What if Mario Kart wasn’t Mario characters, but instead old biddies? That’s the concept of this fairly distasteful take on the kart racing genre.
In fairness, the title sets the scene of the tone of the game. It’s basic kart racer fare really, although the fun starts at the character selection screen.
There is a plot if you’d believe it – the Grim Reaper has moved into Sunny Pines and thinks it will be easy peasy to pick up of the oldies. However they challenge him to a scooter race for their lives and souls – if they lose, they dance with the Reaper. If they win, the Reaper must retire.
I elected to play as Wilbur – the character selection process is pretty much aesthetic as all the characters seem to play the same but Wilbur bares more then a passing resemblance to Morgan Freeman so he was my choice. When you start there are some nice little touches – you can swing and charge your cane to knock others out Road Rash style, and you can collect power ups which are dotted around in old travel cases like your nan had.
I did feel a little disappointed that once you collect the power ups it’s classic kart racer material. Rocket launchers, oil slicks, shields – I would have liked to have seen it carry on the theme a bit more really. A shield could be an umbrella, maybe they could drop Wether’s Originals in the road. Just a thought.
There are about 12 tracks to race on and the Championship is spread out over four three-race rounds before you battle Death to the… death. I found it all pretty easy actually and fairly limited in option – you have only got split screen multiplayer and garage options/upgrades feel mostly like a way of padding the game a bit. Visually it is colouring but not especially attractive, think end of life Xbox 360 style visuals.
The biggest issue I had with Coffin Dodgers is the handling, which should really be the bread and butter of this type of game. It’s very very instant and there’s no power sliding, so you’re basically hitting hard left or hard right as required. It’s not especially exciting. I’d also recommend turning the in-game music off as it is horrifically annoying.
In summary, Coffin Dodgers stops short of full blown humour and instead takes some cheap distasteful pops in skinning essentially a standard paint by numbers kart game.
Reviewed on PS4