Main Street Mobile Arcade: Warped Kart Racers — That game ain’t right…
Warped Kart Racers was never going to be the next Mario Kart. That was never the aim. It’s a relatively small release exclusively for Apple Arcade. The biggest draw and novelty is featuring a crossover of characters you’d probably thought you’d never see in a racing game together such as characters from King of the Hill competing with American Dad and Family Guy (is Solar Opposites popular? I honestly have no idea) characters (all under the Disney umbrella now, which as I’ve stated previously, makes the incredibly generic title very confusing.).
But still, what could have been a pretty decent Kart Racing game fails incredibly hard in some key areas that really keep its potential low even as a game of its stature.
So let’s start with one of my biggest annoyances, and this certainly isn’t exclusive to Warped Kart Racers, but the game is almost unplayable on an iPad through touch controls. The virtual d-pad is very unresponsive and even if it was the placement of other touch controls for drifting and using items is just kind of awkward. It gets way better with a controller, I paired one of my Series X controllers with my iPad and had a much better experience, but I stand by the notion that a game developed for a platform that is based around touch screen gameplay should play well on a touch screen without needing controller, especially something as expensive as an Apple product which again this game is exclusive to.
Warped Kart Racers does have a surprisingly large cast of characters, and lots of customizable kart parts to mix and match and unlock but the problem is aside from it being cosmetic, absolutely none of this matters. There’s no difference between racing in one kart vs. another or one character vs. another, it’s just different skins. I’m not expecting something super deep but if the customization of kart parts is simply cosmetic, there should at least be some difference between the racers even if it’s just boiled down to a few different class types or something.
And this ties to another problem with Warped Kart Racers in that it really lacks a sense of speed. Acceleration is automatic, but it’s all at the same slow-feeling pace. You can gain brief bursts with drifting and speed boosts panels and or items but the general lack of acceleration hurts.
Ultimately though, what really truly does Warped Kart Racers in is how progression is handled. As you might expect, most characters and kart parts are unlocked by completing the championship tracks. But you can’t just win (or in most cases place at least third), you have to complete additional objectives.
And you don’t have to complete some, you have to beat them all in order to advance, and they get downright arbitrary even on the rookie level, including things like drifting a number of times/distance, and even hitting enemies with specific items which often can boil down to complete luck in multiple ways because item boxes drop random items and sometimes you’ll have to just drop an item on the track and hope it hits somebody (there’s also a battle arena mode but all this pretty equally applies to that as well). Having to unlock certain characters and/or parts by completing these objectives would be absolutely fine, but requiring every single one to even advance is completely ridiculous.
So ultimately Warped Kart Racers could’ve been an at least mildly entertaining if not particularly deep racing game, but it just gets in its own way by not only lacking any depth but also by gating progress in a really annoying and unnecessary manner. There are tons of better racing options out there on mobile, some of them included in Apple Arcade so check those out instead.
That’s it for today, and I wasn’t planning for this to be a mostly mobile-focused month but they just recently announced a new Marvel card game called Marvel Snap which I’ll be posting thoughts about in my next entry in the next couple of days so lots of mobile stuff this month. See ya real soon!