Considering racing around in go-karts isn't as popular as it once was, any new entry in the genre is welcome. Thankfully, All-Star Fruit Racing is actually fun so buckle up and get ready to race!
All-Star Fruit Racing is a kart racer with a huge emphasis on fruit. The cast of mostly female characters are all themed with specific fruits, the tracks are decorated with fruits of all sorts, and the power-up system involves using a juicer. When you go with a theme, run with it! The core gameplay is what you'd expect from a kart racer where you accelerate and steer through colourful tracks but one aspect makes All-Star Fruit Racing unique: its power-up system. Basically, you acquire fruit in tanks that correspond to each of the four seasons. Upon tapping a face button, you can either connect or disconnect a certain tank so you can essentially mix whichever combination you want before unleashing a power-up. This adds a fun layer of strategy because you want to use mines when you're in first place and rockets and boosts when you're not. Overall, the racing is enjoyable and this power-up system makes it even more so.
The graphics in All-Star Fruit Racing aren't up there with the best racing games but the tracks and characters do have a lot of charm. This is especially true when it comes to the tracks because some are quite large and intricate with branching paths. As you race, it's hard not to admire all the sights that whip by whether it's a fruit-themed dinosaur or weird little creatures cheering you on. It's such a lively game. On the other hand, the audio is incredibly disappointing. For starters, the music is unmemorable to say the least and it loops far too often. The engine effects sound decent but where the audio really falls flat is the voice clips. Why do so many of the racers incessantly laugh and giggle? Aren't they supposed to be concentrating on the race? It's annoying and doesn't make any sense.
All-Star Fruit Racing features a healthy amount of content to play through. If you want to play solo then there are a ton of cups that you can try to master in career mode which composes the bulk of the content. Besides that, you can set up your own custom races that can be played in a few modes that basically change how power-ups are handled and there's an elimination mode, too. There are also options to set up tournaments and test your skills in time attack races. Besides playing with local friends in these various modes, you can take the race online although I couldn't find anyone to race with yet. Next up, you can customize vehicles which merely changes the way they look but it's a welcome inclusion nonetheless. Even though all of this content is great, I can't help but wish there were additional modes that played around with the core gameplay more. Mini-games and such would have gone a long way to offer more variety.
Before I wrap this review up, I wanted to mention just how useless one gameplay feature is. Basically, you can drift around corners and when you do so for long enough, you get a boost. However, I found drifting to be very disorienting and I ended up spending too much time correcting my vehicle's path so the short boost was never worth it. After I decided to stop trying to drift altogether, I found myself winning much more often. In conclusion, I think it's safe to say that drifting is for suckers in All-Star Fruit Racing.
If you're itching to play a simple kart racer then All-Star Fruit Racing is sure to satisfy. Just make sure you're ready to reach for the mute button soon after you put the pedal to the metal.
- + Simple and enjoyable racing with an innovative power-up system
- + Loads of lovely tracks to race on
- + Lots of content to work through
- - Could use additional modes to offer a more varied experience
- - Audio lacks in almost every way
- - Drifting isn't handled well