Garfield Kart: THE WORST GAME EVER?! – Video Review (3DS)

Garfield Kart 3DS Review

So I woke up this morning and I was all ready to work on the Enter the Dragonfly review, but then I thought to myself, “Hey, I just got paid yesterday so let’s see if the 3DS got any new releases that look interesting”. As I opened the Nintendo eShop, I saw a peculiar game sitting right in between such classics like Brave Tank Hero and Paddington: Adventures in London. I mean, I’ve been a fan of Garfield for almost all my life. I had all the merchandise, all the comic books, could quote any line from Tale of Two Kitties, and honestly, The Garfield Show is literally my childhood. So why wouldn’t I purchase Garfield Kart for 30 dollars? Sure every other Garfield game had been a total disaster, but surely the developers would at least try to make this one competent, right? Right? Where do I even begin with this one?

Garfield Kart was first shown off in Jim Davis’ basement to mostly positive reception from the lead developer’s grandmother. I, for one, was actually really excited to get my hands on this game. I was expecting it to be garbage, but a part of me really wanted to play it. After all, some games can be really bad or mediocre and you can still have a fun time with them, like Sonic 06′ or DreamWorks Super Star Kartz. Oh, you’ve never heard of DreamWorks Super Star Kartz? Well, I have and I own it. My parents bought me the game for my birthday when our local GameStop ran out of Mario Kart 7’s. Yeah, imagine opening up a present shaped like a 3DS game only to discover DreamWorks Super Star Kartz was inside. Now, I have no intention of reviewing that little waste of resources, but I will say it is one of the worst kart-racing games ever. And if I were to compare Garfield Kart to anything, it would be that game. Garfield Kart is everything DreamWorks Super Star Kartz is but worse.

Let’s start out with the presentation and if I have to applaud it for anything, the aesthetics don’t look terrible. The texture work is okay, if a bit jagged, and the models are… fine. Despite some character models looking nothing like what they are supposed to look like during actual gameplay, I still think most of the visuals are all right. And the art direction and assortment of different colors, yes I am complimenting its use of colors, makes some set pieces sort of pop out. On the other hand, Garfield Kart lacks a lot of visual diversity, which makes all the stages feel bland. In a game with only 16 tracks, there are 3 desert levels that are all virtually the same. If you played them all in a row, I guarantee you that you could not identify them individually. Because of this lack of variation in the race tracks, forgettable and dull settings, and the small number of tracks, every level of Garfield Kart just sort of blends together. There was not one track that I wanted to come back to as opposed to Mario Kart 7 where levels are memorable and I can set aside tracks I really like and tracks I kinda like. Virtually every track in this game is just that, a literal race track with a somewhat different background. It’s unsurprisingly bland.

By the same token, the soundtrack isn’t any better. Every single song in this game is forgettable and sounds like something I could produce with an iMusicMaker. These tracks are as generic as they come. Some are just loops of one single, boring musical phrase, which for the uninformed is the same 10 or so notes looped over and over and over. This causes all the tracks to not only be bad, but it causes them to get on my nerves. It’s actually annoying to hear some of the tunes in this game. They aren’t totally awful melodies, but hearing the same thing over and over is terrible. There is not one track that I would call even remotely good. Most of them lean towards the eh to EUCH range. And don’t even get me started on those stock sound effects. They are, like the soundtrack, generic and simply off-putting. I can’t believe that a 30 dollar game with an actual budget would have worse sound design than my friend’s school project game, “Eddie Murphy’s Thought-Provoking Adventure in Shrek’s Stupendous Swamp”.

All right, so now onto the gameplay and if you have ever played “The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius: Attack of the Twonkies”, you know exactly what to expect. Garfield Kart is plain and simply a Mario Kart clone. I’d be even tempted to say this game is almost an exact carbon copy of Mario Kart 7, but with wacky and insane charm of Garfield, which includes being awful. Like that infamous spring that returns as a power-up or how about some lasagne that functions exactly like a Super Mushroom, since ya know, Garfield loves lasagna. Haha, that’s the humor. I know I’m getting ahead of myself here, but these power-ups are uninspired and boring. Sure there are UFOs that seem kind of cool, but everything else either just doesn’t work or sometimes has weird effects on the driver. Look, I was obviously hit by something here, and it somehow turned me all the way around. But I can’t for the life of me figure out what the heck it was that hit me or who even hit me. And lest we not forget how terribly these karts control. Moving in a kart racing game should feel fluent and fast-paced, but Garfield Kart’s karts feel stiff and clunky. Drifting is awkward, steering is awkward and even “hopping” is awkward. Also, the camera is fixed in a really bizarre position as it prevents you from seeing what’s ahead a lot of the time. This perspective should not be an issue as Mario Kart 7 had previously, 4 years ago, nailed the go-karting camera positioning on the 3DS. There is no excuse for Garfield Kart’s horrendous camera. And folks, I’m just getting started on the negatives. I really want to be positive and find some good in this mess of a million or so dollars, but I can’t. Not even racing is fun thanks to the awkward controls and perspective. I have yet to find a single thing I enjoyed about this game and I have played it for 4 hours.

The other larger issue is just the content in general. There are 4 cups with 4 tracks in each and they all are bland and lifeless. They lack personality and variety on a gameplay standpoint which also makes Garfield Kart a snore to play. Plus, there are only three modes in this game, grand prix which just has you tackling a cup at a time, single races, and time trial. And they are all essentially the same. There is virtually no incentive to try for the best time or even race for that matter. There isn’t even local or online multiplayer which shoots down the only thing it could have had going for it. Playing with friends might have even made this game a somewhat enjoyable experience. I don’t feel compelled to play this game anymore than I have to. The tracks are boring, the characters don’t feel different from each other on both a visual and gameplay standpoint, and everything else is just awful.

Overall, Garfield Kart is the worst game I have ever played since Splatoon (that was sarcasm). It tops Enter the Dragonfly, Bubsy 3D, and Sonic and the Secret Rings as my least favorite game of all time. There is a huge lack of content, the tracks are bland, the presentation is okay, but still dull, and the gameplay is not entertaining in the slightest. Logan Kart is a better game than this and that’s ******* Logan Kart. Everything here just lacks any real effort or polish. I had to force myself to play this game and that’s 4 hours of my existence I will never get back. Don’t play this game for laughs, don’t play this game for anything other than in an attempt to drain your life of joy. This game is not worth 30 bucks at all. If you really do want to try this game out, get it when you inevitably see it in the back of a GameStop in a dumpster, or if it’s like a dollar or something. Play Mario Kart if you really have an itch to play a kart racing game. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to burn all my Garfield memorablia. But as always if you disagree or agree with me, let me know in the comments below. Thank you so much for watching and take care. Have a wonderful day and good-bye!

Thanks again to our friend Haedox for offering to post his review of Garfield Kart on Always Nintendo! If you enjoy his content, make sure to check out his YouTube channel or follow him on Twitter.

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