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Game Profile
Encore Software
King Of The Jungle
GENRE: Racing
PLAYERS:   1-4
September 30, 2003
Grooverider: Slot Car Thunder

 Written by Kyle Williams  on December 02, 2003

Full Review: Racing has never seen this approach before...

There isn't a lot of unexplored territory in racing videogames. Powerhouses like Gran Turismo and Mario Kart have locked up the top spots in most game libraries. So, what does it take for a newcomer to earn a spot amongst the greats? A unique twist, that's what. Grooverider: Slot Car Thunder offers just that with the first slot car racing video game to grace game consoles. What is unique about slot car racing is that, by placing cars on energized tracks, the emphasis is taken off of cornering and handling and is placed on effective acceleration and use of power-ups.

Grooverider: Slot Car Thunder starts off on the right foot by mixing some of the best elements of the top racing and top kart racing titles. There are tons of unlockable cars and tracks and there are oodles of in-race power-ups to collect. The game is effectively difficult and, with everything unlocked, there is a great variety that will satisfy even fickle game players. The game is fun to play in short bursts, especially against three friends. The best part is that the game only gets better as you unlock more items.

Unfortunately, everything that works in Grooverider: Slot Car Thunder is counteracted by the fact that the gameplay gets repetitive. This is due, in part, to the fact that mastering any given race track is simply a matter of memorizing the placement of obstacles and power-ups which is accomplished by running the same track over and over again. To compound this, you have to perform almost flawlessly to unlock additional tracks and cars. The end result is having to invest time mastering every track before you can unlock the next one, a double edged sword considering the repetitiveness. Never has there been a game that I've both wanted to play and not wanted to play at the same time.

Bottom Line
Grooverider: Slot Car Thunder is a great budget title that succeeds in many key areas. At it's heart, Grooverider is fun to play and encourages you to play with a couple of friends. Unfortunately, repetitive gameplay bogs down the fun factor and makes it difficult to keep your game playing motivation going. The final verdict is mixed but, if you have patience, Grooverider is great for someone looking for a change of racing pace.

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