REVIEW: Smurfs Kart
As a kid, I always enjoyed watching the Smurfs cartoon. Now that I have kids, they, of course, lean toward the newer Smurfs content, but it is something we all enjoy. When we learned there was going to be a Smurfs kart racer game that looked similar to Mario Kart, we were excited to give it a try. When I got the game, the kids were at school which gave me a chance to preview it before they got home and took it over. I knew when I started playing it that it was going to be a hit. I was having such a good time playing the kart racer that I was almost late picking them up.
Good from the get-go
Smurfs Karts has three different race modes to choose from: Time Challenge, Grand Prix, and Free Race. With two difficulty levels, each mode features gameplay that was friendly enough when playing with my kids and challenging when playing by myself. Since each of the 12 Smurf characters has a unique ability for their power-ups, choosing your racer from the roster could involve some strategy. Overall, though, it just makes finding the character that works best for you an entertaining event. I ended up racing as Handy over and over again, wreaking havoc on the race track with his drones.
Keeping things on track
The different tracks in Smurfs Kart are where the game shined brightest. My kids loved racing through the Fluorescent Caves and we all went crazy for Chaos at Gargamel's, especially when he sees you. Each track has a unique environment that engrosses you in the perspective of a Smurf racing against your fellow Smurfs. Whether racing through cages in Gargamel's house, avoiding a sleeping Azrael, or floating in a bubble, the tracks are perfect for this game and what I would have expected from a kart racing game involving Smurfs.
Classic racing game mechanics... but with Smurfs
Once the racing begins, you are pitted against seven other Smurfs -- and the competition is fierce. The race style is similar to other kart racing games on the market -- Mario Kart, Team Sonic Racing, Nickelodeon Kart Racers, Crash Team Racing... you name it, Smurfs Kart features the same sort of fun racing style.
Your racer has three laps to navigate the absolute chaos that is a race involving Smurfs. I had no issues with the controls and they accommodate all skill levels. I really enjoyed the speed of each race as the quick pace added to the hectic feeling that is expected with the kart racing genre.
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There are ample chances to grab a bonus box and use your bonus to maintain your lead or fight your way from eighth to first place. There is no better feeling than chasing down first place with a perfectly timed shortcut and bonus combination.
I would add that this game might have the best start bonus control I have ever experienced. Anyone can hit the speed bonus at the beginning, but it is still difficult enough that it still takes skill to hit it just right to send your kart zooming past the other racers.
There is no real customization to your character in the game which is a change from what a game of this type usually offers. There are no alternate outfits and each character has their own kart, but there is nothing you can do to change the look of the vehicles. This didn't bother me, but that might be because I am older. My kids were a little disappointed about the lack of customization, but it is not a make-or-break feature for any of us.
Sing a happy song and Smurf the whole day long
Overall, Smurfs Kart is a fun racing game to consider adding to your Nintendo Switch collection. It doesn't have a steep learning curve, which makes it entertaining for players of all ages. Play local multiplayer with up to four players or just master the game by yourself (there is no online multiplayer mode) If you enjoy classic kart racing video games -- a la Mario Kart and Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled -- and are a fan of the Smurfs franchise, this game is worth picking up.
A Nintendo Switch code was provided to GamingPizza for this review. Smurfs Kart is now available on Nintendo Switch.