiplier as high as possible.
Visuals and Sound
Big John Games created some fairly large and diverse 3D environments when they designed the stages for the game. There are 10 stages in all, so no stage ever get’s stale. In fact, it seems that as soon as I got accustomed to a stage, I had already unlocked the next one. As I said, the stages are diverse and range from a junkyard, to a mall, you’ll even go to the moon! The graphics and audio are pretty good. The soundtrack is nothing special, but enjoyable nonetheless. The sound effects are good as well, especially the sound of your engine as you tear around the stages.
Check out the official gameplay trailer and a whole slew of screenshots at the end of this review!
Concluding Overall Impressions
Kart Krashers is a fun and quirky game that offers quite a bit of entertainment, challenges, and content. At $4.99, you’ll be getting much more than what paid; with 30 events to compete in, 90 Golden Wheels to earn, and 42 Achievements/Medals, Kart Krashers is a great addition to your library.
Final Score: 4.5 out of 5