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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: DTP Entertainment
Developed By: Keen Games
Genre: Racing
Players: 1-4
Rated: E (Mild Cartoon Violence)
Release Date: January 3, 2012
Screenshots: Link
Price: $9.99
Written By: Matthew Prunty

January 29, 2012 Ė Simulation and arcade-style racers have always found their ways into arcade machines, portable handheld devices and even home consoles. While they do provide engaging experiences enjoyed by millions, there is always a needÖ a desire for something a bit different and thatís where TNT Racers comes into play. While itís not one of the first cartoon-style racers out there, it does provide an experience thatís both entertaining and fulfilling at the same time. The only drawback is the lack of a multiplayer audience, which can take this title from being a simple racer to something of memory.

If you are familiar with the likes of Mario Kart, Crash Team Racing, ModNation Racers or even Nicktoons Racing then you have a leg up on the competition when playing TNT Racers. This is a racing game where a simple action can have dire consequences for your opponents on the track. Car pileups are a rather common occurrence in TNT Racers, but unlike other racers, you will find yourself laughing at the vehicular carnage you just caused. The only thing you need to be concern with is keeping your finger on the gas, dodging the zany power-ups and delivering switch justice to anyone who stands in your way of acquiring first place.

This game only has one set of modes, which can be played by yourself and with a group of people; both online and offline. The modes you have to choose from include Challenge, Time Trial and Custom Race. If you want to unlock all the tracks, cars and levels for use in multiplayer, then you want to start with the Challenge mode. It is here you can practically unlock a new car and/or track with ever victory. The Challenge mode is broken down into three different series Ė normal, fast and turbo Ė each having 12 races. Unlike your average arcade-style racer, each race will give you a different task that must be met in order to come out the victor of the race. These requirements Ė Knock Out, Score, Time and Lap Ė change how you tackle a race and are rarely the same twice in a row. Knock Out requires you leaving people behind either through shear skill or a well placed item, which forces them to fall behind and off the screen. Score is pretty straight forward as your objective is to collection the most points during said race. This can be done via fast starts, collecting coins along the way, etc. The last two options; Time and Lap, will have you racing around the track within a certain amount of time while avoiding obstacles and/or destroying obstacles along the way.

While the varying race requirements will keep the action interesting, itís the power-ups that make every race unique and interesting. There are more than a dozen power-ups that will help you gain the advantage of your opponents. These power-ups range from a giant cartoon mallet allowing you to smash up opponents, to shooting out the backside of your car to slow obstruct fellow racers and even a nitro Ėstyle speed burst that will help you in a time of need. All the power-ups are well balanced, not giving the player and clear advantage of use over the other ones. While each power-up can be used at any time, knowing when to use said power-up or simply discarding it can be keep at keeping your opponents at bay. Just like any other arcade-style racer that uses power-ups, the A.I. opponents also have power-ups at their disposal and donít hesitate to use them. Secretly, all the A.I. driving are plotting to overthrow you because you will notice the more you race that they tend to gun for you on the track more so than the other A.I. drivers.

Whatís a unique factor about TNT Racers which will have players divided on is both how quickly these cars can move and how quickly a race can end. There have been a few times you doing a Knock Out challenge, where the race ended within 5 seconds because I was about to power boost at the start of the race and where able to get my opponents to drop off the screen. It seems like a cheap thrill, but in actuality itís a unique mechanic because it gets you thinking of different ways of your doing the same thing and keeping it from happening to you. It can get tiring fast, however when you are in the heat of the moments, itís a real blast. Another interesting twist to the onscreen action is that each level comes with its own unique weather effects, which can also diversify the racing experience. If you are unlucky enough be caught within the blowing winds while racing, you can be blown of the tracks, which can result in you sitting out the rest of the race.

The visual presentation within TNT Racers is very cartoony. The vehicles you can man are cartoon representations of realist vehicles. Everything from the race tracks to the power-ups and vehicles are bright and colorful. The onscreen action can get intense at times; however itís nothing that would affect fluidity of the game itself. The sound effects are rather simplistic, however very much fitting to the onscreen action.

TNT Racers is a fun, quirky racer that can be enjoyed by yourself or with a group of friends locally or online. There is enough variety within the Challenge mode to keep you coming back for more. The online aspect of the game isnít as immersive as you would like it to be, but as more and more pick up this game for $9.99, then you can expect to see more and more people online. TNT Racers is one of those little gems that pacts a worthwhile amount of content for a small price.


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