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Platform

DS

 

Genre

Racing

 

Publisher

Eidos

 

Developer

Farmind

 

ESRB

 E (Everyone)

 

Released

June 17, 2008

 

 

- Pleasing presentation

- Good use of the stylus

 

 

- No multiplayer

- Gameplay gets repetitive very quickly

- Too easy to beat

 

 

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Wacky Races: Crash and Dash

Score: 5.0 / 10

 

wacky races          wacky races

 

I’m not quite sure why a short-lived cartoon from the late 1960’s is getting the license treatment for a racing game, but truth is often stranger than fiction. Let’s assume for the moment that you don’t know anything about super villain Dick Dastardly and his dog Muttley and are new to this world.

 

The game offers ten cars with two characters each from the original series (including my favorite, the caveman-like Slag Brothers) and when you first start the game you’ll have to choose between normal difficulty and crazy – which is locked at

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- DS Game Reviews

- Racing Game Reviews

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first. You can start a Wacky Rally which will take you through a series of races, try your skills at a single race, or take the “Trap Challenge” which is a collection of mini-game challenges.

 

Perhaps the biggest thing you’ll find different about this game is that the controls are quite unusual. There is no acceleration button for you while you are driving – in fact, there aren’t even any

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controls for steering. Instead, your vehicle is essential on auto pilot and you use the stylus to control your acceleration by moving it in front of the vehicle. It seems silly at first, but surprisingly isn’t as bad as it first sounds. It should have been more refined though because at times when you think you should be going faster, things just slow down a bit and it doesn’t make much of a difference where the stylus is.

 

At times throughout the race you can pick up a power up or two (a maximum of two, assigned to the left and right keys on the directional pad). They help you get ahead but only briefly. Some of the power ups require you to blow into the microphone which gets tricky to do well while you are dragging the stylus around. Many times throughout the race you will be taken out of the “Rally X” top down view of the race to engage in a mini-game (the same ones that make up the “Trap Challenge” mentioned earlier) and although the concept was interesting and fun at first it quickly becomes boring and annoying.

 

Regardless of how well you are doing or not doing throughout the race it all comes down to the final stretch where you will need to blow in the microphone or draw like crazy with the stylus to gain speed. Essentially, everything that you did in the race is pointless because everything can be won or lost at this stage of the game. Be careful not to spit on your DS from the excessive microphone use. At one point while over exercising my diaphragm I literally uttered “this game blows!”

 

Wacky Races offers some fun for a half dozen races and a nostalgic trip back to a Hanna Barbara series that some may remember. Beyond that, the game offers little depth or replayability and is probably best looked at as a rental.

 

- Syd Bolton

(September 26, 2008)

 

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