Imagine Mario Kart but with a slightly morbid twist. That’s what you get with the latest game by Milky Tea Coffin Dodgers. The game centers around the elderly challenging the Grim Reaper to a race-off with scooters. The game’s overall angle is a unique one in regards to the general idea, but there are definitely some speed bumps along the way.
“Race for your soul”
The game takes place in Sunny Pines, a fictional retirement town filled with the elderly that apparently have a penchant for racing. Enter the Grim Reaper … as he becomes more of a present character in this small village, so does the old folks’ desire to fight back. As the game sets up the premise of the townsfolk through various cut scenes highlighting key moments in the playable characters’ lives, the player finally sees the bedside of one lone man. The Reaper informs the man that he will return to claim the souls of not only himself, but all seven of his friends as well.
Enter the karts – because that’s what any sane person would do when faced with impending death whilst staring the Reaper in the face: challenge him to a race. It’s all in good fun and the premise matches the graphic style to the T. The fun, overly cartoon-ey feel matches the silliness that comes with the challenge thrown at the bringer of death. Said challenge kicks off a small “story” mode that lasts fifteen races long in the hopes of cheating death.
The racing tracks that are used make up different parts of Sunny Pines, including a cemetery as well as a few local farms. Each area as zany as the previous, providing a certain element of humour and lightheartedness beyond the basic storyline.
The karts used to compete in the races are also customizable allowing the player to make any necessary upgrades to achieve an even easier edge. The player can change the mechanical aspects of their racer as well as simply changing the colour scheme. Customizing in any game is a plus, this move did increase the level of investment between the player and what was going on in the title itself.
The game play is fast-paced and mechanically geared towards being more focused on comedic value. Despite the effort, the overall game play does fall flat. You don’t play a game like Mario Kart for the storyline but even those games had an “it” factor that made it a long-lasting favourite. Coffin Dodgers missed the mark with its lack of variety and overly simplified game mechanics. The races are short, which is a plus, so that the “going through the motions” feel of the ‘story’ progression isn’t going to overstay its welcome.
The game offers no challenge whatsoever. A new player, or even a child, could very easily obtain first place with very little to no effort. Personally I don’t know if there was a way to change the difficulty once in-game, even as I tried to do so. That would be a factor that I would have considered adding to this title to allow some spice into the game play.
The baseline mechanics for the game are extremely faulty. The movement during races, the action-to-cutscene transition was not fluid, and the poor frame rate overall really detracted away from the appeal of Coffin Dodgers. The game itself had the perfect set up to be an amazing, fun, and light game – but with the poorly executed mechanics, the redundant audio tracks, and the poorly thought out animation, it really put the final nail in the coffin for this title.
I wanted to enjoy this game, I really did. As a huge fan of similar titles, namely Mario Kart, it just had to many inconsistencies and faults to overlook. The game is far too short, too loud, and too simplistic. The idea behind it had wild potential and a hilarious premise but at the end of the day, it’s better to let this title rest in peace.
This title is available for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 for $11.99