Super Kids Racer is a simple racing game with a bland style, little challenge and only single race exhibitions. I’m on the cusp of liking it, but its tough to recommend with all its issues. Its things like 10% of the time, the car starts with a wheel in the ground, causing it to rumble too uncontrollably to drive. On another occasion my car fell through the track at the start of the race. Its something that a respawn or a restart fixed. It has cumbersome menus with a lot of time spent off the race track that should get streamlined since it’s a game for kids.
If you’re expecting a kart racer with weapons, turn back around. This is only mundane racing across eight tracks of wildly varying length. Everything from under a minute per lap to an overwhelming seven minutes. Its okay though, the game lets you pick how many laps you want to race and the default is 1. It’s the longer races that the flaws start to show. Driving is fine, but once you’re in the lead, you can get so far ahead that its devoid of challenge. It’s here that I should point out, achievements seem broken.
There are a laundry list of other issues, such as other opponents seem too dumb to stay on the track, some fall so far off the track, they can’t get back on. I’ve hung up a car on a guard rail and unable to reset the car, so I needed to restart the race. Sometimes restarting the race kicked me back to the main menu. Each race you complete will always send you back to the title screen. There seems to be no record for best time. Without any championship or records, its tough to keep track of your progress, other than your unlocks.
Everything gets unlocked easy enough, with thirty coins. The eight or so tracks unlock with thirty coins and the vehicles unlock with thirty. You’ll find these coins on the race track. Having the coins on the track gives you incentive to stray off the perfect path. Since there’s no record kept and there’s little threat of losing, you might as well veer to get them. While I’m talking about coins, I should bring up the fact that there are gems on the tracks and a gem counter, but I was never able to figure out what they did. There’s also an “upgrades” section on the title screen that does nothing.
There are over sixty vehicles broken into a few categories: sports cars, racer cars, city cars, speed cars and sweet cars for those who like to drive giant go-karts made of chocolate. The go-karts are giant and tower over the other cars so I have to question if these are all asset packs dumped into the game. Plus the wheels are so big they get stuck in vehicles or drag on guard rails to pull you into said rails. None of these vehicles shows stats, so I get forced to assume they’re all the same. I couldn’t tell the difference when playing for an hour. Selecting a vehicle is a bit of a chore, because the camera is so far away from the vehicle and then you need to wait for the vehicle to drive closer to see it. The motorists move so slow the camera has to fly in on them. It’s a long process.
Having such cumbersome menus makes me wish there were championship grand prix in this game. Let me have 3 – 5 races for 10 – 20 minutes without having to dig through a menu that resets after each race.
Each of the eight tracks is a closed circuit and there’s a variety of themes. The city and professional courses have are flat with plenty of 90 degree turns while the dirt and snow themes have winding roads with a good array of gentle curves and hair pin turns. The snow circuits are far too long for what little challenge they offer. You get the same traction with snow and dirt maps as you do the city and professional maps. That’s fine by me. I have lower standards with dirt cheap games. While I appreciate the track map showing where all the racers are, the snowy white mountains blend in with the gray map.
To the game’s credit, I can tell the developers tried to make a PC friendly port with controller support. When the game plays without issue, everything is fine, a bit dull, but still enjoyable. Its the terrible user interfaces for selecting vehicles and tracks that hinder the experience. Purchasing a vehicle while using a controller, will disable the controller. Sure you can still use a mouse to proceed, but it should be one or the other. There’s an inconsistency of user interfaces as well. Sometimes there is a car select screen with menus on the side, and other times it’s a menu on the top. Post match screens can be different from race to race and sometimes the post match buttons fail to work and I needed to Alt + F4 to close the game.
There are four camera angles that help enhance the experience on those seven minute laps. The typical chase cam, the hood cam, the top down angle that’s useless if you want to see what’s ahead and the last is the overhead camera that seems to get hooked to a helicopter. Its something to make it less mundane, but it should be a given with racing games rather than a compliment.
With its jazzy stock music and simple charm, I want to like this game. It’s easy to overlook the flaws and I see the potential here, there needs to be more polish. If it’s on sale, its worth a risk to see if you like it, but you’ve had your warning.