Meow Motors takes the fun of go-kart racing and adds an adorable cast of cats to make for an enjoyable racing game. The genre of racing games over the years has fallen victim to repetitive formula that is sometimes only held together by any form of a decent racing experience. Thankfully, the team over at Art Vostock did not take this route with Meow Motors.
The game begins with the scene of a thrilling go-kart race. All seems to be on track for the third-generation racer and protagonist, Rocky, until things take a sharp turn for the worst, revealing fierce rivalry with an undefeated cat called Master Duke and an unfilled wish to make an old cat proud. From then on out, you get to take the wheel and restore the lost glory of our determined feline.
Meow Motors is true to the simple thrill of go-kart racing. Played across different worlds with 20 tracks, each “world” has a championship to be won. With every win, you will earn three stars and one less star for each lower position. These stars are collected and go on to unlock the other championships. In Meow Motors, you will get the opportunity to play as 10 different cats, each with its own character and unique abilities. And just like the championships, these characters are unlockable as you progress in the game. Each cat has their own story and drive for their racing career. From a spoilt and rebellious lady Sue to an optimistic quantum physics professor called Lucky, each feline is as special as their abilities which impact your race.
Meow Motors offers three modes to play: circle race, drift and strike. In circle race it is all about finishing your race in first place, while strike is about destroying as many frags as you possibly can. Drift mode is exactly that. Here you can perfect and master the art of flawless drifting to the finish line – which of course can be to your advantage in championship races. I’m not going to lie, I often found myself drifting with that song from that other drifting movie playing in my head.
Now what would a go-kart racing game be without a wonderful selection of super vehicles? This is one of the shining moments of Meow Motors. Each go-kart has its own look, drive style and capabilities. Sometimes it is as if the go-karts are as much a character in the game as the kitties that drive them. Controlling the go-karts is simple enough in theory but can be a little challenging in the beginning as you adjust to the speeds and racetracks. But once you get the hang of it, its all systems go. There is a meter that warns you when your go-kart is operating in speeds that can cause it to overheat and therefore underperform. Keeping your eye on this meter will help you especially when your kart has suffered some damage.
Speaking of damage, Meow Motors makes racing fun by adding the ability to gain advantage over other racers through your go-kart. Each racetrack has holographic boxes along the path which are collected by running through them. These boxes contain useful tools like weapons and repairs for your vehicle. They are on a first-come-first-served basis, meaning that although there are enough for every racer to obtain one, if a racer before gets to one first it is gone and you will have to attempt to get your kart on the path of a box not already taken. The weapons can be anything depending on the go-kart you are driving – from bullets to bubblegum. These will be used against your opponents to slow them down and vice-versa. There is also an energy meter which when fully charged lets you use nitro or oil to either catch up or gain further advantage in the race. This meter is charged in several ways including points from weapon power ups and successful drifts. Yes, you can drift in Meow Motors! And believe me when I say that you will need it.
What I enjoyed with Meow Motors was the fact that each racetrack was not monotonous. There are stationary and moving obstacles that make the race harder but can be avoided on and sometimes a little off-track. Different parts of the racetracks have their own unique environments. For example, you could be driving through a calm tarred road mini-town and be in a sandstorm a few seconds later. This keeps the game from getting boring and with the vivid colours and bright environments, you will be visually entertained as well.
There were rarely any technical issues with Meow Motors like glitching or controls that I experienced. Overall, Meow Motors is a wholesome racing game with lots of personality and can be enjoyed across ages.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox One code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Meow Motors Review
Gameplay - 8/10
Graphics - 9/10
Sound - 7/10
Replay Value - 8/10
Meow Motors is a well-executed go-kart racing game with lots of personality, thrills and the cutest cats to match.
- Variety of unique characters and vehicles.
- Fun racing experience.
- Fair challenge.
- Sometimes finicky controls.