These days when a TV series or media franchise wants to cash in on the games market they’ll do a crappy collectible card game or some endless runner on iOS devices. But back before the era of Apple and micro transactions people were unintentionally buying awful kart racing games featuring their favourite characters. Recently Rovio have gone oddly retro by announcing an Angry Birds kart racing game, which looks just awful. So in honour of this retro money grabbing scheme we at PixelBedlam present the Top 5 Most Shameful Kart Racing Games:
1. Muppets RaceMania
We all like the Muppets, I’d even go as far to say that if you don’t like the Muppets you probably don’t have a soul. Their voyages into games have been few and far between, the odd puzzle game or platformer have graced us but thankfully the Muppets haven’t sold out too much in that respect. That is apart from one dodgy experience on the PSone; Muppets RaceMania. Yes, RaceMania is apparently one word. The problem that affects RaceMania is the same that hamstrings all the other entries in this list, there is no logical reason that the Muppets would be kart racing, and further more, no reason they would be kart racing in locations like a desert, a haunted house, a tree or a fair ground. Seeing the characters in pseudo 3D was pretty cool and don’t get me wrong this game isn’t broken, but there’s no heart and no soul to this game, it’s just there for the money.
2. South Park Rally
The problem with South Park is that they ridicule the mainstream, they have managed many years of parody and satire, but thanks to some god awful business decisions Matt Stone and Trey Parker have allowed their child to be whored out to some awful game producers. Now being gaming fans as they are it’s hard to imagine they hadn’t noticed that games like South Park 64, South Park Rally and more recently South Park Tenorman’s Revenge were just god awful. Thankfully they’ve teamed up with Obsidian and Ubisoft to produce The Stick of Truth, a game that by all accounts so far has actually been written by the guys and isn’t a cheap cash in. South Park Rally unfortunately is a cash in, the same few lines of dialogue hammered home every few minutes, again; there is no logic to the locations or the vehicles the characters are in.
3. M&M’s Kart Racing
I was recently in London with my girlfriend to attend Eurogamer, whilst wandering around we happened upon a giant M&M store in Leicester Square. Instantly I was fascinated and filled with questions; Who likes M&M’s enough to get a whole store together? What do they sell other than sweets? How do they make a profit as these sweets are available around the world so they’d make awful holiday presents? My girlfriend walked away from me at this point and I still haven’t had a response I would say was acceptable.
My issue with the shop is the same issue I have with this game, M&M’s are candy coated chocolate or peanuts, how has a marketable brand arisen from this? Somehow a game came about, based on sweets I remind you, and what’s the logical choice when making a game based on sweets? A kart racer of course. This game is notoriously bad and broken and from what I could stand to play of it I can’t help but agree with this notoriety.
4. Angry Birds Go!
So I know I mentioned this at the start of this article but clearly this is something that is so shameful, or shameless depending on your outlook, that it bares mentioning again. An admittedly good physics based puzzler which has shilled and scrimped millions of dollars out of consumers is now essentially re-writing the canon of their own property by changing the genre to something so abstractly different it beggars belief. Rovio and Angry Birds are the Benjamin Button of the gaming world, they started off with a good property and then bled it dry before killing itself with a crappy looking, micro transaction filled, illogical piece of crap. I feel like this could be the beginning of the end people, strap in and get ready to detonate all the items you’ve picked up.
5. Hello Kitty Kruisers
Ok so this is another game that isn’t even out yet. Only announced back in October 2013, Hello Kitty Kruisers is inevitably going to be crap. But that isn’t what this list is about, this list is for the most shameful tie-in kart racers and if nothing else this game spells cruisers with a K and that’s enough to get it put on any negative list for anything. This game is out soon on iOS, Android and Wii-U; the fact this game is on Wii-U and mobile devices should be the first clue as to its quality, and also weirdly its faith in the Wii-U as a triple-A platform. The final nail in the coffin is the downright cheekiness of flat-out stealing MarioKart’s Rainbow Road track and releasing it in promotional screen shots.