I’ve never been a huge gamer, but if there’s one thing I’m a sucker for, it’s a good kart racer. There’s something so addictive about whizzing around goofy little courses and hurling projectiles at other racers, and it certainly brings out the competitive side in all of us. While nobody will ever dethrone Mario Kart as the reigning supreme example of the genre, many newcomers have come close – and the latest attempt comes in the form of DreamWorks All-Star Kart Racing, available now on PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
Developed by the same team behind the Nickelodeon Kart Racers games – the third of which is one of the best karting titles on the market today – this DreamWorks-based entry into the genre is another surprise hit for the studio. With 20 fan-favourite characters to choose from and genuinely exciting courses inspired by all the DreamWorks films, the game is a treat for fans. While the core gameplay doesn’t reinvent the wheel, there are some fun little unique touches thrown in throughout the game. Gathering music notes across the courses mean the Trolls will assist you with special power-ups, while magical time-sensitive rainbow shortcuts add an exciting advantage to fast drivers.
There is a genuine challenge to the game, too – with four speeds (basically equating to difficulties), the game is far from a walk in the park. Unlocking some of the characters and vehicle parts come with difficulty, which is refreshing and rewarding. Younger players will be fine on the easier settings, though. And of course, this is a kart racer, so it’s at its best when shared with friends – either on split screen or online.
From the Shrek-narrated tutorial that opens the game, it’s clear that the game was unable to secure original voice actors for the characters. Voice performances here range from cringe-inducing impressions to some that are surprisingly decent, while others are just completely bonkers – a strangely gruff “weeeeeeeee” from Boss Baby whenever taking a boost becomes one of the game’s biggest laughs despite sounding absolutely nothing like original star Alec Baldwin (although nobody was expecting him to reprise the role any time soon…). Still, this doesn’t detract from the game and rather adds a few unexpected chuckles along the way.
Gameplay is solid and the game largely feels polished, and most-of-all, made with a real love for its license. The courses are filled with charming little touches and stunning attention to detail, and it’s great to race through scenes from Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar, and more. While DreamWorks is often seen as a lesser Disney, having all of their characters and worlds in one place just goes to show how stacked their catalogue is. And I will stand by The Boss Baby as one of the greatest animated films of all time. Come at me.
DreamWorks All-Star Kart Racing is a fast-paced and exciting karting romp packed with loveable characters, brilliant track designs, and a real sense of love for its source. DreamWorks fans will have an absolute blast with the game – especially when shared with family and friends of all ages.
DreamWorks All-Star Kart Racing is developed by Bamtang Games and published by GameMill Entertainment