A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this racing game has some cartoon violence, but very little objectionable material. The bright worlds and cartoon characters will appeal to young players under age 8, but the game may be too difficult for them to fully enjoy. This game has an online racing component, and Common Sense Media does not recommend online play for anyone under the age of 12.
What's it about?
DIDDY KONG RACING DS is a modified version of a Nintendo 64 game of the same name. Players guide Diddy Kong or one of his friends in races through colorful worlds to defeat the evil Wizpig.
Players roam about an island setting, delving into connected worlds (a dinosaur world, water world, snow world, etc.) that hold races, collection missions, and boss battles. Players drive a kart or pilot a hovercraft or airplane. Players can collect coins through their races and spend them on upgraded parts for the vehicles to improve things like handling and top speed. Friends can race against other players using one game card or multiple game cards if everyone has a DS, or players can challenge friends and strangers via online contests.
Is it any good?
Unfortunately, a lot of the upgrades and multiplayer events are hard to use because they can only be accessed after quite a lot of repetitive play in the one-player mode. The game asks players to run though the same courses and complete boss battles many times.
The difficulty levels ramp up rather quickly. In the one-player game, players must come in first to advance and the races can get difficult after the first couple of worlds. The controls, including some awkwardly handled touch-screen features, only make matters worse. The emphasis on story and adventure add some interesting twists to standard kart racing conventions, but the racing itself suffers as a result.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what makes racing games fun. Do you like to play by yourself and beat the computer and your previous times? Or do you prefer to race against friends and other people? Do you like racing games with lots of action and weapons, or realistic simulation? This game adds a story level and puzzle play -- do you like that? Parents might want to remind children that the racing that occurs in video games should not be modeled in real life.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.