All-Star Fruit Racing: I somehow compared this game to Crysis.

All-Star Fruit Racing isn’t just a game, it’s almost a tech demo, showing the power and technology of the company that built it. As far as fruit themed games go, it’s about as good as they get, and it’s still in early access, but I’ve found so much more information to share with you, and it’s stuff you might be interested in knowing if you’re a game developer yourself.

As far as your kart racing genre goes, this game fills most of the niches properly. You have a cast of colourful characters that you can select, there are plenty of weapon choices, and the levels are all different from one another. A neat thing is that you can customize the karts. Change your paintjob, 3 different sizes, and even change the treads, the only real downfall to this is… most of the karts look roughly the same. I will go into more detail about this later in the review, but, the major issue with this game is that although there are unique characters, I’m not invested in any of them already, so their personalities seem sort of bland.

The game is beautiful, and this is where the game truly shines. The characters are bright and colourful, but man, I’m just not that interested in a cast of all girl characters that are for some reason obsessed with a particular variety of fruit. Everything looks great from the character animations, to the way the levels are put together, it all just looks amazing. The sound isn’t half bad, and while the music is your standard fare, it wasn’t super annoying, despite my earlier worry that fruit based music would make its way into a fruit based video game about driving karts while shooting fruit at each other.

Normally, I’d start talking about game design at about this point in the article, but, this is where I’m going to put some information about the developers of this game, – they are an italian based 3D studio who do all sorts of work aside from making their own video games. They’ve had customers like Big Five Communication Agency, who is an advertising firm, and some others I cannot seem to find any information on. (This is probably due to a language barrier, I’m not spending a bunch of time linking to clients whose websites are in Italian.) They make assets, assist other studios in game design, and things of that nature, so, while their game All-Stars Fruit Racing isn’t exactly top 10 game of the year material, it does serve a greater purpose: It allows to say, “look at our stuff in action.” In essence, it’s a giant advertisement for their company, and, that’s pretty interesting. I’ve only heard of major game manufacturers producing “tech demo” style games, and we’re at a point in the indie scene now where a company that only does 3D work has determined that producing a viable “test product” is financially viable. The next paragraph is gonna involve lots of crying, so bear with me here.

In 2007, Crytek released Crysis, a game that the current gen hardware could not actually run on the highest graphical settings. This game is generally regarded as a tech demo to show the power of CryEngine 2, the follow up to the CryEngine used in Far Cry. CryEngine 2 was one of the first engines to use DirectX 10, and giving incredible depth in the graphics department. The game was even released for console 4 years later and was still hailed as graphically magnificent.

What does this mean for All-Star Fruit Racing? Well… it’s not going to be hailed as the king of graphics, there won’t be any “…but will it run Fruit Cars?” memes or anything similar. But, what it will do, is show game developers who are lacking strength in the graphics and animation departments exactly what can provide if they want to pony up the cash. This is a very smart move by a company attempting to position itself for further auxiliary work in a field full of hard working professionals. “…but, how do I KNOW your graphics look good in motion?” “Here’s a key to a game we threw together. It’s not got a lot for story, or even anything new in the kart racing format, but, I think you’ll appreciate the stuff we specialize in.” BOOM. Marketing complete, in an entertaining and ultimately acceptable, non-offensive package that anybody from the hardcore gaming community through the executives recreating ReBoot, (Warning, Polygon link) will appreciate.

The game follows your standard kart racing formula, practically Sonic and All-Stars Racing, without the blue hedgehog. Try to win the race while driving over powerups to shoot various objects at your opponents to spin them out. Every character has a unique special ability, which are roughly graphical replacements for other moves, but, the point is, the game operates exactly like you would imagine a kart racing game would. The only wholly unique piece of the game is fruit mixing, which is an entire style of race where you drive over various fruit to combine them to make other fruit… that makes other powerups.

If you’re into the kart racing genre, this early access title might be worth taking a look at. The multiplayer is still in the works, and, while multiplayer connectivity is important in all games, games such as this are usually pretty forgiving when it comes to connectivity. You’re not grinding wheel to wheel often in a game like this, so, I’m pretty confident in saying unless the netcode is truly abysmal, you won’t have a huge problem playing with your friends. The mass market appeal of a game of fruitcars isn’t likely, except perhaps as a meme, but, if you’re looking for something refreshing and different from Sonic and All Stars racing, this might be a likely candidate.

So, while the game isn’t the greatest kart racer of all time, it’s a positive position for the company, and even a worthwhile replacement if you’re looking for something with less iconic characters. If you’re working in the gaming industry yourself and require a team to put together incredible graphics for you, this is a great game to show you how well does what it does best.

Check out the game on Steam

Disclosure: We received a copy for free

Check out the Developers/Publishers:

For more Fruit related adventuring, check out this weaboo Visual Novel: The Fruit of Grisaia

…and because I just want to link stuff, more Fruit music!

Additional research brought to you in part by: Plagueware


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