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Special | The best kart simulator

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THE BEST KART SIMULATOR

Everyone can choose their favorite kart sim racing game. That’s because the market has something for everyone: from super realistic simulations to playful multilevel games for consoles. Products that feature single, multiplayer and online gaming sessions. Our guide will help you choose the one that’s right for you!

THE FIRST DECISION YOU NEED TO MAKE: FUN OR REALISM?

Karting video games are basically divided into two types, “arcade” and “simulation”. Let’s take a look at the differences, so you can make the first important decision that will lead to choosing your next kart-based pastime. Although there is no reason why you can’t choose your favourite video game in each of the two categories.

ARCADE

Driving in fantasy scenarios with cartoon-style graphics and entirely invented vehicles: these are the main features of “arcade”-style video games. They’re games in the true sense of the word: they require commitment and skill, but have little to do with actual driving ability. This type of videogame can represent the right choice if you want to spend time with your family, perhaps to challenge your cousin, a niece, a nephew or a grandchild (who in all probability will actually be better than you are!), while maintaining some kind of link to your hobby: karting. Be warned, though: don’t be disappointed when you find out that kart driving in Mario Kart is closer to driving a shopping cart than it is to your shifter.

SIMULATION

When it comes to driving simulations, the words “game” and “video games” should be banned. While the basis for using kart simulators, as it is for arcade games, is a desire to have fun, compared to classic video games, the primary goal of simulators is to replicate reality, actually driving a kart, as far as possible. Whereas developers of arcade games spend their time inventing imaginative scenarios and surprising features, those who design and build a kart simulator have the sole objective of making the “game” as similar to using an actual kart as possible. Doing so is far from easy, because as practicing kart drivers know, karts are vehicles with a truly unique dynamic, which is quite different from that of other vehicles and their behaviour out on the track varies due to a number of elements (the flexing of tubes, minimal aerodynamic adjustment, shifting of weight heavily impacted by the driver’s movements, etc.) that are difficult to control and replicate using mathematical formulas and algorithms, which are the basis for creating a simulator. At TKART, we had the opportunity to try a concept hyper-professional simulator (which is also hyper-expensive, since its estimated cost was about 1 million Euros) it. If you’re curious about how it went, read the article that describes our experience.

KART ARCADE GAMES

There are not very many karting-based video games, but they are very popular. Below are the main ones you can choose from.

VR KARTS

Developer: Viewpoint Games
Platform: PC, Console
Game modes: Single-player, multiplayer
Prices: € 24,99 on Playstation store; € 7,99 (VR Karts: Sprint) on Oculos

Virtual Reality karts is based on cartoons with colourful characters and karts and, above all, as is evident from the name, offers a very engaging virtual reality feature compared to the competition. The most exciting perspective is the subjective option, which allows you to turn your head and actually see where the opponents are behind you, for example. The driving experience is not in the highest priority of this game, but it is still immediate and pleasant. The aspect involving the battles is very well developed. The championship mode is the most varied and allows the most heated challenges against friends.

MARIO KART DELUXE

Developer: Nintendo
Platform: Console
Game modes: Single-player, multiplayer
Prices: $ 59.99 on Nintendo; € 49,99 on Amazon

The prince among kart-arcade games; known throughout the world and starring Super Mario, the most famous plumber in videogames, who has become a well-known character even outside his virtual world. He is the inspiration for almost all kart-based games with cartoon settings: the first version, Super Mario Kart, was released in 1992. The “Deluxe” version of Mario Kart offers 48 different tracks that test the driving skills and… luck of the players. Indeed, every bend can conceal obstacles which slow down players, while numerous shortcuts allow those in pursuit to make up ground.

CRASH TEAM RACING

Developer: Beenox
Platform: Console
Game modes: Single-player, multiplayer
Prices: € 39,99 on Playstation store; € 32,99 (for Playstation) on Amazon.it; € 39,99 on Xbox and Nintendo

A classic of adventure video games that simply had to have a racing version. We’re talking about Crash Bandicoot! Absolutely everyone knows the likeable star of the series? The characters in the team are the familiar faces, after all, you don’t change a winning team. In the game, you have fun competing in various settings and different modes: from single-player to multiplayer games so you can challenge your friends, right up to the “career” option, which allows you to challenge increasingly difficult opponents.

DIDDY KONG RACING

Developer: Rare
Platform: Console
Game modes: Single-player, multiplayer
Price: € 38,99 (for Nintendo 64) on Amazon.it

Released for the first time back in 1997, Diddy Kong Racing achieved great success, even though its direct competitor was… Mario Kart 64. One of its characteristics, compared to the games we’ve already mentioned, is that you can compete on the same track using a plane, a kart and a hovercraft. The different types of vehicles make the races lively and varied, although, inevitably, this game is on the outermost “fringe” of video games that can be considered as having karts as the main stars. The last version, on Nintendo DS, was released in 2007. Nowadays, it’s only available on the used market and it has started to become something of a game for collectors.

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