If you enjoy kart racers then you may want to know that a new one has raced onto the scene. Smurfs Kart from publisher Microids and developer Eden Games released last year on the Nintendo Switch but has now become available on PlayStation and Xbox. I took the PlayStation 5 version for a test drive and if you are looking for a new family-friendly game this might be for you.
The first thing to know about Smurfs Kart is that you can play it with up to four players locally but there is no online multiplayer which is disappointing for a kart racer in 2023. The game features 12 different Smurfs to play as well as 12 different tracks to race on based on areas from the Smurfs’ universe. The game is bit bare-bones when it comes to modes with the single player options including grand prix, time trials, and single race and then you have the local multiplayer. It would’ve been nice to have some kind of campaign or something as the Grand Prix only consists of a few cups made up of a few races each. Once you finish with that you are left with nothing but single races and time trials or racing locally against friends.
While the game is a little bit sparse on content, it does at least come with a budget price tag which makes up for it. Outside of the modes the other important thing for a kart racer is the feel of it and Smurfs Kart is clearly tailored towards the younger audience. It is a lot like a kart racer that Outright Games might make like the recent PAW Patrol ones as the game puts auto-acceleration on by default making it so younger players can play without having to focus on pressing a button to go. Each of the 12 tracks in the game has some solid layouts and feature things like ramps to jump off, shortcuts to find and take, and boxes to smash to collect power-ups. While the game is very approachable you can perform better if you nail drifting, use your power-ups wisely, and learn the short cuts. The track locations come from areas like the Smurf village or dam and while they look decent, I do wish there was a bit more variety.
Each of the 12 characters like Farmer Smurf, Clumsy Smurf, and Hefty Smurf also has their own stats and unique power-up helping to make them feel different from one another. Similar to other games in the genre, if you are further behind the pack in a race you’ll get power-ups that can help you catch up while leading the pack will have you being targeted by the other racers quite a bit. While simple, I enjoyed my time playing Smurfs Kart but just wish there was more to it so I could’ve stuck with it longer. If you’re a trophy hunter you’ll find 34 trophies including a Platinum and going after all of them could help you get a bit more time out of this.
Smurfs Kart is a family-friendly kart racer that makes good use of the Smurfs license but runs out of gas a bit too fast. The controls are easy for anyone to pick up, the tracks have some nice layouts, and the characters feel different enough but there just isn’t enough here for modes to make this a must-play for kart racing fans. If you’ve got younger family members though who like the IP then the budget price does make this a solid pick.
*Smurfs Kart is available now on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. PlayStation 5 version reviewed. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.