ATV Quad Kings review

ATV Quad Kings - NDS Screenshot - 89122

ATV games have come and gone, some being more memorable than others. Some have tried new control schemes, while others paired up ATVs with other vehicles. One thing is for certain, ATV games are mostly about speed, high jumps, and stunts. So what happens when you strip these elements out of an ATV game? You end up with ATV Quad Kings from Storm City Games.

ATV Quad Kings is as bare bones as a game can possibly get. There are three modes in total; World Cup, which is the career mode, Arcade, which is free play with unlocked tracks, and Time Trial which lets players set the best records for each track. While these modes are usually standard, the career mode doesn’t stand out on its own, and is really only there to unlock different tracks.

World Cup mode starts you off in the Beginner series consisting of six races, and then moves on to Amateur, Pro-Am, and Pro series, which increases the races to eight, ten, and twelve respectively. And that’s all there is to it. Win a race, make money, move on to the next race and repeat. There are no choices to be made of where to advance. You are basically on a set path from start to finish. This makes it feel less like a career mode, and more like another Arcade mode.

Money won from races can be used to purchase new ATVs, which are supposedly faster. How do we know they are faster? You don’t. There are no indicators of how each ATV improves over the last one, or if one handles worse but has a higher top speed. The only indication that the ATV is better as you scroll through the available list is by price. I’m supposed to assume that just because the costs $20,000, it is better than the one for $10,000. In theory, this could have been acceptable if each ATV felt truly different and was faster than its preceding one, but that’s not the case either. Every ATV I’ve driven felt exactly the same.

The same goes for handling. Though it isn’t by any means terrible, it feels quite off. The only buttons you ever need to worry about are steering, gas, and boost. Even though there is a handbrake that makes the ATV power-slide around the corner, it is absolutely useless even around the tightest corner, because just holding the directional button long enough will make even the steepest turn, while losing none of the speed.

However, the biggest disappointment in the game was the lack of stunts. There are jumps in the game (although quite small) but not one trick could be made. The only thing that can be done in the air is either lean forward or backward, to make the ATV rotate in those directions to ease into landings, but back flips are out of the question. The lack of the ability to do stunts is what makes this game feel really mundane, since all you are doing is racing around a bland track, with fairly easy opponents.

Power ups are also scattered around each track in the form a coin which adds the ability to do a short burst of boost. Your opponents can’t pick them up, which gives the player a pretty unfair advantage. Even after only using two boosts in a race, I was ahead for almost half of the track, in front of everyone else. Switching to hard made the opponents a little faster, and made picking up the boost coins much more necessary, but still found it pretty easy to win.

The game doesn’t look horrible by any means, the ATVs looked good, but the tracks look bland. Though the actual design of tracks is varied, graphically they look quite poor, with only a palette change going from a race in the forest to a race in the desert. The sound was also quite irritating. The only thing that was mostly heard throughout each race was the sound of the ATV. Since the entire race can be won without braking, the sound of the engine at full can cause quite an ear ache. This drowns out the music as well, which isn’t that much better, as it is just stock rock music.

The game isn’t all that fun, unfortunately. Anyone who is looking for an easy ATV game that focuses strictly on racing and a barebones career mode will find something to like about ATV Quad Kings, but adrenaline junkies looking for high speed stunts on the go, might want to look elsewhere.

Average

Charmander
Mike Splechta GameZone's Editor-in-Chief, retro game enthusiast, savior of kittens. Follow me @Michael_GZ
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