I was horrified by the trailer for Warped Kart Racers, a new kart-racing game that blends together several popular animated shows. But like a terrible car wreck, I couldn’t look away from the waking nightmare of Peter Griffin and Hank Hill racing each other in a Mario Kart clone. It was cursed. And yet, now that I’ve actually played it, I’m even more horrified to tell you all that it’s pretty good, actually.
Released earlier this month on Apple Arcade and nowhere else so far, Warped Kart Racers is very much a Mario Kart clone. But instead of Mario, Peach, or Bowser racing around the Mushroom Kingdom, Warped features a cast of characters and maps pulled from four different animated sitcoms: Family Guy, American Dad, King of the Hill, and uh…Solar Opposites, whatever the hell that is. If you’ve ever dreamed of being Peter Griffin and attacking Bobby Hill with a turtle while you all putter through the streets of Langley Falls, Virginia, well, your dream’s come true.
And let’s be clear here: This is a Mario Kart clone. The folks who made this game know that and don’t really hide it, which is fine. If you’re going to make a game, why not make it play like one of the most popular video game franchises ever made? Seems logical. As a clone of Nintendo’s popular kart racer, Warped features colorful tracks with shortcuts, loads of power-ups hidden in boxes, drifting and boosting, big jumps, gliding, and kart customization. It’s all here, and it all works as you’d expect.