GAME NAME: Joy Ride Turbo
PUBLISHER(S): Microsoft Game Studios
PLATFORM(S): Xbox 360
RELEASE DATE(S): 23 May 2012
While the Kinect-enabled version of Joy Ride failed dismally, it didn’t prevent a controller version from being released. The game falls into the kart racing game category, but is this casual take on the genre a worthwhile addition to your Arcade library?
Joy Ride Turbo takes your Xbox avatar and thrusts it into the action immediately. Players have the choice of championship races, quick races, stunt park and online racing. For each mode players can choose which car they want to use and take to the roads in order to fulfill a number of objectives.
Championship mode contains 3 different difficulty levels with four tournaments in each. The tournaments take place over three races over 3 laps with the last tournament over 5 laps. The game’s courses are colourful, entertaining but are mostly very short. The three laps often take no longer than a few minutes to finish making it a quick race to the finish. Scattered across the tracks are weapons which vary from missiles to speed bursts and everything in between expected from a kart racing type game. By utilising all the weaponry and shortcuts players try their best to reach the finish line in first place and take home the trophy.
Quick races follow pretty much the same routine as the championship except that you can choose which tracks to play on, how many laps and a number of other options to customise. Online racing, and also offline multiplayer allows friends to battle it out on the track for that first place crown. The last mode, Stunt Park, places you on a larger, free roaming map with collectables and trophies to collect, but in order to collect them you will need to get across the stunt obstacles. Lastly, in order to unlock new cars players must search for crates which contain parts for the new cars. Once enough parts for a particular car have been found players can then jump into that car as it becomes unlocked.
Joy Ride Turbo is a fun game with a particular focus on a younger, more casual type gamer. The tracks are short but entertaining and looking for new shortcuts helps to keep the races fresh. While the easier levels are far too easy, the harder levels make for a nice challenge. The sound is average with the same couple of tunes playing through every race and can become quite annoying. The visuals are crisp and colourful but do nothing to stand out. The actual driving is enjoyable but again not something that will really keep you gripped for too long.
Joy Ride Turbo’s biggest problem is that there are so few tracks that by the time you reach your third tournament you have pretty much played them all. Apart from that it is an enjoyable, but not exactly a memorable game. It will keep the children entertained for a while but with games like Mario Kart, Cars 2 and Modnation Racers available, deciding to purchase Joy Ride Turbo should only be based on getting a quick thrill before moving onto better things.