The Purrfect Mario Kart Replacement for PC
Grab the controllers because this one’s a kart game with all the fun of Mario Kart minus the banana peel and add instead, a shark launcher. If that sounds like a good time you might just like Meow Motors by ArtVostok.
Finding this to be a smile worthy game so far. It’s got a basic career and quick race options. The game is also available on Xbox One, Playstation 4 and the Nintendo Switch. So really you can play it on almost everything. With the consoles comes the split screen mode for easy multiplayer mode. Otherwise your option is getting Remote Steam play to operate. One drawback is the lack of online play.
You start out engaged in a race scene immediately, a villainous character is among your opponents and the race doesn’t go your way. With this set back you’re determined to become competitive and so career mode begins…
Each championship round requires acquiring stars from different types of races within the championship. These consist of regular ole racing, strike and drift. Racing is one or two laps of trying to make it to the front of the pack, only to face being the target of everyone’s aggression when they all have weapons! Gatling nut guns and impulse shockwaves, much more terrors to come.
Because when you get to the Strike Mode it’s now about how many opponents you can pick off by calculated weapon attacks or just ram into until they’re obliterated. But mind your own health bar as well, as you’ll lose points for dropping to zero. Each take down amounts to a star and it’s at this point only taking 3 destructions, but might as well just aim at anything and fire.
Drift mode is fairly self explanatory for many visiting an automotive channel but for anyone not as familiar with this particular form of motorsport, it’s a controlled loss of traction. Not going to claim my loss of traction is looking all that controlled in this Drift Mode though. The objective is to rack up points while in a drift and see if you can stack the multiplier while you’re at it. Stars are earned by hitting point thresholds, which has been easy to do in easy mode. Could be just me but some cars also seem a little better than others with drifting.
Quick Race Mode is right there in the start menu for immediately jumping in to try out some of the game’s variety. You’ll have access to the first four cars and drivers that have to be accumulated through progress in career mode. All weapon power ups become available, but can also be switched off and on one by one. Pick a track, select the race type, number of laps and opponents.
Bonus Driver Traits
When it comes to the drivers, some are better than others at special skills. The character you start out with has the bonus of not getting slowed by a failed over revved start while others won’t get slowed by wheeling outside the road boundaries. Each has an advantage and players unlock characters through winning the later races in each championship. Play a favorite or switch around for strategy because some of the boosts could be quite helpful depending on the type of race.
The characters are befitting of a cartoon series, I wish there were more of the cartoon strip cutscenes to be honest. There’s more character development on the website than in the game, but it is racing, not an rpg after all. So can’t be too critical here, just encouraging creativity that some players do appreciate the time they spend on a nice cutscene and story. The description of the boss villain reminds me so much of business people in Silicon Valley, interesting. Guess that’s just a character many love to hate. If you’ve spent any time in the car hobbyist scene, perhaps you’ve met a few of these characters developers added that are common in the communities. Just an entertaining addition to the game’s charm.
Two driver power ups that are pre installed, not picked up on track, are a speed boost and an oil slick. As the side meter bar on your charge indicator climbs you’ll have longer periods to expend either of these options. Hitting opponents with weapon attacks and drifts can help refill this bar for more boosting.
First weapon you’ll be introduced to is the Nut Gun side style mounted on your passenger side to gun down foes in your near vicinity with pellets of what looks like acorns maybe. It’s sufficient enough to take down other racers with a few hits during strike mode. When utilizing the Quick Race option you will immediately have access to all weapons without finishing career, you can switch the options on and off per individual event should you prefer to use shark missiles only.
Impulse: A close range shockwave that slows and damages opponents vehicles. When fully charged it has 3 pulses instead of 1. To charge a weapon simply wait shortly after picking it up, a message will flash across the screen letting you know when it’s charged for strategically large attacks.
Shark: Lock on target a player in front of you with a shark that will clamp onto them, slowing them down and putting a vignette of shark teeth around the player’s viewer screen.
Shield: Envelops you in a tiny bubble that will protect you from all incoming hits for a short period. Automatically repairs your car when used.
Ice: A laser beam of ice to slow down your opponents and pretty much freeze them in place long enough to blow past them.
Is it just me or does there appear to be some cartoony custom spider versions of some actual modern day cars? I think I spy a Countach in cartoon. A Mercedes Benz Gullwing with no wings. Half a Mini Cooper. Potentially a classic Camaro in there. This is making me slightly partial to playing with “Leo” aka Countach. It could be somewhat appealing that design queues from their favorite cars might be in the game.
Each unlocks about midway through a championship round, you can keep track of your progress unlocking different items by checking the star counts in the menu for each competition.
All tracks will be available to try out using Quick Race mode but in career the game introduces new tracks with each advancing championship, while at the same time including tracks you’ve played through in previous levels. None seem particularly more difficult than another, there doesn’t seem to be any progression in handling skills required. Not a bad thing, not complaining, it actually allows for more focus on evading weapons or launching them. Most of the turns are fast and sweeping with a few that will allow for use of the handbrake for drifting.
The themes are fairly standard but the environmental factors do put some extra tasks in to switch your attention to. There can be dynamite swinging from ropes ahead like a gauntlet or some shifty lobsters playing frogger in front of you. It may require evasive maneuvers otherwise the direct hit will slow you down, not just temporarily be reduced as car damage also results in capping out your acceleration until snagging a repair icon marked with a glowing green wrench.
Do Games Like Meow Motors Make Us Happier?
This is an interesting premise, can playing video games like Meow Motors or Mario Kart make us feel happier? According to science, true!
A study done in 2014 in Germany and the Netherlands handed volunteers controllers after those volunteers had just finished an extremely frustrating math test to see if playing Mario Kart would have any impact on their moods. The experiment was based on mood management theory: the idea that people are compelled to take action to correct or improve negative moods, and that engaging with media, such as books, television, or video games, is part of this behavioral process.
What’s unique to video games is that they require players to engage in an activity level that is more likely to distract the player from the existing mood, making them more effective than passive television being watched. Researchers specifically noted whether or not players performed well in their two rounds of Mario Kart because satisfaction or winning could play a role. Which indeed it did, whether or not negative feelings about the math exercise was repaired was based largely on wins or losses.
“Mood repair was predicted by in-game success (ranking) while enjoyment is mainly driven by need satisfaction (autonomy and competence),” the study concluded.
It’s safe to say that you might just get a little happiness and feelings of satisfaction out of Meow Motors after a less than good day. Watching your kitty wave to the contestants they just passed is fairly satisfying… and cute. Study source below in description.
The game has many similarities to Mario Kart and other titles with combat racing. The game would not take long to complete in career mode in easy mode, others may take a few extra hours and if easy gets too boring, you can switch up to different modes in the menu. At least all cars and players are easily accessible with a little effort. For that reason, it makes it a good option for younger ages. That could be considered a drawback for average adult players who were hoping for more from the game.
It’s solid, plays well with no glitches in my several hours of playing so far on two different computers. It’s actually a purrfect game to play on short bursts, like work breaks… if one is allowed to do that, of course. Races that only consist of a couple laps can be finished in a couple of minutes but it can be run up to 6 laps for something closer to 10 minutes or furry fury.
It can be found over on Steam, it’s a reasonably priced game for what it is, if a Mario Kart clone with cats is what you’re looking for. Then you’re gonna love it. It filled the void on my hard drive for a fun kart racer and that’s good enough. It’s happiness in a few clicks.