A decent alternative.
I love kart racing games. Every time I see a new one I get excited to fire up the engine and toss projectiles at my opponents. Outside of Nintendo’s revered series though, the genre has been sparse as of late. Developer Vector Unit, who was also responsible for the surprisingly fun Riptide, has unleashed yet another one of their popular mobile games on consoles. Beach Buggy Racing is exactly what one would expect from a budget-priced kart racing title, but it also serves as a nice supplement to Mario’s famed racer.
Platforms: XB1, PS4
Price I’d Pay: $4.99
Multiplayer: Local only
There is nothing revolutionary about Beach Buggy Racing. There are themed tracks, power-ups that take down other racers, and a handful of wacky characters and karts to choose from. The GP mode sends players through a series of races earning stars to unlock new tracks, as well as tossing in elimination events to spice up the variety.
The game looks and handles well, although I could really see the mobile roots shining through at the higher resolution. There is a wealth of content to be found here, with plenty of tracks, upgrades, and even a daily challenge to keep players coming back. Although it does suffer a few setbacks along the way.
For starters, much like Vector Unit’s previous game, there is no online to be found. There is local four player split-screen, but facing off against foes outside my living room simply isn’t happening. Another carry over from Riptide is the ramp in difficulty. This is likely stemming from its mobile roots. Once I reached the second and third areas of the career mode, the difficulty ramps up to not-so-fun levels quickly. The AI constantly pulls ahead, and makes turns at full speed that I simply could not do. It is frustrating.
Xbox One owners looking for something to fill that Mario Kart void will find plenty to enjoy with Beach Buggy Racing. While it doesn’t reinvent the wheel, it definitely handles what it sets out to do admirably. Just know what you are getting into before taking the plunge. The lack of online and frustrating AI will test player’s patience, but underneath it all is a solid kart racer that is best enjoyed with friends in the silky smooth split screen mode.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.