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All the way back in 1992, there was this game called Super Mario Kart. It became an instant success and the envy of other consoles at the time. Zooming around a small track with tiny cars that seemed far too big to fit in, throwing turtle shells at the opponent in front of you, etc. - it's not hard to see the appeal.
Obviously, the success of Mario Kart didn't escape the attention of Beavis-Soft. Wacky Wheels is distinctly different in some respects yet also remarkably similar in others. You start by chosing between eight animals such as the shark and panda. I honestly never noticed any difference between how any of their cars handled so I assume that the choice is purely cosmetic. After this, you're presented with a championship of your choice and the level of difficulty. Sounds familiar? Each championship has a set number of courses and the winner with the most points wins the championship.
So far, this is nearly identical to what Super Mario Kart had on offer but there is a slight improvement in combat. While Mario Kart let you pick up bananas and turtle shells, Wacky Wheels goes one step further. Turtle shells become hedgehogs and bananas oil patches but on top of that, you got floating red orbs that stop you dead when you hit them and a tripple flame ball which is very useful for taking out several of your opponents. You can also stock up on hedgehogs so you can fire a whole volley of them at your target making it easier to hit your target. The tracks are a tad more complex as well: the easy ones are simple of course but the later ones are filled with corners and obstacles offering plenty of variation.
One big improvement in Wacky Wheels is ... split screen death match. I had many hours of pure fun playing this with a friend. Later Mario Kart games copied this mode so it just goes to show that not all imitation is bad! You start on opposite points on a map and you have to kill your opponent (obviously) by picking up any of the weapons lying around. The fun thing is that you can hide by driving in water (your car changes into a periscope) and then ambush your friend or how about filling one area of the map with float red orbs that move from left to right - very tricky to avoid!
All in all, this is a worthy alternative for Super Mario Kart on PC. It's not that much fun by yourself (Super Mario Kart is a bit boring these days too, to be honest) but when played with a friend, be it in a race or deathmatch, it can be hillarious as well as very entertaining. Two thumbs up!
- cycles: 8000+ This game is really not fussy.