Nickelodeon Kart Racers is the latest game to get added to the long list of Mario Kart clones. Following many of the same concepts with its own Nickelodeon spin on it. The idea sounds good on paper but sadly it doesn’t come close to hitting the mark.
It isn’t necessarily a bad game since it’s obviously made as something for parents to play with younger kids; or at least that’s what I hope since the game lacks in almost every way besides maps. There’s very little depth to customisation, power-ups and character selection which is very disappointing considering the potential when it comes to Nickelodeon. The roster only consists of twelve racers, four of which are the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Others include Spongebob, Tommy from Rugrats, Arnold from Hey Arnold! and others from those three series. The only reason to play each different character is each of them have a power-up that is specific to them but besides that there is very little that matters in your decision on who you play.
Three game modes are available for play in either single player or local co-op. No online is implemented which emphasises more that the game is more aimed at children since a game like this gets most of its older audience to stay with the game through online play. Grand Prix, Free Race and Time Attack are the three selectable modes. If you’ve played Mario Kart you know what you’re in for since they play exactly the same. Grand Prix will make up the majority of your playtime since it has many different cups that can be played at different difficulties. Completing all available cups on a difficulty will unlock a few extra, longer and harder cups to play.
A couple dozen tracks are in the game which is great since everything else just seems very barebones and there isn’t much variety in everything else. Many different locations are in the background of each track, usually focused on a location from one of the shows featured in the game such as Bikini Bottom being the location for a few tracks. Visually there is a lot more going on although it isn’t exactly anything special, the same can be said for the character and vehicle models.
When actually racing the gameplay is again very similar to Mario Kart. You can drift around corners to boost, pick up power-ups with very similar functions with what you get depending on where you are placed and who you’re playing as. One thing you can pick up triggers pipes in that area of the track that drops slime you can pick up and use for boosts of varying levels based on the three stages on a bar. Some points in tracks will have your vehicle change to a boat as you go over rivers of slime or a glider as you cross huge jumps. Coins can be earned and collected as you race with an occasional victory lap allowing you to get boxes with coins and some items in to spend on the store. This store contains various types of paint jobs and different parts for your vehicle but is about as limited as the character selection.