Coffin Dodgers

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Coffin Dodgers Game Poster Image
Outrun Death in this cartoonishly violent kart racer.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

You're never too old to have fun.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The seven characters (eight, counting the Grim Reaper) are unique in personality, but none is a particularly good or bad role model.

Ease of Play

The different racers, scooters fairly well balanced; controls easy to pick up and play.

Violence

Lots of cartoon violence, including beating opponents with canes, shooting them with machine guns. The ultimate goal is to be the last racer alive.

Sex

Minor references to one character's past as a centerfold in a fictional adult magazine.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Coffin Dodgers is a cartoonish downloadable arcade-style kart-racing game. The controls are easy to pick up and play, with a fair amount of customization for players. The humor is very tongue-in-cheek, though it could be considered a bit on the darker side, with players taking on the roles of elderly members of a retirement community as they try, literally, to outrace the Grim Reaper. It's also a bit more violent than most kart racers, with players shooting machine guns and swinging melee weapons to take out opponents. There are minor references to one character's past as a centerfold in a fictional adult magazine; expect privacy and safety concerns, given the unmoderated multiplayer.

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What's it about?

In Coffin Dodgers, the wacky residents of the Sunny Pines retirement village have just gotten a new neighbor in the form of the Grim Reaper. When the golden oldies discover this, they make a deal with the Angel of Death to, literally, race for their lives. After souping up their mobility scooters, the codgers take to the streets in a series of winner-takes-all competitions where only the winners live to race another day, while the losers turn over the ultimate pink slip and join Grim's undead army.

Is it any good?

On the surface, Coffin Dodgers seems to follow the tried-and-true formula of countless kart-racing titles that have come before it. You have quirky characters in funny vehicles racing against one another around wild tracks full of twists, turns, jumps, and shortcuts.  You can even try to show up your friends (or even strangers) in both split-screen and online multiplayer. The game's cartoon style and campy presentation are a lot of fun, but the game's subtly dark graveyard humor might be a bit much for younger kids.  After all, these retirees are trying to outrun death itself, and they're willing to shoot up and beat down their friends to do it.

From a technical standpoint, Coffin Dodgers is a relatively solid kart-racing game. Though the roster of racers is relatively slim, there's still plenty of scooter customization to allow players to inject a bit of their own personality into the game. Best of all, the game is surprisingly well balanced. The controls are easy to learn, and no particular weapon, power-up, or boost will give any single player an unfair advantage, so players will have to rely on practice and skill to make sure their favorite curmudgeon lives to the next race.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the impact of violence in games. What difference does it make to use fantasy-based weapons vs. more real-world weapons (turtle shells vs. machine guns, for example)?

  • Discuss the treatment of the elderly. How do children see the elderly presented in the media, and how does that affect their views on older people?

Game details

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