Nintendo usually excels at playful, cartoony games like the whole Mario Bros franchise, Zelda, Smash Bros, or Animal Crossing. True, there are slightly less ludic games available as well, but the vast majority of people who buy into Nintendo are looking for entertainment for the family and not the blood-bathed fights of Mortal Kombat. When I saw that Nintendo was coming out with its own motorcycle racing game, I was hoping for something along the lines of Ride3 or MotoGP. Well, it isn’t.
A teaser for the game has been released. True to itself, Nintendo opted for a slightly more cartoony look and gameplay. The whole point of the street racing game is to avoid the cars on the highway to get points and take the jumps for bonuses. It reminds me of a first-person, refined version of Google’s T-Rex game on Chrome to keep people busy when Internet connectivity is down. Race forward, avoid the obstacles, get points.
There are twelve customizable bikes you can choose and though they aren’t factual representations of existing models (read: no licensing required), most of them are pretty easy to recognize. Particularly the Zero FX copy with a lightning bolt on the side and the wannabe Kawasaki Ninja H2 with its aggressive frame and lime green accents. The graphics seem a little underwhelming and from the teaser, I gather that the game looks older than it really is.
The game is played very much the same way this type of game would be played on a cellphone. You tilt the Switch’s pad to control the bike and move from left to right. The game is also compatible with Nintendo’s Switch Pro controller or the Labo Toy-Con Kit (a set of cardboard controller inserts that include a motorcycle handlebar).
The game will be available on April 19 and is currently available for pre-purchase for $10,99 (regular price at launch will be $14,99). While I have a preference for racing games with a more reallistic feel (accelerating, braking, turning, etc.), I believe a younger audience (in age or at heart) could find this mildly entertaining.