Hey gang, Valkor here. I realized after playing through the latest game to cross my desk, “Coffin Dodgers”, I’ve only covered one other racing game on the site – Daytona USA. The thing is I prefer arcade racers more so than simulation types as I’m not at all into the details about the car - I just wanna drop onto a track and race. Well, with “Coffin Dodgers”, I get to do just that (for the most part) and it’s a fun little racer to boot. It's not the best arcade racer, but it has its moments.
The story of “Coffin Dodgers” is easy to follow and goes like this; Death aka Mr. Grim Reaper has arrived at the little retirement town of Sunny Pines, and it's here where he’ll begin harvesting new souls. But its residents aren’t quite ready to take the journey to the other side. So, a few of the town folk have devised a challenge for Death in order to save the souls of the citizens of Sunny Pines, in the form of a race. Death agrees to the terms and it is on! And you, as the player, get to take part in all of the wacky race shenanigans, starting with choosing your player and picking your ride, which is a tricked out mobility scooter capable of speeds that’ll make any old timer’s head spin. And then it’s off to the tracks.
“Coffin Dodgers”, at the jump, has several modes of play; first up is the story mode, which is described above. But to go a little further, you’ll race through four tracks, each with three circuits. And in the fifth and final race, you’ll face off against Mr. Grim Reaper and his zombie minions for the ultimate showdown. The races are very “Mario Kart-esque”, where you’ll come across boxes that’ll give you a random offense or defensive weapon that’ll aid you throughout each race. Each racer is also equipped with a melee weapon that will slow down your opponent, or you can charge it up and knock the other racer off of their scooter. Win the race and you earn experience points (I’m not sure why that is or what they do) as well as money, which you can then use to trick out your scooter or improve your weapons. Other modes include a “Quick Race”, a “Time Trial” and an “Open World” mode. Open World, isn’t as open as it sounds, but you’re allowed to go backward or forward without penalty. And you’re given a certain amount of time to find specific items; finding these items increases your time, allowing you to find the remaining items before time runs out. There’s also a split-screen mode for multiplayer action, though an online mode would have been more fun.
To me, “Coffin Dodgers” feels like the beginning of something special. And I hope that the team of Milkytea continues to work on the game, because while there is a lot done right and yet there is some wrong. And I’ll tell you all about it in the TOV Breakdown.
I really enjoyed my time with “Coffin Dodgers”, which is a simple yet fun racer. And getting into it was beyond easy – so easy in fact that once I got used to the initial tracks, the rest of the courses just fell into place and I was able to tackle each race without ever lifting a finger off of the accelerator. Does that make things too easy? It absolutely does. Does it make the game any less fun? Not really, as the AI opponents will fight back, though not as aggressive as I’d like, but it keeps things interesting. The controls are spot on perfect, which makes diving into this title a breeze; I usually have trouble with sharp turns, but in “Coffin Dodgers”, it’s no trouble at all. The graphics aren’t the greatest, but I can dig the cartoony approach and some of the backdrops make for some sweet eye candy as you speed on by; one area I love to race through are the underground areas, which are gorgeous and also a lot of fun. I kinda wish there were longer stretches, but I'll take what's given. The music is repetitive yet bouncy and fit the cartoonish nature of the game. In the end, “Coffin Dodgers” is a fun little indie title that appeases my need for arcadey speed.
First up, the game is mad short and I mean really, REALLY short to the point that you can complete story mode in one sitting. Sure there are other modes you can play, but they aren’t as much as the story mode. If there’s gonna be any updates, extending story mode would definitely up the entertainment value. Also, the game needs an online multiplayer mode; I mean come on, it’s 2016 and consoles have internet access, so there’s no reason why a game such as this shouldn’t have an online mode. Next, I find that once you’re in the lead, you’d be hard pressed to lose your standings, but if you fall back, it’s very difficult to catch up. Mind you, the game is so easy that you never have to let go of the accelerator button; but even if I bypass any and all obstructions, and I fell behind, I found I could never really catch up to the leaders. And that’s pretty frustrating. But on the upside, if I'm in the lead, I'm almost guaranteed a win. Finally, earning money through victories allows you to upgrade your scooter, but even with a fully upgraded vehicle, it feels like it doesn’t make much of a difference.
“Coffin Dodgers” is available now, not only for the PS4 but also XBOX One and STEAM; and if you’re in the market for a simple, yet fun cartoony racer, then definitely give this one a try. Sure there’s room for improvement, but working with what we’re given, I’d give “Coffin Dodgers” a solid 3 stars out of TOV 5.