Nickelodeon Kart Racers
Top Critic Average
Nickelodeon Kart Racers is a great addition to the family-friendly kart racing genre. Visually, it’s very colourful, the characters are all well represented and there is a lot going on but not too much that it becomes a distraction. While lacking an online mode, the fact that it has a local 2-4 player mode is amazing and can be played by families and friends as they see who can emerge the victor.
Even though Nickelodeon Kart Racers may appear to be another cartoon cash-in, it actually offers solid racing gameplay.
If you like Nickelodeon and you're a kid, you'll like it. It's not as good as Mario Kart 8, but it's still good fun.
But at best, it's a solid entry into a rather stagnant kart racing genre. It may be lacking a bit of personality and polish, but zooming around the track as Tommy Pickles or Patrick Star is a lot of fun. And, Mario Kart aside, it's probably the best karting game we've seen so far this generation.
If you're looking for a fun karting experience on the Nintendo Switch, are on a budget, and your kids love the cartoon series from Nickelodeon, then this $39.99 release is definitely going to make them very happy. My kids are certainly fans of Rugrats, SpongeBob SquarePants and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, so they ended up gravitating to those characters when playing the game for many hours.
Nickelodeon Kart Racers is an unpolished Mario Kart clone, but with that being said it manages to capture the excitement of a Mario Kart race, so it's worth checking out if you don't own any existing Mario Kart titles.
That said, it's hard to recommend this game to a general audience, especially with the miles better Mario Kart 8 Deluxe available on Switch, and Team Sonic Racing on the horizon. Nickelodeon Kart Racers has no online function, and its unlockable Grand Prix cups are just different combinations of tracks from the base cups. There is a decent progression and cart customization system here, but bland visuals and uninspired gameplay mean you can probably sit this race out.
As a whole younger gamers may really get a kick out of Nickelodeon Kart Racers but I’d say their enjoyment would heavily depend on both their familiarity with Mario Kart and their outright love for these characters. The further they are on the scale towards the latter rather than the former the better hopes that the game will have some longevity. For all of the modes and small touches that it brings to the table, though, it’s impossible to escape the fact that overall it feels like a knock off and without its colorful and popular license it likely wouldn’t warrant much attention at all.
While Nickelodeon Kart Racers' provides plenty of content and has smart references that integrate well with some very solid racing, the poor visuals and botched battle mode leave plenty to be desired. If you accept the game for what it is there's definitely some fun to be had but its shortcomings are jarring enough to require some substantial blinders.
While there is some fun to be had, especially in local multiplayer, the overall experience is more underwhelming than not. That makes this game very difficult to recommend to all but the most rdent kart racing or Nickelodeon fans. Even within those camps, who are more apt to overlook flaws with NKR, the experience leaves a lot to be desired.