The Game Boy Advance is really starting to push the limits of the phrase 'You can have too much of a good thing'. It appears that every company who manages to get hold of a sought-after license, bundles the movie/comic book/cornershop cashier (!?) characters together and makes a Mario Kart clone for Nintendo’s portable.
The latest to hit the shelves is Shrek Swamp Kart Speedway from TDK Mediactive, featuring everyone’s favourite mutant, Danny from Hear’Say. No sorry, Shrek, the bumbling hero of last year’s smash-hit movie.
The plot for this outing sees Shrek and friends race in a championship for the Dragon’s treasure. The winner of the treasure gets to decide the future of the swamp that Shrek calls home. At present it is under threat from Lord Farquaad who seems to think that the best use for Shrek’s beloved home is as his own personal dumping ground.
Shrek builds himself a Kart and takes part, alongside a whole heap of other characters from the film, including Princess Fiona, Donkey and Lord Farquaad himself, intent on scuppering the chances of losing his right to tip.
The game plays well, as you will have come to expect from this usually high-quality genre. Shrek Swamp Kart Speedway has all the usual power-ups that generally grace these racers, with well designed tracks and fluid Mode 7 movement. One nice touch to be found in Shrek Kart (sorry TDK!) is the variation in track design and environment. Different courses will be better suited to some characters, and more difficult for others. Also, in a fairly unique move, as well as standard flat racing tracks, some levels feature rolling, bumpy terrain, with hazards and boosters dotted along the way.