Dirchie Kart #XBLIG VVG IndieVerse Review
VVG IndieVerse Reviews
By: Mr. Deeke
On this installment of VVG IndieVerse XBLIG Reviews we’ll be taking a look at a fun racing Indie called “Dirchie Kart” made by BrownBot. First of all, let’s introduce the studio: Brown Bot’s Peter Leahy has also developed PC Indie titles: Dispell, a crazy co-operative game and Toad Muncher, a challenging top-down Indie. The BrownBot logo also makes an appearance in Dirchie Kart as a playable character–A1.
Dirchie Kart 240 MSP
This game is fun, but it does have it’s fair share of upsets and challenges. This title can be equated with certain racing titles that are difficult to control but once the player is acclimated victory is easier to achieve. I would recommend this for racing fans to try out because it is a pretty decent and fun racing Indie that can be quite challenging and hectic at times.
- Developer – BrownBot
- Genre – Racing & Flying
- XBL Marketplace URL – Dirchie Kart
- Release Date – 1/22/2011
- Try or Buy? – Try Before You Buy
- Price – 240 MSP
- Rating – 3.8/5
“A Hi-Def remix of 16bit kart racing in 720p and 5.1 surround, detailed physics, track friction and multiplayer options add new depth to an old formula. Challenge your avatar against a host of Dirchie characters in fast and furious single or multiplayer karting, join up to 4 friends in a split screen party of Race, Battle and Drag events with an assortment of rockets, mines and other items.”
–Xbox Live Marketplace Description
I. Game Mechanics
Overall this game is similar in basic mechanics to such racing games as Mario Kart–up to 4-player local racing, each character gets two item-weapons to use against other players to sabotage their progress, all the while skidding through corners and hitting power-ups and trying to gain the lead. The physics are quite nice in this title, as well–things react the way you’d expect them to in high-speed racing, especially when you make other players crash into obstacles; that can be quite rewarding indeed.
The controls are simple and are adequately designed–Right Trigger is accelerate and Left Trigger is reverse…however there is no brake other than stopping by reversing, which can get messy. There are multiple challenges in this racing Indie such as certain stages that are without barriers and players can fly right over the edge–one mistake and you’ve lost the lead.
Dirchie Kart places emphasis on drifting during races, and in some open-range ones it becomes essential and part of the game. Skidding around corners and using the curves to your advantage is key to attaining and staying in first-place. Anything can happen at any time, and all item collections are random.
The user interface is quite interactive and helpful as there is a mini-map that shows the entire track as well as each racer represented in their respective colors. There are race circuits that can be played with up to four players a piece, as well as a single-race feature that allows players to pick their own favorite stage and jump right into a race.
Races themselves are three laps, and the best thing about this game is that anything can happen at any moment–you can get into 1st place by a random series of crazy events such as missile attacks or just by ramming the other racers off the track. There are also three engine sizes: 250cc, 500cc, and 1000cc that players can choose for their particular vehicle.
This game is a bit fast-paced at times, especially when opponents are using their weapons–each player can have up to three items (depending on the vehicle), and these usually are offensive items like projectiles & mines, but there are also Defensive items as well like lightning power-ups. This assortment of armaments can be used to knock a player out of first-place right at the very end of the race or can even backfire as players can hit their own mines.
Offensive weaponry is key in this game, and it is quite rewarding especially when playing local multiplayer and you’re launching missiles at your friends. There are proximity mines that lay in wait to explode when players swing around corners, springs that send them flying in the air, and even lightning power-ups that make players temporarily faster.
III. Unique Features
There are many different characters in this game, however each of them are just for aesthetics–players can even choose to have their own avatar as their character, further customizing gameplay. The game itself also has three different types of vehicles, each with it’s own attributes such as health and boost–each of which affect the game in different ways.
With numerous and diverse racing tracks, Dirchie Kart offers variety to players–however some of these race-tracks have ninety-degree angles and it makes it quite difficult if you’re unprepared for them. The mini-map should come in handy for this as the entire track as well as each player is shown, and it is quite essential for players to keep focus on the mini-map to see what’s coming next.
The most unique feature in this game, though, is the ability to “slide”, or drift, around corners. This is extremely helpful and is a necessity when trying to pass other players, however it can go to your disadvantage as other racers can literally knock you off the track or against the wall–reversing in this game is quite tedious, so you can expect to lose if this happens most of the time.
This particular title is most fun when playing with four-players locally–only then can you experience the true frenetic action that’s involved with this type of wacky Indie racer. By launching torpedoes, laying traps like proximity mines, and even shooting enemies with a 50 cal. sniper rifle, Dirchie Kart offers an array of weapons that make the game down-right crazy when playing with three other friends.
It’s Fun! I do have to say that at first Dirchie Kart was hard for me to get used to, but once I adapted the game unlocked its potential for an enjoyable XBL Indie racer. Play either in a two different circuits with three different lengths each, use an expansive assortment of weaponry against your foes, and skid around corners in this enjoyable Indie.
Four Player Competitive Play. For a racing game that uses both offensive and defensive dynamics Dirchie Kart wouldn’t necessarily be expected to have up to four players, yet BrownBot decided to up the ante and toss in the ability to pit players against their friends in these smallish stages, arming them to the teeth with weaponry and thus the chaos ensues. Talk major smack to other players as you knock them off the level or watch in horror as you get taken out of first place with only seconds before the match ends–anything is possible in Dirchie Kart.
Diverse Racing Circuits/Tracks. Dirchie Kart offers a smattering of tracks for players to enjoy, around ten of them in all, each with it’s own color theme, style, design and advantages/disadvantages. Some of these tracks or open, meaning that players can fly right off the track and there’s no barriers keeping racers in, adding more of a challenge to gameplay. There are also two racing circuits for players to enjoy–the Decaffeinated Series and the Mongrel Cup, each of which splits the tracks up into a series of races.
Harsh Racing Tracks. Some of the tracks that are playable in this game are very beginning-unfriendly, especially those that have 90 degree angles in them–this spells disaster for gamers who are used to drifting around corners and curves. Basically any given racer must pay attention to everything at all times if they want to avoid any sharp turns.
Reversing Isn’t a Good Idea. Gamers who are familiar with racing games know that going the opposite direction, aka reversing, is a very essential part of any rally game–especially the more competitive ones. Reversing in Dirchie Kart is a bit uncontrollable, and it’s quite difficult because other players can slam into you while you’re doing so, making your progress ineffective. Also the controls for reversing aren’t fine-tuned, so a player who ends up facing a wall can pretty much guarantee a loss.
Overall, Dirchie Kart is a must-have for racing enthusiasts that enjoy zany and goofy gameplay that is at it’s heart is a competitive rally racer. Play your friends or just play solo and make other racers pay by launching a volley of destructive mayhem upon them, or just effectively power-slide around corners to take the lead. This game is a fun and enjoyable experience for all ages, and it’s fantastic because just about anyone can enjoy this Xbox Indie.
For more information on Dirchie Kart and the development studio that created it, please visit BrownBot’s website.