Review: Garfield Kart

Garfield is beloved by millions of people around the world by kids and adults alike due to his overwhelmingly successful comics, cartoons, toys and even movies. He’s an American icon and unofficial mascot of moody Mondays. Even with all this success, however, he shouldn’t be partaking in any go-kart racing…especially if it’s by Anuman. You’ll hate Garfield more than he hates Nermal after playing this.

If you happen to have the opportunity to play this game, please don’t. Garfield Kart is worse than having burnt lasagna that’s been left in the fridge for a week which is all you really need to know, but here are some more facts.

For starters, the framerate in many locations of each stage is inconsistent. Everything will slow down and suddenly speed up at times which is frustrating and makes it unclear whether or not a racer was affected by an item. On a related CTR-P-AGPE_GarfieldKart_Screenshot3_ALLnote, the graphics of the pavement are sloppy. The yellow line on the road is fuzzy until you’re basically on top of it. The camera angle in general is fine unless you’re going uphill, but there’s no way to see what’s ahead of you, so you might drive right into a trap if not for the dumb AI. Also, you could disappear completely if you happen to back up as you’d be hidden under whatever object is in the foreground.

The biggest problem encountered, however, occurs when you drive straight into objects. At first I noticed I could basically phase through walls and rocks. Then it turned into a game of “what else can I pass through,” and it wasn’t long until weird things would happen. I purposely drove into suspicious looking objects like an unusually colored rock or the exact corner of a guard rail connected to another. I found three odd occurrences when doing this. One thing that’ll happen if you find a glitched spot is falling through the entire road to the bottom only to come back on the road like you fell into water instead of descending all the way through Heck, another time I tried this I not only fell through the stage, but the map from the bottom screen is also visible which is odd since it must mean the developers originally had the screens swapped and never fixed it allowing it to continuously run in the background. The last phenomenon I witnessed is being stretched beyond recognition similar to other games like Skyrim and Fallout.

Once a race is over and your character crosses the finish line, they freeze in whatever position they happen to be in. That means if you’ve jumped in the air, that’s where you’ll be when the results appear. While you’re stuck at the exact pixel the finish line starts, you’ll get to see every other racer pass by. They’ll even lap you unless you hit next; it just doesn’t make sense they keep going while yours does nothing. This differs from games like Mario Kart where you keep going around the track getting an opportunity to check it out. CTR-P-AGPE_GarfieldKart_Screenshot4_ALLYou get to look like a complete jerk blocking traffic. There’s also a problem with how the tracks are laid out. Some of them have completely visible gaps between buildings and fences or other things and you think you can drive right through them. Well, think again. You’ll just slam head-on into a barrier that shouldn’t even be there.

With all these complaints, there are some things that were surprisingly nice to see. The variety of karts and gear is fair as well as the choice of racers. It’s a relief they didn’t choose to bog players down with only one or two different karts or clothing options. The controls are fine, especially when it comes to turning. Making left and rights actually go wide which may sound bad, but it happens quickly enough that it evens out. You also have the ability to drift if needed was a complete surprise. Your character can hold two items at once which is absent from most current racing games, so there’s a plus. Music matches up with the setting; it’s cute and upbeat; except when the same seven seconds are repeatedly looped.

Closing Comments:

With a lack of polish and few positive attributes, Garfield Kart is absolutely dreadful. The game actually started out as a mobile app and it plays like little was done when porting it over to 3DS. It simply isn’t fun and its only saving grace is the inclusion of those aforementioned surprising features. Bill Murray would agree that Garfield belongs stuck on a car window, not behind the steering wheel.