Blaze and The Monster Machines: Axle City Racers – Review
Follow Genre: Racing
Developer: 3DClouds
Publisher: Outright Games Ltd, Bandai Namco Entertainment
Platform: PC, Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Tested on: Switch

Blaze and The Monster Machines: Axle City Racers – Review

Site Score
5.0
Good: Solid foundation, Nice animations for the characters (cars)
Bad: Heavy on price and little on content
User Score
4.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 4.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Games directed towards children are often not the best games you can buy. More than often these games draw in your kids with a certain franchise on the cover, only to turn into a bland and horrible mess the moment you boot them up. Of course, it’s all about making the kids happy, but most of the time it’s basically an attempt of a publisher to grab a bit of money from parents who buy these titles to please their kids. Now, another of these titles has been released and we were quite curious to see if this one could snag a gold trophy by the end of our review. While Blaze and The Monster Machines: Axle City Racers barely crosses the finish line in one piece, we have to say that this title has a solid foundation with which it could do greater things.

Story

Blaze and The Monster Machines: Axle City Racers is void of any story content. Outside of some weird facts being thrown your way during the loading screens, there is no story value to uncover. The facts that are blurted out during the loading screens are also quite random and have nothing to do with racing at all. We did hear what recycling was, how things melt, and what inertia meant.

Graphics

Truth be told, this game looks quite impressive on the Switch. Even with its very limited assortment of tracks, the vehicles look nicely animated and actually feel very much alive. The translation from a tv show to a proper video game has been expertly handled and we were actually quite sad there weren’t any more tracks to explore. Most tracks were very simple in their design for the actual track, but the backgrounds proved to be interesting and added a lot of charm to the overall experience. It’s good that the tracks were kept simple, as younger gamers will already have enough to (visually) explore in the backgrounds.

Sound

The sound design is not that bad for a game such as this. The menu is narrated in a fashion that is very reminiscent of a hyped-up Dora the Explorer. The music is somewhat forgettable, but the voice acting is fairly okay. You do get a lot of the same voice lines over and over, but that is somewhat typical for the genre. We were slightly concerned with Blaze constantly shouting to give him ‘speed’. Sometimes we can’t help but wonder that creators of children’s shows or games purposely add a lot of ambiguous content to their productions to see parents get flustered.

Gameplay

Blaze and The Monster Machines: Axle City Racers is a Mario Kart clone directed mainly towards children. The game offers you ten tracks to race on, a variety of different sentient cars to choose from and a few special abilities to mix things up a bit. The game is fairly straightforward, as you’ll just have to race to get a top spot, while you pick the car you like the most, which will then also have its own unique abilities. Blaze, for example, can get a speed boost, while others may lay traps on the tracks, have a shield to block attacks, and so on. To perform your special moves, you’ll have to collect ten wrenches. This is a bit different compared to regular item pick-ups in games such as Mario Kart.

Overall, Axle City Racers has a solid foundation. We found the controls to be responsive and certainly very accessible for kids. The drifting mechanics are kept easy, the special abilities are fairly clear and the tracks are simple but fun. We do wish there was a bit more content available and that there were a bit more hazards or original things to do on the tracks. You’ll only encounter a few sharp(er) turns and some ramps for speed boosts. That’s all there is to it. An adult can play through the game in roughly half an hour on the Easiest difficulty. The game sadly also doesn’t really motivate you to keep playing, as you don’t unlock new cars or skins for the different cars. You can only unlock pictures with the random aforementioned ‘fun facts’. A great addition is the auto-drive mode, which allows the very youngest among us to join in as well, as their chosen car will basically drive itself (for the most part).

Conclusion

Blaze and The Monster Machines: Axle City Racers feels like it could have done a lot more. The developers have nailed it with the overall atmosphere and base mechanics for the game, to sadly stop where it matters most: content. The game is currently being sold at a too high price for the content it has to offer. We did very much enjoy what was on display, even if the game could use a few extra mechanics to spice things up. We were simply disappointed with the lack of content and the somewhat vanilla approach to the track design.

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Rating: 4.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Blaze and The Monster Machines: Axle City Racers - Review, 4.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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