Saw a Porsche 911 turbo with a spoiler on the back last night.  It read, "Keyser Soze Is Kevin Spacey".

Back when the Kinect first launched, one of the games that accompanied it was Kinect Joyride. It was touted as being a seamless racing game, that used your body to race a cutesy car containing your avatar.

Which is something that it failed abysmally. So, can a Kinectless version of Joyride fair much better?

Right from the start, Joyride is an unashamed rip-off of the mega-popular Mario kart games. But it imitates that franchise in a manner so brazen, that you have to admire the cajones it must have taken to do so.

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So, you’ve got an easy to learn control scheme, cute cars, colourful tracks, weapons and secret routes with which to amuse yourself, over several tournaments and online experiences. And for the most part, the handling portion of Joyride Turbo is pretty solid.

You’ll still spend practically all your races with your index finger firmly wrapped around the accelerator trigger, picking up one of several weapons and power-ups scattered around the tracks, while car parts for additional vehicles lay scattered around on the hidden turns and paths throughout the races and nine tracks on offer.

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The races themselves, consist of several championships, covering a variety of cars with differing horses under the hood. While racing, players can perform tricks with the analogue stick, provided that they have enough hang-time, building up a boost that can give them that crucial edge when needed.

Racing also exists in online mode, with a few options with which to make some interesting scenarios, while a stunt park modes encourages a sandbox/road mode to exploration, allowing for players to collect more parts and unlock even more vehicles, but beyond that, Joyride Turbo doesn’t offer much more.

Make no mistake, while it swaps karts for cars, it still manages to at least get the fundamentals right, making for a solid and competent gumball rally of sorts. Using your avatar as your onscreen racer helps give it that little personal touch, but beyond that, Joyride Turbo doesn’t do much to really stand out, as it’s content to slot itself into the cutesy racer genre.

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But overall, if you’re looking for something that is accessible, want to distract your kids with bright colours and easy gameplay, you can’t go wrong with Joyride Turbo.

Scoring

Gameplay: 7/10

It works. Simple as that. Gameplay is easy, has a learning curve that is gentler than Dan Hibiki’s hadouken and can be entertaining for the first hour or so. Weapons are imaginative and laid out well, giving Joyride Turbo a slight strategic twist.

But only slightly.

Design and Presentation: 6/10

Smooth, bright colours, while not pushing the Xbox to new heights, don’t really disappoint either, as Joyride Turbo delivers a well animated experience that doesn’t distract, resulting in a decent compromise.

Value: 5/10

There’s a few hours of gameplay present here, but it just lacks the staying power that games such as Mario Kart have, even though it’s blatantly copying them. While adults may get quickly tired of the repetitive action, the game should go over well with younger members of the family, who are starved for some PG gaming treats currently.

Overall: 6/10 (Not an average)

For 800 MS Points, you could do a lot worse than purchase Joyride Turbo. You could do a lot better as well, but overall, you get what you pay for in Joyride Turbo.

[Reviewed on X-Box 360, played on normal difficulty]

Last Updated: June 18, 2012

Joyride Turbo
Summary
6.0

Darryn Bonthuys

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