Set in the tranquil retirement village of Sunny Pines, Coffin Dodgers sees seven elderly people attempt to thwart the Grim Reaper by challenging him to a number of races set in & around their little town.
The Reaper agrees (if you’ve seen Bill & Ted, you know that the bony one can’t turn a challenge down) so the old people set about pimping out their mobility scooters.
The challenge is simple, beat the Grim Reaper in a racing championship & they will be allowed to continue living.
Bright & colourful, mixing offbeat humour with karting mechanics. Coffin Dodgers looks like a lot of fun on first glance but look deeper & you’ll see an ugly, bland, boring & overly easy game.
Let’s start with the graphics…
Coffin Dodgers goes with a simple cartoonish look with very little detail. Looking more like a Playstation One game, the backgrounds are bland & the tracks themselves uninspired. Several times while driving through tunnel sections the word ‘disgusting’ kept coming to mind.
Now I understand that this is a karting game with cartoon graphics, that it’s going for a simplistic look however that doesn’t excuse just how dated they are.
To make matters worse when moving at a high speed I found characters & objects would blur & glitch slightly. This is made even worse when stuck among a group of other racers.
There are 7 different characters to choose from (with the 8th – the Grim Reaper unlocked once the main story is complete) but it really doesn’t matter who you choose. Other than a bit of background information about them they have no personalities & offer no difference in driving.
You can upgrade your scooter in the garage with coins you earn in the races but it’s not really that important. You see, the game is so easy that with minimal upgrades to your speed & acceleration you’ll be winning races with ease, that is provided you can avoid the horrible melee weapons of your opponents.
Possibly my biggest complaint surrounds the added detail that you can melee your opponents to slow them down. They can also do this to you making the early stages of a race a nightmare. No matter how well you did in the previous race you’ll always start at the back & while it’s easy to get to the front dodging the swinging sticks of all the other racers requires some serious skill.
Getting knocked off you’re scooter is far too easy while among the crowd & it takes far too long to respawn. Have that happen to you a few times in the race & finishing within the top 3 is suddenly a tough prospect.
It’s not just the melee weapon but also power ups dotted around the track. It’s the usual kind of stuff you’d expect in a karting game; homing missiles, boosts, shields etc. Except here the missiles miss more times than they hit, the shield lasts far too long & don’t get me started on the Uzi. I’ve been directly behind other racers using that thing & it still misses.
The controls are infuriatingly responsive & using your brakes is almost pointless. Bouncing off lamp-posts, getting stuck in corners, loosing huge amounts of speed after launching off jumps, obstacles that suddenly come round the corner not giving even a second to react…the list goes on & on.
As you can see Coffin Dodgers is filled with flaw after flaw & with only 10 races overall there isn’t that much content either. Local multiplayer, while welcome just prolongs the agony & an open world mode offers little in the way of extra fun.
For achievement hunters it’s an easy enough completion but you’d be wasting your money. Some may think I’m being harsh here but this game costs just under £10, which is a lot of money for just how poor the overall product is.