Google+

iPhone review of the day: Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2 boosts, jumps, drifts into the Mario Kart-inspired past

On iPhone
Game:
Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2
Price: $0.99 / £0.59
Size:  71.8 MB
Get it now at the iTunes store: US / UK

Crash Bandicoot has fallen off a lot of gamers' radars, and with good reason – the marsupial mascot hasn’t had a truly good console game in years. But that doesn’t mean we can’t relive his PlayStation glory days in portable form. Kart racer Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2 is the ol' orange Aussie at his most fun. It’s colorful, it's simple, it's goofy and it's fast. The pedal's always to the metal, so you'll always race full-steam-ahead as you drift around icy, arctic mountains, bounce over lava pits and launch through dead dinosaur skeletons.

The 12 themed tracks in Nitro Kart 2 are surprisingly well-designed. They're simple enough that you're always able to blister through 'em without having to worry about taking turns perfectly and falling off a ledge, but they're complicated enough that sharp-eyed players will spot secondary routes with speed boosts or bonus power-ups. These items aren't anything you haven't seen before - missiles, rear-firing sabotage, opponent-slowing pickups, etc. - but that's largely why we dig this racer so much: It's a nostalgic comfort zone we can stash in our pocket.

Beyond the familiarity, you won't find any particular reason CBNK2 stands out. Yeah, it has online multiplayer, but you won't see any revolutionary, envelope-pushing genre improvements. It really doesn't even take advantage of existing conventions - characters have different stats, sure, but each feels the same as the last when you’re driving. The thing is, you won’t care because it’s just pure, distilled fun. CBNK2 hits directly on whichever nerve it is that also made Mario Kart such a staple in our SNES-lovin' lives.

Kart racing games are a dime-a-dozen on the iPhone - actually, they're closer to a buck apiece, but just roll with it - but Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2 is among the best of its breed, and a great diversion on the upper end of the app store.

Feb 22, 2011

2 comments

  • CandiedJester - February 24, 2011 12:14 a.m.

    I love crash team racing! Too bad it's nitro cart and not the original. I didn't like Nitro kart very much. And it has not fallen off of MY radar gr! CTR is part of my childhood, and I still find time to play it. So :P!
  • marioman50 - February 23, 2011 3:37 a.m.

    lol, no comments. I may purchase this, just because I was huge a Crash Bandicoot fan as a kid (Crash Team Racing being the last good game in the series, of course).

Showing 1-2 of 2 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000

OR…

Connect with Facebook

Log in using Facebook to share comments, games, status update and other activity easily with your Facebook feed.