In the new DreamWorks computer animated summer movie Turbo, a snail gets infused with nitro from a race car and now is the fastest snail in the world. Now you can play as Turbo and his friends in the new game based on the movie. Surprise! Turbo: Super Stunt Squad is a racing game! (Nintendo Wii and 3DS versions reviewed here)
In the game, race as Turbo and other snails from the movie. You can select which snail and shell to use in the races, and each shell has different handling abilities. Win trophies to unlock more shells. There is a tournament mode where you compete in a series of tracks, Quick Play which lets you do a single race, and Time Trials. Up to four racers can go at it at the same time, too.
Even though you’re playing as turbocharged snails, you’re still snails, so the tracks are larger than life places such as restaurant signs, bottoms of tables, and tomato gardens. Another great thing about snails is their sticky slime allows them to crawl on walls and ceilings, making for some interesting and varied track designs. Unfortunately, it’s still sometimes hard to tell where you should be going as you zip up, down, and around the tracks.
The other unique thing about this game is how you obtain power ups. In most character based racers of this ilk, you pass over boxes, balloons, or other icons on the track for pickups. But here, you earn power ups by performing stunts. When catching air on a ramp, you can press any direction on the D-pad and you’ll earn a power-up. It’s standard kart racing boosters like speed-ups, shields, etc. The neat thing is that each direction on the D-pad corresponds to a certain power-up, so you can choose what kinds of powers to get. You can even jump without a ramp and do a stunt to get a power-up. But be careful because if you wipe out during a stunt, you may end up losing your place in the race!
The 3DS version is nearly identical to the Wii game, minus the multiplayer modes. The graphics take a slight dip in detail on the 3DS, but not much, and it still runs smoothly. The other CPU racers in both versions tend to bunch up, so while you can pass them all easily on a corner, if you mess up, they can all just as easily pass you. This, plus the confusing track designs, make the fun factor of this racer move at a snail’s pace. A real snail, not a turbocharged one.
Turbo: Super Stunt Squad is rated E for Everyone with an ESRB descriptor of Comic Mischief. If you get hit or fall off the track or wipe out, you just disappear and respawn again. If you’re OK with your kids watching the movie, they’ll definitely be OK with the game, too. Reading skill isn’t necessary, but younger players may get frustrated at the difficulty and lack of good instructions on how to play. One thing I thought was kind of neat is that whoever wins the race, the other snails congratulate them by saying positive things like “Way to go, Turbo!” It’s nice to see good sports, even if it’s just in a video game. However, even though I can think of better racers, kids who loved the Turbo movie may like this game anyway.