Sep 17, 2012
Droidhen, creators of the popular Defender games on Android (that surprisingly haven’t been shut down by whoever owns the trademark to the classic arcade game Defender), have a new title that has an interesting hook to it. Turbo Kids is essentially what would happen if an endless runner was crossed with Mario Kart. Players control one of the eponymous turbo kids, who like to compete in footraces with other speedy kids. They like to race through courses above bottomless bits, with tricky jumps, speed boosters, and launch pads, because turbo kids like it wild. They also like to play with items to toss around, like freeze orbs and spiked balls that switch places with the unfortunate victim. Along the way, money and stars can be earned (based on the traditional 3-star ranking system) that can be spent on character and skill upgrades, respectively. These are necessary to keep up with the opposition!
The fun of Turbo Kids comes from that Mario Kart-esque ability to screw over opponents at opportune moments for succeeding. Switching places with the leader is always great. There’s still plenty that can be done to keep from being a victim of venomous fate, There are 60 levels in the main game, with 4 modes that award additional stars for repeated successful performance.
Turbo Kids is free, and the free to play elements don’t really feel all that onerous. They feel designed to where maybe long-time players who have played the game a lot and are finding it difficult to advance will feel compelled to spend money rather than grinding on objectives. That’s the way it should work: compel the players who spend a lot of time to spend the money, not to try and punish players for playing for free from the beginning. There are at least plenty of opportunities to grind for in-game currency, which makes the experience extremely easy to manage.
What I want out of Turbo Kids is multiplayer support of some kind. All the fun of freezing opponents and using the moonwalk ability to escape their devious traps would feel a lot more fun if it could be done to people I know instead of random strangers on the internet. Plus, more customization would be great, instead of just being a distinct color amongst the other same-colored turbo kids.
Still, this is a remarkably refreshing take on the endless runner genre, one that does a lot right with the entire package. Fantastic work from Droidhen.