Chiki Chiki Boxy Racers (Switch)

At first glance, Chiki Chiki Boxy Racers may look like a typical top down racer like RC Pro-Am or Micro Machines, featuring blocky graphics straight out of Minecraft or Crossy Road.  And it is.  But this downloadable Switch title also ended up being a lot better than I thought it would be, thanks to solid controls and fun gameplay.

I think the thing I like best about this game are the controls.  Usually in these games, you can only control the cars like how you maneuver RC vehicles.  Left and right make the cars go in those directions, but it’s the car’s left and right so you have to be mindful of that.  And there is an option to play the game that way.  But the default controls have you pressing the analog stick in the direction you want your car to go, which I like much better.  It reminded me of another top down racer I played in an arcade a few times as a kid called F-1 Dream (by Capcom).

There are two main modes of play: Race and Battle.  In Race, you can choose three locations: City, Jungle, and Beach, and race on tracks in those areas.  There are four tracks for each area, and when you beat them all, you can race all four in a GP mode.  I guess one small problem with the game is that there are only 12 tracks.  Be on the lookout for items on the track that can give you a turbo boost or make you impervious to road hazards temporarily.  When you place first, you’ll unlock a new car to drive.  Each has different levels of handling and speed, and you can get all sorts of vehicles, from roadsters to F-1 racers, to tractors, bulldozers, and even a school bus!

The other main mode is Battle.  There are four mini-games you can play here.  In Coins, you drive around a casino area trying to nab as many coins as possible, In Smash, you try to knock as many boxes off an island as you can, but in multiplayer mode you knock off other racers!  In Paint, drive on a road and try to paint it with your color and cover as much as possible.  Finally in Goal, play soccer with your cars.  Move over, Rocket League!

You can play the games in single player, or with other players, both local and online!  You can choose to play on one screen with multiple Joy Cons, or each person can play on their own Switch.  Up to 8 players can join in on the fun.  The only problem is that if you are playing on one screen, there is no split screen mode so everyone is on the same screen.  And if you fall behind, the game will warp you ahead to the other racers, so it’s not a very fair competition.  So it’s really better if everyone has their own Switch and screen. But other than that, this is a surprisingly fun simple little racing game.

Kid Factor:

Nothing too violent or objectionable here.  You can bump into other cars and knock them into water, but they just disappear and reappear right back on the track.  And that’s as violent as it gets.  Reading skill is helpful for some of the text, but not necessary just to play.  Even though some of the single player modes may be a little hard for young kids, the simple controls and graphics still make it a very accessible racer for the whole family.  Chiki Chiki Boxy Racers is rated E for Everyone.

By the way, does anyone know what “Chiki Chiki” means in Japanese?  I’ve heard it in other games like Capcom’s Chiki Chiki Boys and I think the Japanese version of Wacky Races uses that in their title as well.  Let me know in the comments, thanks.  –Cary

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