Are you ready for a hardcore kart combat racing game with realistic driving with a children’s storybook art style? The joke is there is no joke. Teddy Floppy Ear’s – The Race has a good unique look that makes it stand out from a pack of other kart racing games. The real deterrent is that its a lot tougher to play, if you take a turn too hard, you will spin out and turning feels loose in general. Perhaps that makes it a better game to play with a keyboard or a steering wheel peripheral. Because of the difficulty it misses that child demographic and falls into the men who like colorful ponies demographic.
You race in single player or two players with local split screen. Before you begin, you have your choice of fourteen anthropomorphic characters and two little girls. Its a bizarre choice to have two humans girls thrown in the mix with animals. There’s no sort of indication that playing as the goat is better than the dog.
Next there is a choice of ten real world, European inspired vehicles including the Fiat, Maluch and the Trabant, with no indication of stats. You earn part upgrades by going through race seasons. You have them no matter what car you select. The only problem like the rest of the game is that without stats, its tough to feel any difference with or without them. Plus, once they’re unlocked, you have them forever.
The tracks are all closed circuit courses with three laps each that last around 90 seconds for each lap. They each feel like a healthy length at under five minutes each, but any longer than that would be too much. Like other kart racers, the tracks are wide to make room for the chaos that ensues. These tracks all stay on the ground. There are no sweet jumps. At the most you’ll go through a tunnel, under a bridge and then over it.
There are a few hazards to look out for, mud that will slow you down and water that’s so brilliant its a true hazard. Normal kart racers would spin you out then and there, but with Teddy Floppy Ear’s – The Race, the water affects when you next turn where even the slightest turn becomes harsh. If you ever drive through water, the longer you can drive forward, the safer you are. You always have brakes, but who uses those in a racing game?
The game lacks nitro and turbo, so the game is reliant on weapons. These weapons are all generic, bland and wholesome, but its what you want for a kids game. You run through hovering weapon icons each with their own color. White milk, yellow lemonade, maroon mud, cyan tacks, purple kibble, red fire extinguisher and blue boots. Milk makes you grow larger so you can flatten enemies if you’re going fast enough. The only problem is that you’re so large it becomes easy to tumble over and roll sideways. The fire extinguisher and kibble both seem to do the same thing which is a radial explosion that either pushes or tumbles over adversaries. The tacks spray a hard-to-see bed of tacks. Mud makes a mud puddle to slow down drivers, the lemonade does just about the same thing and the boots let you drive through any hazard. The mud, demimondaine and boots each give you a short nitro boost. Someone thought it would be a good idea for animals to leave pools of yellow and brown liquid on the track.
One of the best risk or reward mechanics in the game is having single weapons alone next to kiosks. Ninety-nine percent of the time you can grab the weapon just fine, but its that one percent that has you colliding into the stand. There is a respawn button, but it drops you from a bit high so its a few second penalty for using it.
The bulk of the game is short, two hours spread across four seasons with five tracks that each have a day and night to make them feel different. Three of the closed circuit tracks blend together while the castle and town feel beautiful and a fresh take with the art style. Night races are dark and only challenging because its tougher to see. There are lights and lanterns, but going over bridges and some other areas, they’ve been forgotten about.
There is no difficulty setting for the seasons. Instead the earlier seasons start with three tracks and the latter ones have more. It never felt like the later championships were any more difficult than the earlier ones. There are four difficulty levels for single races.
To keep you in the game there is a collector’s slalom which has you collecting stars along a path. Collecting over eighty percent grants you a voucher for a free vehicle. Collect all five and you unlock the new vehicle. This feels like a great mode to increase the game’s longevity without having too much development time. It sure beats having only a time trial.
Then you have the floppy cups which are tournament races where you go one-on-one against drivers. It just feels dull in a kart combat game to only have one racer. It also looks awkward when I’m the winner standing alone on top of a podium meant for three.
The unsung hero is the music. Its noticeable how soothing it is with a good light beat and melody. Its rare to find flutes in video game music let alone a racer.
Its a definite toss up whether to recommend the game. Its worth the cheap five dollar price tag for the two hours and whatever else you can garner from the game. It feels like the driving should have been more typical when it comes to a kid’s game. Plus there should really be a kid’s auto drive mode that mobile phone games seem to have. Its a game worth having a sequel for its style.