REVIEW: Dirchie Kart 2

For a myriad of reasons, racing games on the indie channel have failed to impress me. Sloppy controls, terrible design, zero sense of speed, etc. There’s always been aberrations and exceptions, of course, namely Milkstone’s excellent Little Racers Street. Still, the vast majority fall short of something you’d like to play again and again. And as for a legitimate alternative to my beloved Mario Kart series? Yeah, keep dreaming, Devs. Yet it must be said that Dirchie Kart 2 ($1.00) plays pretty close.

The theme is essentially the same as that perennial karter; a roster of cartoonish characters (or your avatar), colorful courses set across some of the major cities / countries of the world, and the arcade-y combat (with offensive and defensive items that mirror Mario’s arsenal) that helps jostle the race standings with each new lap. What you can’t glean from the fantastic visuals is the absolute spot-on control for a kart racer, with power slides that feel great and give you a slight boost around corners. It really is nice to get behind the figurative wheel of a vehicle that feels as solid as it does here, from the green light on, with no learning curve.

Dirchie Kart 2 introduces its Cups and race classes similar to Nintendo’s flagship racer, locking the tougher CC limits behind easier to manage courses and opponents, letting you learn the tracks before throwing you to the wolves. Powerups can be acquired one of two ways; either as pickups on the field, or purchased between races with coins that you’ll scoop up as you drive. Regardless of your preference, they can be used to great effect, blasting opponents off the track or boosting your own speed.

Even with starting you off in the shallow end of the pool, the difficulty doesn’t really rear its head until the final class of races. It will almost always come down to who drives with the fewest errors, as AI opponents don’t commit many mistakes, but won’t in turn use much offense in trying to overtake you (I don’t remember a single AI car hitting me with a weapon… ever). Human racers (up to four at once), however, will likely not abide by any such lax policy.

Dirchie Kart 2 - Screen

Additional hazards, like edgeless corners and… pigs, will keep things interesting across the playing field. Some of the courses lack imagination maybe, but there’s plenty to race on, including some classic levels from the first game. Save for an annoying red flicker that denotes your failing car’s health (though you don’t actually die in-game, you just manually eject), there’s very little to complain about.

If you prefer an arcade racer over some of its more sim-heavy brethren, you can’t go wrong for $1 here. It’s hard to even find another challenger worthy enough to make it a fair fight. With fifteen-plus tracks, a novel ranking system, three race classes and tours apiece, separate battle / party modes, and tight controls that make it a joy to play, Dirchie Kart 2 pretty much steals the Indie Kart Racer’s Cup.

14 thoughts on “REVIEW: Dirchie Kart 2”

    1. Ah, nice! Never been nominated for an award before. Probably won’t be able to participate though, as I’m on vacation and won’t be anywhere near a computer for the next few weeks. I consider this more a stand-alone site than a blog, too, so I’m not sure I fit the mold the award goes for. Thanks for the thought, though. 🙂

  1. I like Mario Kart, so, I was about to pick this one, I have exactly one dollar in my account, so I can buy it right? Well, Would You Kindly keep reading, boyo. I can’t buy it because of the taxes, so, if I buy MSP at a game store I have to pay taxes there, then again in the Xbox Store WTF!!!! I will probably pick it up later along with the perfect 3 indies coming later this year, will rest the wallet for a bit after you know who (amazing game btw). But that’s how things are, lad, got no choice but to swallow it. I still do not get why the best sellers are Avatar games, maybe the next Xbox One indie will be called “Avatar Xbonerx”, it will be like like a Hunter/prey… don’t ask what the hunters have to do to win.

    1. I’m calling these last few days the ‘GTA Effect’, as both views and appetites for indie games has dropped off, thanks to Rockstar and their modern crime opus. Fantastic game, I’m sure, so no one can be blamed for passing on indie games with the game out there.

      The one good thing about indie games, though, is that there’s always good ones out there, with potentially better games waiting in the wings for their chance. In the meantime, though, keep carjacking fools, I guess. 🙂

    2. Well said kid, its just like the indies, you think there’s nothing and they all run all out of juices and then they come out of nowhere throwing some goodness in your own face, a’int that right boyo. The AAA Obeys, they are afraid to try something new, so they keep the same line (although sometimes its work, I kinda feel weird, usually I dont agree with the masses but with you know who, I just cant disagree), but the indies Chooses, they respond to no one and chooses to be creative, even if its a fart or a girl with no boobs and two guns that slow time.

      So, would you kindly keep reviewing this games until the channel run all out of Eve. And yes, I love Bioshock, although I’m very late to the party.

      I wonder what you will do in next gen, I think there will no more one indie dollar games, it will be kinda hard review 2 to three games a week, also, those games tend to have more content, means, more days of playing. Unless you review all kind of downloadables, you play all kinda games anyway.

    3. I’m sure that’s the goal, ultimately. Indies on the new consoles will likely move away from the $1 price and upwards to $5 or more. That means the quality should move up to match it too, otherwise I’ll have to be careful with my choices. Guess we’ll see.

  2. I have to admit that it handles very, very well – much better than a $1 game has any right to! The tracks in the demo aren’t anything too special, but each has its own personality and is passable. I just don’t get pigs though. Perhaps this game needs a crossover with Blood and Bacon to make a vehicular carnage racer!

    1. Now that’s an idea… Blood & Bacon IS going to get DLC at some point… Hmm…

      It does control splendidly, though. Some small nitpicks at best, nothing that ruins the game by any means. -The- best kart racer I know of on the service.

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