Coffin Dodgers aims to fill the current generation consoles’ lack of kart racers. With the distinct lack of competition, does this mean that Coffin Dodgers wins by default?
The premise is interesting, you are a group of elderly people who have been told by the grim reaper that their time is up, and refuse to go down without a fight. They decide to challenge him in a “kart” race or more accurately a souped up mobility scooter race, and the winner gets to live.
The story is shown as an animated comic book style with text boxes, and that is all you get until you complete the story mode. This consists of 3 races in 4 environments, each getting slightly trickier with additional weapon power-ups. Levels are very static, unlike titles you have played in the past, the stages stay the same throughout all the laps, and there aren’t any short-cuts to speak of. The visuals aren’t great, and do not push the PS4 at all, they look akin to a last gen game.
Gameplay is very “by-the-books” and features simple weapon pick-ups with the classic speed boosts and rocket weapons you will be familiar with. There is a melee option that adds a second layer of strategy, but I found myself rarely use this after the start of the race. The difficulty spike is a little jarring, if you pull ahead of everyone it is unlikely you will be taken down and a 1st place finish is almost a guarantee. However, if you are behind everyone there aren’t any real options for you to recover. There is no “super move” than hits every player, and pick-ups don’t lean towards dropping speed boosts to help you out either. The AI doesn’t rubber band, and you will experience some slight frustrations at the beginning, but once you upgrade your vehicle and increase in playing time you will rarely find this to be an issue. I managed to finish in first place on the final extended “mash-up” track on the first go.
The story mode allows you to select from multiple characters, all have pretty much the same attributes, and you have the option to race as the grim reaper himself, which gives an alternate ending that is worth watching. It’s a little darker than I had expected. The way this game is designed leads me to believe it was targeted to a younger audience, but the grim reaper ending confused me. Any adult playing this game will get bored fairly quickly, and the violence at the end makes it unfit for children around the 7-10 age range.
Upon completing the single player mode you will look for other options, and there are several such as a split-screen racing mode and a “Crazy Taxi” like open-world mode. Here you pick up items and drop them off at different locations. These mdoes are OK for a while, but again can get very repetitive, and I had reached my limit of playing this game at this point.
It is rare that you can platinum a game before reviewing it, but this was the case for Coffin Dodgers, and frankly the only reason to play it, even though you may be starving for a kart racer, this probably won’t keep you coming back after a single play session.
- Replay Value