I want to involve you all from the start, so a quick question. What's an overweight Italian plumber got in common with a bowl of fruit ? I'm sure there's a joke about both helping to unblock your pipes, but in this case, it's Kart racing!
Now the life of a fruit isn't the greatest. It's mainly just a case of sitting around pretty much bored. So when they get the chance to race around three beautifuly drawn tracks and throw lightening bolts at each other they'd be mad not to.
Let's split! I'm so, so sorry.
Poop-poop! Mr. Toad
So what do you get if you click the link ? Firstly, you get hit by the near flawless presentation. Kids, it just doesn't get better than this. Anywhere. From the press pack ( Which makes this reviewers life a lot easier ) to the often neglected html page itself to, well everything.
The only downside for me was the lack of multilingual support. I had trouble registering and my German is a bit rusty ( For Rusty read non-existant ). Minor quible, and I can't expect the whole world to revolve around English and that one issue doesn't make the whole thing fall down. Presentation wise, this is the bar that every other game has to reach.
Right presentation in place, check. What features can you expect ? A choice of 3 tracks ( "Kids Course", "Creamy Ride" *snigger* and "Bad Trip" ) each with their own top 50 best times ( Did I mention the presentation being slicker than a hippo covered in lard ? ). "Bad Trip" is locked, you have to win on "Creamy Ride" first to be able to get your hands on that bad boy track, which just adds to the lastability of the game.
After you pick the track of choice, you can pick your fruit of choice. "Banana", "Blueberry", "Cherry" and the always popular fruit "Ananas" ( Pineapple ). They all seem to handle exactly the same, so it's just down to whatever healthy between meals snack rocks your world. From there it's just a simple matter of picking a version suited to your machine ( 700mhz version or the full on eye-candy 1000mhz+ mix ) and you're in the driving seat baby.
And they're off!
Do I have to mention the sound ? The fact that it fits perfectly ? That it pans and increases in volume to create a fantastic spacial effect ? It's just that this review is getting pretty big already and I don't want to use up even more space saying how good the sound is. Damn it.
Graphically it's everything you'd expect. Bright, colourful and cute. Full to brimming with lots of nice touches, such as the lense flare and the parallax scrolling background. Everything is how you'd want it to be. Clear crisp sprites, interesting looking tracks and backgrounds, the power-ups are instantly recognisable. The images aren't jaw droppingly beautiful, but they are just perfect for this game.
...and pole position goes to:
We know it's presentation heaven ( Did I mention you can send a snapshot of you crossing the line to your friends and family ? It just never stops ). We know it sounds as good as hearing your lottery numbers come up. We know that it looks as pretty as Angelina Jolie holding a pint of lager and a kebab ( With 20 cigs in her back pocket ). These are nothing if the game plays like a pig. Does it ?
Yeah, as if!
It's not the perfect game, don't get me wrong. It has some faults.
To keep the filesize down the tracks have to be within a fairly small area, so they are very loopy, which means a lot of the game is spent swinging your citrus chum around corners. At times this means that as you round a corner you land straight into something on the track to slow you down only for you to see you slip down the positions. Also the opposite sometimes occurs, where you round a bend to hit a go faster stripe at an odd angle which just catapults you off the track. These are just minor problems as once you really learn the tracks you'll be able to avoid them better.
The karts themselves feel a little heavy. I personally like being able to hit a corner, bang the brakes on and swing my banana around it ( Don't we all ) ? It's a pity there isn't more drift in this, it would add soooo much to it.
I feel so churlish mentioning those two little problems in what for all intents and purposes is one of the best Flash games out there.
Expect some lightening real soon my banana flavoured friend
Anyone entering the murky world of Flash games development always comes up agaisnt AI and collisions sooner or later. Both I'm happy to report are flawless in this game.
The MK / mode7 engine flies along perfectly. The small-ish window isn't a problem at all, the track has been made wide enough for a true racing experience.
I really could go on and on ( I think I have already ). This is a technical achievement which also manages the near impossible task of being an excellent game as well. If ever there was to be a poster boy for Flash games, Fast Froots would be there. I've not even touched on so much of it. Click the link, play the game. Simple as that.