Jimmie Johnson’s Anything With An Engine: NASCAR X Mario Kart

When NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson met up with the development team at Isopod Labs, it was easy to see Jimmie had a love for video games and wanted to create something that was fun for everyone. ¬†When asked what kind of cars he would like to drive in a racing game his response was “I’ll drive anything with an engine.” and thus a game was born.

Kart racers are certainly not a rare breed. ¬†Ever since the release of Mario Kart on the Super NES there have been countless attempts to recreate the simple fast party action, including sequels from Nintendo themselves. ¬†Lots of the inspirations behind the gameplay in Jimmie Johnson’s¬†Anything With An Engine came from none other then Mario Kart, except there are no blue turtle shells. ¬†The cars range from a lawnmower, shopping kart and even a old bomb shell (or maybe it’s still a live one) which certainly add to the wacky nature you would expect of a game where the cars blow up.

As soon as you see the green lights and press the pedal to the medal, the race begins. ¬†But don’t expect any connection to NASCAR past Jimmie Johnson himself because soon you will be picking up upgrades like¬†missiles, mines and pneumatic side-rams, each of which will get increasingly powerful as the race continues.

The levels also are also far removed from NASCAR’s oval track with the racecourse constantly changing. ¬†The one level I raced on looked like a destroyed city and shortcuts would open up for me through blown up buildings. ¬†This is also where Isopod Labs replaces Mario Kart’s hated rubber-banding effect but still gives last place racers a fighting chance. ¬†If you press the action button at the right time when the moment is presented to you, you will be able to take new routes and possible regain your place in the pack.

But don’t worry if you get damaged by your opponents because you can pull into a pit stop and repair your kart. ¬†By mashing on the highlighted button you can quickly get back out on the track to live another day.

Multiplayer modes include traditional races as well as a unique Matador mode where half the racers are making laps in the opposite direction then the others.  So not only do you need to avoid the opponents behind you but also coming straight at you.

Jimmie Johnson’s Anything With An Engine is headed to PSN and XBLA and later on retail disk for the Wii. ¬†If you love kart racers and also want to have a fun game to play with friends (both offline and online) then definitely keep an eye out for this game later this year.

Written by Bryan

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