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Friday, January 27, 2012

Android Game Review: Tiki Kart 3D

Hopefully you’re all ready for some racing, because today’s game is “Tiki Kart 3D”. This racing game was developed by developer Arb Studios LLC. In this speedy game you pick a kart and take part in races and trainings in a volcano-filled landscape. So let’s pick one of the eight karts and race on one of the 15 tracks, to see how this game scores on Playandroid’s game-o-meter.

Graphics: 3D
From a distance the graphics of Tiki Kart 3D look splendid. However, if you get closer you see that the 3D also causes some problems with the graphics, for example, the tires don’t really seem to touch the ground, so it looks as if your tiki kart is floating in the air. The use of similar colors (surroundings, tiki, kart) makes everything seem to blend together. Moreover, what I find a pity is that you don’t really see the kart that you’re driving in, or the tiki you chose, since this is a racing game I understand that you only see it from behind, but why not show more of the other tikis that your racing against? The developer advertises the fun karts it has designed (fruit on wheels), but I have trouble spotting those fun karts. Why not start a race with a view from the front, where you see your opponents and their karts and then switch to the actual race-view? Now it seems as if a whole lot of the work the developer put in the graphics passes me by unnoticed.
The graphics of this racing game look solid, but there are a few things that could be improved (the floating & the visibility of all the kart options), so not a full score here, but a promising one.
Graphics: 3/5

Sounds: Exotic, but slightly annoying
The music of Tiki Kart 3D comes with loads of different types of drums and abundant use of (what I think is) a xylophone, so the menu music makes you happy. The in-level music is of a whole different kind, namely the boring, repetitive kind. Now, the menu music would probably drive you insane when also used in-level, but this repetitive beat is getting slightly annoying as well. Pity, especially because so much attention seems to be paid to the menu music.
There don’t seem to be that many background sounds, however there are different sounds for the items you can collect (oil, a rocket) and the speed boosts on the track. The fact that I don’t think that there are that many background sounds, only to stand corrected when I start counting them isn’t a very good case, it actually means that a lot of sounds have passed by unnoticed.
All in all, the sounds of Tiki Kart 3D range from exoticly abundant, to annoyingly repetitive, combined with quite a lot (although not necessarily noticeable) background sounds pushes the score to the ‘pretty good’ level.
Sounds: 3/5

Controls: How did I do that wheelie?
The controls of Tiki Kart 3D are pretty easy: the menu has button controls that work perfectly and in-level you press anywhere on your screen to start driving, there is one button that can be used to release an item you’ve collected on the track (such as oil) to hinder your opponents, steering is done by tilting your Android device from left to right. The tilting seems to give me most of my problems. Frequently, I’ve been doing fine for half of the track with responsive controls, only to get stuck against a wall, because the device doesn’t respond quickly to my movements, then  I oversteer and end up wobbling along the track. The game comes with an option to adapt the controls so that they are more sensitive to your touch/tilt, but even upping that a little bit has sent me flying and doing wheelies across the track (and no, I’ve no clue how I ended up doing that). It would be wonderful if the developer could look into this, because it was very discouraging and I just wanted to quit playing the game.
Controls: 2/5

Scope: 15 tracks
Tiki Kart 3D consists of 15 tracks, it seems as if every world consists of three tracks (since there are five worlds). I’m not entirely sure, since only the first world is unlocked and the other ones need to be bought with either Tiki Dollars or normal Euros/Dollars. Tiki Dollars can be earned by registering for other games and/or playing other games. There are also eight karts (five still need to be unlocked) and eight different Tikis (five need to be unlocked), you can preview the karts and Tikis so that you know which ones to unlock. It’s not a tremendously big scope, but unlocking all tracks, karts and tikis and putting them to good use, should keep you going for quite a while.
Scope: 3/5

Atmosphere: ?
3D graphics, so-so sounds and controls that drive me up the wall, instead of down the road (bad joke, I know). The atmosphere of Tiki Kart 3D could be a bit better. Also, because you can’t earn Tiki Dollars by winning a race, there’s no boost to keep racing and winning. Now, you actually have to invest in other games in order to get ahead in this game, that’s doable, but I would think that it would be easier to hand out some Tiki Dollars for coming in first/second/third, in order to keep the fire burning and want to make gamers come back for more races.
I’m having a hard time labeling the atmosphere of Tiki Kart 3D. What word can be used to describe the entire feel of the game? The look and sound of this game is okay, but there’s no background story and (if you’re not willing to pay actual money) playing other games in order to earn Tiki Dollars distracts from the race. Perhaps I should label it “not quite right” or “not quite there yet”?
Atmosphere: 2/5

Fun Factor: Better controls = more fun
Who doesn’t like a good racing game every now and then? Tiki Kart 3D is one of those fun games, that is, until you get tilting problems. The game looks nice, sounds okay and the scope is big enough to provide a good amount of racing, however, the moment that I start doing wheelies and crash into a wall, despite the fact that I’m trying to steer the kart in the other direction, I get annoyed and when it happens more often, I just want to quit. It’s a pity that this can spoil the experience so much, since it is obvious to the eye that the developer has put a lot of thought into creating a fun game.
Fun Factor: 2/5

Tiki Kart 3D is a racing game that has a lot to offer, despite having a few flaws. Surely, (street) racing game lovers will enjoy karting around a race track, some control issue might ensue, but perhaps others can overcome this issue, since this game can be downloaded for free.

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