Thursday 3 May 2012

Mario Kart meets Crash Bandicoot on the Android Platform

      For those waiting for a Mario Kart like game for Android, it has arrived. At least that’s what many of the user reviews for Tiki Kart 3D say. Go over arrows for a temporary speed boost. Run into Pineapples to get a random item to use in the race. The pineapples are spread in a row and these rows are found throughout the tracks. Examples of these random items include a rocket to shoot other players, oil to slow down opponents, temporary turbo boost, an item(mine) that explodes if players collide with it. Sound familiar? One other point that often comes up in the user reviews is that the graphics of this game are nicely done(it’s in real 3D unlike a lot of apps that have “3D” in their titles). It looks like it could almost be an older console game with high end PS2 graphics or better. The music, jungle theme, menu’s and a few sound effects sound like they could be from the Crash series. Reminds me a lot of that floating wooden mask life thingy from the Crash games.

Screenshot's may not be as clear as actual gameplay
Lap, place, and speed are easy to spot
      There are different characters and karts with different attributes to choose from. Your current speed, item, position in the race, and minimap are all clearly displayed. And what 3D racing game would be complete if it didn't have a camera option? The button to change the camera's zoom and angle is clearly placed for you to use. Ever found yourself turning the controller on a game console as you were trying to turn in a game? Well this time you will have an excuse for doing so because this Android app uses your accelerometer to aid your in your turns. However, this may disturb your view of the track ahead.

      This game is Xperia Play Optimized.  For me the controls were a bit difficult. It is really easy to spin out or skid to a halt. Quite a few of the user reviews pointed this control issue too. (I’m horrible at Crash Bandicoot controls as well. Crash noob.) One other thing that bothered me was that the tutorials didn’t let me press one of my hardware buttons to move on to the next instruction or information. I had to press “next” on my touchscreen to move on, meaning I had to reposition my hand to press “next” and then had to move my hand back to the controls. My small hands might have contributed to this. So although the app looks like Crash on wheels with Mario Kart likeness, the handling and physics of the Karts isn’t as friendly as the Nintendo game. To be honest, I haven’t really played more than a few minutes of the Mario Kart games after Mario Kart 64 so maybe the controls are more similar to those newer versions than I think. I have improved at this application with practice, so perhaps more practice is needed.

Vroom Vroom 
      (Photos were taken from Google Play and rotated). Tiki Kart 3D was brought to you by developer Arb Studios LLC and takes up about 18 Megabytes. There is a FREE version and a $2.99 version. Not sure what the difference between the two is yet. It currently has 5million+ downloads. Don't be left out.


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