Chiki-Chiki Boxy Racers has taught me a valuable lesson. From two decades of playing video games and four years of writing reviews, I’ve started to think I can judge a game from a first look. Turns out, I’m only right most of the time. What an important lesson in humility I have learned. So Chiki-Chiki Boxy Racers might be a lot of what I expected, but it’s also a lot better than my initial assumptions.
Down to brass tacks, Chiki-Chiki Boxy Racers is an obnoxiously titled racing game for the Nintendo Switch. It did not take long for this game to smack me with nostalgia for the old Micro Machines games back in the 90’s. The isometric view and simplistic design harkens back to the good ol’ days, but don’t let that fool you. This game may have and old school look, but it plays very differently than you might expect.
Pretty much the second I took control of my little car in this game, I knew something was different. From the look of the game, I expected something pretty basic. Like a flash game in the heyday of Newgrounds, but this game is a little more than that. The speeds, the controls, the overall feel of the game is great. You’re incentivised to drift around corners, to try and hit the curves perfectly. This part of the game feels amazing. The obvious comparison is Mario Kart, and believe me this game wants to be isometric Mario Kart, but I wouldn’t disregard how well designed this game is. It’s responsive and fluid, just thoroughly satisfying. Gameplay is good, but it needs content to go with it.
Chiki-chiki nope I’m done with that name has a total of twelve courses over three scenarios; city, jungle and beach. As you complete each race, you unlock more vehicles. There are plenty to unlock, including trucks and forklifts as well as your standard super/sports cars. Initially I thought a lot of these were joke inclusions, but after trying a few I saw their purpose. The various vehicles have the kind of stats you’d expect, and there are massive differences between cars of widely differing stats. I picked the forklift expecting to be completely left behind, only to find it may be the best vehicle in the game. Each vehicle has value, and the capability to win. There may be a bunch of cars, but there really isn’t a whole lot to do with them. You’ll easily go through all twelve tracks in an evening, so unless you have some friends to race with you won’t have a lot to do.
If you’re done with racing, the game has a number of battle modes for you and your friends. You can compete to collect coins, knock each other off a platform, play graffiti from Tony Hawk or even play some football. These game modes have no AI players so you’ll need someone to play with. I say you’ll need someone, because from what I can tell you’re not likely to find anyone to play with online. The game has online multiplayer but after several attempts I haven’t been able to find a match. If you want to race or battle with other players, you’ll have to organise it yourself. The game has full local multiplayer so there is an option.
Stupid Silly-Name Box Car Racer is a cute, fun, addictive little game. As a cheap alternative to Mario Kart it’s perfectly fine. As a short distraction it’s great. If you’re in the market for a fun little racing game, you can’t do much better than this one.