December 6, 2022

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Smurfs Kart (Switch) Review |  Nintendo Live

Smurfs Kart (Switch) Review | Nintendo Live

Captured on a Nintendo Switch (handheld/not included)

When it comes to karting gamesYou can either try something new in an attempt (and potentially fail) to reinvent the genre, or you can play it safe and take notes from Mario Kart.

smurf card He has absolutely no qualms about using the latter option, with an iota of originality in the game’s design. But do you know anything? This isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, this decision borrows heavily from the best – in conjunction with developer Eden Games’ (Unlimited driving testFigure in the racing genre – means Smurfs Kart is a decent little racer.

There’s no need to sit back while reading this, because nothing we’ll tell you about the Smurfs Kart chassis will amaze you in your shoes. You already know the exercises. It’s a karting game starring characters from everyone’s favorite blue Belgian (with apologies to fans of the Club Brugge soccer team, or the overwhelmed Tintin).

The list consists of 12 nautical numbers, from established favorites like Papa Smurf, Jokey, and Smurfette to others that are as old as farts as us, like Blossom, Astro Smurf, and Clockwork Smurf. They each have their own voice acting and their own personality, which means they each feel as unique as dozens of totally blue characters can feel. Each also has its own unique kart, which can’t be customized in any way but at least suits the Smurf character he’s driving.

Smurfs Kart Review - screenshot 2 of 5
Captured on a Nintendo Switch (handheld/not included)

There are two speed settings to choose from – Fun and Hyperspeed – which work just like the “cc” rankings in Mario Kart, not only increasing each kart’s top speed, but also the AI’s difficulty level exponentially.

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Once you’re on the right track, anyone who’s played Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (which is practically everyone, according to sales numbers) will instantly feel at home with the handling, which isn’t a replica but close enough modified from the first race. That is, assuming you didn’t accidentally turn on the driving aids like we did. Just like Mario Kart, assists can be turned on for younger players – these keep you off track, maintain your acceleration, and let you steer with motion controls. It’s possible to accidentally turn them on during pause or character selection screens, but turn them off again easily.

Powersliding is the typical jump-and-slide method you see in a Nintendo game, and you get your typical 3-stage sparks when sliding which determines how quickly the speed increases when exiting a turn. It charges here a bit faster than Mario Kart but other than that it’s the same.

Smurfs Kart Review - screenshot 3 out of 5
Captured on Nintendo Switch (Installed)

Same deal with power ups. Coins are exchanged for Smurfberries and most of the typical Mario Kart weapons are also here under a different theme. Green shells are acorns, red shells are bees, bananas are clumps of dirt, that kind of thing. Everything is straightforward, everything is Mario Kart, everything is easy to learn.

It would all be in vain if the game worked like the ultimate Smurf but this is actually one of the few real surprises we encountered while playing Smurfs Kart – it’s absolutely beautiful when all is said and done. The frame rate isn’t 60 fps like Mario Kart, but while it’s 30 fps it’s at least a pretty solid 30, unlike some other karting games on the Switch (we’re looking at you, Nickelodeon Kart 3 contestants). This drop to 30 is clearly made to ensure the game appears in as much detail as possible.

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And to be honest, it does look pretty good sometimes. If it’s not working in native 1080p while docked, it should be pretty close to it, and there are some really nice lighting effects along with the detailed characters and tracks. Unless you’re vomiting anything under 60fps, you’ll be amazed at how great it looks whether it’s mounted or handheld.

Smurfs Kart Review - screenshot 4 out of 5
Captured on Nintendo Switch (Installed)

It’s not without its downsides, and I know that the most notable one is the number of audio tracks available. Each track is well designed and fun to race around around, and it’s not just lazyly arranged flat surfaces: there’s been a clear effort here to make them fun, with each offering some kind of shortcut and some featuring entirely different tracks.

They even manage to feel the variety when the setting is the same. Some of the tracks take place in the village of the Smurfs, and while the initial bridges of each look alarmingly similar, once the races begin, there is a distinct diversity, for example, between the track that winds down between their homes and the one set in their huge cornfields.

The main problem is that there are only 12 dishes to choose from, divided into three cups. While it’s possible to unlock reversed versions of these, that’s still not a lot of variety for a $40/£45 toy. Multiplayer is a native split screen only too, with no online play to keep you occupied. It won’t be long until you’ve been playing each track completely from the inside out, and while this might not be a huge problem for younger players, older fans will get a little squeaky after a while.

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Smurfs Kart Review - screenshot 5 out of 5
Captured on Nintendo Switch (Installed)

However, there is also a Sticker Album in the game which gives players to perform certain achievements, including winning a certain number of races with specific characters. This should add a bit of longevity and give players a reason to take each route for the thousandth time. In the end, though, this lack of content is the only major – albeit very significant – problem with this surprisingly well-rounded karting game.


On the track, Smurfs Kart does a surprisingly strong imitation of Mario Kart, with satisfying handling and some great visuals (albeit at 30 fps). In Switch karting’s grand leaderboard, this won’t make for a problem with podium places, but it certainly stays behind the front racers and certainly provides entertaining time, even if it’s as short as its theme. The lack of courses is what prevents it from being one of the best karting games on the Switch, but they certainly didn’t beat this one.