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Video Game Review: Wild Animal Racing

Steam Cards are a good way to find out about hidden gems on Steam, titles that wouldn’t have ever been discovered without them. Wild Animal Racing is one of these hidden gems, which are locked away so tightly, that you’d never imagine you would be able to play Mario Kart on your PC. Well, you’re not, but you are playing a great game of a similar vein. Join Timlah as we look through the wonderfully silly Wild Animal Racing.

I love games that just happen to make me laugh; I mean when Goat Simulator came out, I was splitting my sides. Then I played I Am Bread and I couldn’t contain myself there. Octodad with his many funny limbs had me doing real life wiggling dances for a very long time. Now, we’re going to the realm of the racing game, where we’ve got these rather intriguing wild animals, sitting in karts that are way too small for them… And racing one another. How good can this game be, how amusing, or simply put how dreadful is it? We’re about to analyse it and find out if this game is worth buying or not.

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Overview

Developer Paul Bird
Platforms Steam (Windows, OSX, Linux)
Windows Release March 2016
Genre Racing Game
Price on Steam £2.99

 

Review

Gameplay

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This is a racing game, so you go forward and you want to try your best to beat the other racers in a race. Simple enough. The difficulty in this game is much like the difficulty in Mario Kart, which you can compare this game to quite well. The two games features mascots to some degree, who are in a race against one another to get to the finish line first. Along the way, there are pick-ups which you can use to hit your opponents, or to make yourself move different. Using these pick-ups at the right time is important if you want to be first in every one of the races.

It doesn’t seem to matter which animal you pick, they all travel at an arbitrary speed. If they’re all clustered together, no one is really faster, it’s all about getting past your opponents by swerving past and using the terrain to your advantage. Knowing your positioning and when to use the pick-ups is the real skill in this game. Other than that, it’s about collecting diamond-shaped items to boost up your score and to get enough score to unlock the movies in the game. Considering this game was probably made as a bit of a joke, you can bet that the movies are a little bit crazy… And we’re A-Okay with this!

Graphics

We do believe graphics are a subjective thing, but for once I’d like to tell you outright that no: this is not a beautiful graphical game. It’s good enough for what it’s trying to accomplish, but you’re not going to be singing home about these models. It reminds me of Zoo Race, which was outright insanity… But this ramps the insanity to the max. In fact, if the movies are anything to go by, you can bet that this was made to look as silly as possible… and I can’t fault that! You know from the moment you boot the game up, this was made to be silly – Because it seems relatively well put together; even with the dreadful handling of the racers and the even worse system of collecting diamond-shaped items.

Sound/Audio

At first, I thought I was going to be subjected to the same sample over and over again, doomed to hear that rather dull track forever. Then when I first played it, I decided to click onto the World Tour and would you believe it, they actually made music that fitted each of the zones. This was thoroughly impressive to me, though I’m uncertain as to whether or not the developer made the music for himself, or if he got it from a stock music website. Regardless, he fit the sounds to the levels appropriately and it always sounded great.

However, perhaps this is a negative, or perhaps this is a positive, let’s quickly talk about the sound effects. When someone slips on a banana peel, no problem, it makes a slipping sound effect and that’s fine. When something is hit by a rocket, it makes a small explosion sound and that’s great. When you scroll through the animals, the lion roars, the giraffe baa’s… Wait, baa? Giraffes do make weird noises, but they certainly don’t baa! Actually, I found that to be a charming point about the game: I think that was done because they couldn’t quite replicate the sound of a giraffe properly. Not exactly an insult; the sound of a giraffe is very strange indeed.

Overall

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This game is simply put: Bad, but I enjoyed it none-the-less!

The absurdity of these animals racing one another in karts is bad enough, but when you combine the absurdity with the really strange graphics and the oddly misfitting sound effects, you sort of get lost in its strange world. Yes, the game looks terrible, let’s not lie. Yes, the controls are really abysmal, but you can certainly play it. In fact, it’s just as playable as Mario Kart, but I bet there’s only one of those two games that you’d feel comfortable showing to all of your friends. Still, get all of your friends around for a house party and play this with the split-screen mechanism. I bet there’s a lot of fun to be had.

Now it’s over to you: What on Earth did you make of Wild Animal Racing? Do you think this game is wild enough, or is it tamer than it should be? What do you think of those rather impressive looking 3D models? As always, leave your comments below, or over on Facebook, Twitter and Reddit.

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