All-Star Fruit Racing – Review
Follow Genre: Racing
Developer: 3DClouds.it
Publisher: PQube Limited
Platform: PC, Switch, PS4
Tested on: Switch

All-Star Fruit Racing – Review

Site Score
7.8
Good: Original power-up system, Visuals
Bad: Character design, Complexity of the power-ups
User Score
8.7
(7 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.7/10 (7 votes cast)

Since the creation of Mario Kart, many other developers have tried to jump on the bandwagon and create their own little clone, ranging from well-known titles such as the Crash Bandicoot racing titles to lesser known titles such as Atari Karts that was one of Atari’s last original titles on their failed Atari Jaguar. This time a new contender enters the ring, namely All-Star Fruit Racing, which sounds a bit fruity if you ask us, but the graphical prowess of the PC version of the game looked extremely impressive. We noticed things were a bit scaled back on the Switch version that we received for our review, but we might just have ourselves a decent clone worth mentioning here.

Story

While the game offers a career mode, there is no story content to be found at all. Even though games like this usually go without story, it would still be nice to have somewhat of a background on the characters, as for example Mario Kart uses characters people will like immediately from games they played in the past, or simply know them from said games. All-Star Fruit Racing lacks a bit of a punch when it comes to its titular characters, as they all look a bit bland and similar, not creating a certain bond with their potential audience of race fanatics.

Graphics

When comparing the Switch version to the quality of the PC version, it’s clear that a lot of the graphical quality was lost in translation for this port. Nonetheless, All-Star Fruit Racing looks cute, colorful and certainly for the Switch’s capabilities spiffy and great. You’ll have enough different vehicles, albeit thanks to the customization and painting options. The tracks are also varied and have a lot of detail to them, ranging from the different soils, to the clutter on the sides and the views in the distance. The characters themselves look a bit bland and boring however, as they feel a bit cheap compared to all the rest. This could be a case where the developers didn’t have that much experience sculpting humanoid characters, or simply because the characters came in third place behind the cars and environments.

Sound

The music in the game is upbeat, enjoyable and has the right vibe for a kart game such as this. There’s nothing memorable about the entire soundtrack but it gets the job done, even though it’s extremely repetitive, especially when you linger in the menus for a longer period of time. Other than the fairly decent music, there are the sound effects and very limited shouts of the drivers, all sounding a bit bland, and crappily recorded.

Gameplay

All-Star Fruit Racing is a comical kart racing game, in which you’ll battle it out with seven (or less in custom races) AI opponents, or your friends, all while collecting fruit power-ups in order to slow down your opponents’ karts. Overall the game is very much akin a Mario Kart game, albeit with its own control scheme, unique power-ups, abilities per character and a car customization system that allows you to design your own kart, within the boundaries of what you have unlocked.

Right off the bat we can say that this game is actually quite unforgiving. You’ll notice when you boot up the career mode, which will reward you with unlockable content, that when you make a mistake during a race, or don’t drive perfectly, your place in the rear is pretty much guaranteed. You won’t have a gradual buildup, or events that are significantly easier, you’ll be diving in the deep right from the start. This is actually a bad design choice, as it makes the game a tad too hard for casual players, who are often attracted to this type of racing game, rather than a racing sim.

The power-up system is both intriguing as well as annoying and frustrating in this game. You’ll have to collect fruit, which will fill the corresponding color meter, which when filled will allow you to use your power-up. When more colors are filled,  you’ll use said combo, and the game offers a lot of different combos. You can determine yourself which colors you can and will use, as you can disconnect color gauges from the actual power-up that is forming, allowing you to exclude certain powers, creating something different. While this system is very unique and honestly extremely interesting, it’s hard to fully gauge when racing, as taking your eyes off the road for a second will cost you dearly in many cases. Each character also has a unique ability when all the meters have been filled and are used at the same time. We also don’t understand why  the fire button is clicking the right stick, which is probably the most annoying button to use in a racing game ever, especially when playing with the Joy-Con controllers instead of a pro controller.

Conclusion

All-Star Fruit Racing is a great original Mario Kart-esque racing game that introduces unique mechanics, new power-ups and overall likeable and appealing graphics to the genre. The game is on point in many ways, but the sometimes complex power-up system and the high difficulty curves do take away a bit of the fun this game could have been. The game is best enjoyed with friends, as the single player mode is quite relentless when you make a mistake. Nonetheless, even with its flaws, All-Star Fruit Racing is a blast.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.7/10 (7 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
All-Star Fruit Racing - Review, 8.7 out of 10 based on 7 ratings
Ibuki
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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