Little Big Planet Karting preview - Hands-on the adorable racer

The natural flow of successful, kid-friendly games often seems to converge on the kart racing genre at some point in time. And for good reason. It worked out well for Mario, so why not Sackboy? We had a chance to check out ModNation Racers developer United Front Game's upcoming racer LittleBigPlanet Karting and took a drive through three very differently designed levels, which surprisingly, had us doing more than just driving around a race track.

There's the traditional Mario Kart/Mod Nation Racers-style races in LittleBigPlanet Karting to be sure. One of the levels we got to dive into a standard race track called Turtle Island (created by Ray the Wonder Turtle, obviously). This was a standard kart race, complete with power-ups that boosts you to the front of the pack, vaporizes opponents, and puts you on top of a giant boxing glove that mows down anyone who gets in your way.

If you've played any other kart racing game, LBP Karting controls just as you would expect. The races seem a tad slower than a Mario Kart game and the turning doesn't seem to be as tight, having a bit of the LBP floatiness to it. But with the eight racers firing off homing missiles and trying the bump you off the road, the race can get hectic. On top of the other players' rambunctious behavior, hazards cover the tropical resort-style course in the form of giant rolling puffer fish, and waterlogged pits, to which you need to use your lasso to swing across.

The standard kart racing seems like it will be the meat and potatoes of LBP Karting, but we also got to try some other gameplay deviations. One level played like an arena-style battle, with weapons power-ups that are spread across a Power Plant stage. The eight players race their karts toward the pick-ups and try to take out as many opponents as they can within the time limit. It is a simple premise, but it's extremely fun.

The last level we were able to get our hands on, mixed Pac-Man with a vehicle crushing Godzilla truck. The camera looks down on a city street grid from an isometric perspective. You are in control of a monster truck that is shaped like a lizard--it even breaths fireballs and everything. The objective of the level is to destroy as many dump trucks in the level as possible. With each kill, you earn more time on the game clock and the goal is to get as high a score as possible while avoiding explosives and traps the dump trucks lay on the street.

Unfortunately, we didn't get a chance to see much of the customization options, but if the variety in the levels we saw are any indication, there will probably be plenty of room to explore when it comes to user created games. Be sure to check out more articles on our LittleBigPlanet Karting game page as we get more information on the game leading up to the November 6 release on PlayStation 3.

Lorenzo Veloria

Many years ago, Lorenzo Veloria was a Senior Editor here at GamesRadar+ helping to shape content strategy. Since then, Lorenzo has shifted his attention to Future Plc's broader video game portfolio, working as a Senior Brand Marketing Manager to oversee the development of advertising pitches and marketing strategies for the department. He might not have all that much time to write about games anymore, but he's still focused on making sure the latest and greatest end up in front of your eyes one way or another.