A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix is a racing game for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. The game's based on several Nickelodeon shows, featuring the characters from each. There's some mild cartoon violence, such as using power-ups to spin out rival riders using bombs, rockets, fire breath attacks, nunchucks, and so on. There's no blood, gore, or graphic violence. There's a little "toilet humor" from time to time, with some flatulence sound effects. Otherwise, there's no inappropriate content.
What's it about?
Fans of kart racing games and Nickelodeon shows, such as SpongeBob SquarePants and Invader Zim, now have a new adventure that fuses the two in NICKELODEON KART RACERS 2: GRAND PRIX. This game lets you race as or against the largest roster of Nickelodeon characters ever compiled in a game. Along with the aforementioned shows, you can choose from 30 playable characters from the likes of Hey, Arnold!, Ren & Stimpy, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Legend of Korra, Rugrats, The Loud House, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and even dance and music star JoJo Siwa. Roughly 70 other Nickelodeon characters can also be assembled for your pit crew, along with themed upgrades to your vehicles that give a nod to various franchises. As a kart racing game, you'll control your cartoon driver through more than two dozen tracks, drifting around corners, picking up power-ups and choosing the right time and place to inflict damage on unsuspecting opponents. Some tracks return from the original game, plus there are battle arenas, too. Driving over green slime fills up a power meter and pulling off high jumps and finding shortcuts can give you an edge on the track. Along with single-player modes (and eight Cups to try your luck in) and various challenges, there's a four-player local split-screen option, as well as an eight-player online race.
Is it any good?
For the most part, this racer delivers many hours of challenging fun, responsive controls, and a variety of familiar characters and power-ups. While Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix is curiously missing the voices of all these iconic characters, which is a shame, but it's overall a fun and surprisingly deep kart racer. It isn't just deep in its vast roster selection and the power-ups you can use per driver, slime moves, and kart upgrades, but there's a lot of selection in modes, too. For solo gaming, there's Slime Grand Prix, Free Race, Time Trial (ghost racers), Arena (deathmatch-style), and Challenges. With the latter, there are 42 challenges to indulge in, such as beating times, hitting targets, collecting items, avoiding obstacles, performing stunts, and engaging in boss races (and not all of them are accessible until you complete earlier tasks). Multiplayer modes range from local play (2, 3, or 4 players) or online (random matchmaking or play with friends). Also be aware you'll need an account for online play (like a Nintendo Switch Online membership).
While it might not seem like a big deal, having no voices in Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix -- from these familiar characters, no less -- is a huge miss in the production department. Thankfully, there's a lot more to like in this game. Players of all ages and skill levels will no doubt fall for the charm of this accessible and engaging kart racer. And if you ever wondered who might win in a race from your favorite Nickelodeon shows, this game could possibly answer that question.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about marketing to kids. Does Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix stand on its own if it wasn't filled with familiar Nickelodeon characters, like SpongeBob SquarePants? Or is this game a blatant cog in Nickelodeon's marketing machine, designed to further the appeal -- and monetization -- of these popular cartoon franchises?
What's the appeal of kart racing games? Is it the fast paced nature of the gameplay? Is it the wacky nature of the weapons used during races? Is it the cute nature of the characters?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
- Price: $33.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Game Mill
- Release date: October 6, 2020
- Genre: Racing
- Topics: Cars and Trucks, Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Cats, Dogs, and Mice
- ESRB rating: E for Mild Cartoon Violence
- Last updated: October 21, 2020
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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.