Licenced games are not usually the bastions of top tier gaming but some can surprise with decent theming and a well thought out concept. Gigantosaurus: Dino Kart is a shining example of what a perfect 5/10 game looks and feels like. It is inoffensive and totally playable without having a single standout feature. I’m not sure if this better or worse than a game that has character but is poor to play but there is very little here to recommend to anyone except the most ardent collector of kart racers.
Gigantosaurus: Dino Kart has 15 tracks and 8 characters all based on the dino theme taken from the show. The best thing about this game is the theming. Each track has a prehistoric vibe be it islands, volcanoes, deep jungles or beaches. They are bright and colourful and so are the characters and their karts. They are rickety and cute. I was taken back to wooden cam toy designs with how they look and feel and it gives a warm wholesome vibe to the whole affair. The single unique standout feature of the game is that on some tracks, Giganto himself stomps across the track and since every race is 3 laps, invariably on lap 2 he’ll be on track as you drive passed so you’ll need to dodge his feet. It gives a nice sense of moveable scale because a lot of the paper and wooden track decorations feel a bit flat if you look at them.
You’ll be looking at them a lot because this game only have one speed and that’s moderately slow. As its aimed at the younger crowd, the standard speed feels slower than most other kart racers and when you boost through drifting or a power up, that feels nice but again quite benign because you are rarely challenged to steer tightly on the tracks. The handling feels responsive which is a plus but you are rarely challenged with hairpins or tight turns. Occasionally tracks will have water spout traps on that narrow the track down and each track has a shortcut hidden by vines that is narrow but those will be the sole times you’ll need to steer much. The fact the default option for the game is to turn auto steering on says a lot about the difficulty level and the game audience. That is a nice feature those and pitches the game against Race With Ryan. I hate myself for saying this though, Race With Ryan has more game to offer.
The problem isn’t really what the game does, its about what it doesn’t. You can only race 3 lap races with weapons. No time trial. No real campaign beyond a few cups to unlock half the characters. No weaponless mode. No laptime records. Only one colour customisation change per kart. Up to four player splitscreen works really well but its constrained by the 3 lap race only format. No replays. No story. No continuous drift – you have to keep stop and starting to get any kind of boost. Nothing but the bare bones of what a kart game can offer you. Whilst its got a pleasant and uplifting theme, that simply isn’t enough.
There are loads of kart games out there doing more for less and even other licenced kart games do more. I’d recommend the Nickelodeon Karts games over Gigantosaurus: Dino Kart ten times out of ten. It has unique elements, a bigger cast, more racing options, a progressive drift system and some great theming. The second one is always on sale and cheaper than this, why would you ever consider this an option? For fans of the show who are desperate for a kart game only.
Gigantosaurus: Dino Kart
Extremely barebones in every way, this might have some nice theming but you can get a better kart experience for less elsewhere.
Nice application of the licence and theme.
4 player splitscreen runs perfectly.
Auto drive mode is a plus for very young gamers.
Drifting is unfulfilling and bitty.
Absolutely nothing outside of 3 lap race mode, this limiting its shelf life.
Feels slow compared to other kart games.
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