GDC: Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing hands-on video

The popular console kart-racing game is coming to the iOS!

There have been some surprisingly great kart racing titles on the iOS, and Sega’s All-Star Racing looks to continue that with it’s upcoming release. The major console version of the game was well-received as a fun arcade kart racing title, and a general surprise for those used to the more contrived Sonic-involved titles in recent history.

Pat and I got our grubby little hands on a very early alpha build of the game at a Sega event earlier today, and we got to try out the 1v1 mode via local wifi. Thegame supports up to 4 players via local wifi normally, and 2 via bluetooth. No word yet on online play, but it’s still in early development.

My overall experience with the game was a good one, but being an extremely early build, there’s certainly plenty to be polished and tweaked. The game plays


heavy on the use of drifting and boosting (in that order), and the dynamics of that process were a bit confusing at teams. But overall, Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing had a very big Mario Kart feel to it, which is definitely a good thing. I found myself instantly comparing many of the weapons in the game to MK (“that’s the green shell, that’s the red shell…” etc), and there are certainly original weapons as well. Each character (there will ten total) also has their own special weapon that can be used.

We only got to play a couple tracks, but there are supposed to be 12 in the final version, along with 3 battle arenas. The first one did a good job capturing the Hill Zone in the classic Sonic games, and the second was a snow level. The tracks we played featured the various loops and corkscrews that you would expect from a Sonic game, and seemed to have some nice variety to them.

One final thing I noticed was the Mario Kart method of powerup distribution. The races were always close, as the losing players got the best items to use. It’s hard to say much more about a game that’s in such early stages of development, but what we saw was solid and fun, with room for control improvements and handling tweaks. Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing will be out “this Spring”.

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  • Nigel Wood

    I hope they remove the rubber banding that gives the loser the edge, it’s one of the annoying traits of Mario Kart Wii. Especially if the single player AI has it too.

  • Carl Stevens

    I’ve got the console version of this and it looks like a port, same track as in the video too.

    @Nigel, the rubber banding exists in the console version of this, so wouldn’t be surprised if they kept it in, if you’re in the last 3 places or so, you are more likely to collect a ‘special weapon’ that tends to boost you into the top 3.

  • Matt Dunn, USA

    the “rubberbanding” has always been one of my favorite parts of the Mario Kart series. Otherwise the game is extremely boring, and not unlike normal racing games, where one person sits in the lead the whole time. I hope they leave it in!

  • Luke

    Actually looks like it could be fun… Could this be the first good kart racer for the iPhone?

  • Nigel Wood, UK

    @luke. You obviously havnt played Crash Nitro Kart 2… It’s awesome and online!

  • Luke

    @Nigel I did, but got so frustrated with it. The controls and always on acceleration killed it for me. I’d get stuck in a corner and couldn’t back up and get passed by everyone. Reverse seemed like a key missing feature.

  • KoopaCap

    I loved Crash Nitro Kart 2, too, because of the great online mode. But the visuals weren’t that great compared to Shrek Kart.

    I played All-Stars Racing on Wii and found out, that Sumo Digital did a great job when it comes to missions and time trial. I didn’t really play a lot online interestingly, which is what I do all the time in Mario Kart.

    So, is this game a port of the console version or a port of the DS version?