Review: Coffin Dodgers
Imagine a peaceful retirement community, where the folks of Sunny Pines reminisce about their former glory days. The Grim Reaper has come to town and now the residents of Sunny Pines must race for their lives on their motorized scooters. Choose from one of the elderly folks to survive the races and win a showdown with the Grim Reaper himself to save their soul. Coffin Dodgers has the premise of a wacky kart racer that does some things right, but isn’t enough to keep players interested for long.
Coffin Dodgers, like most kart racers, incorporates quick moving races, power-ups and upgrades. All of the races I participated in, except for the final race, are four lap races that can be finished in a few minutes. While playing, the power-ups found on the track are a shield, homing rockets, boosters, an oil spill, shock paddles and an Uzi that can knock players off their scooter. That’s all there is for power-ups, so expect to find the same ones multiple times during a race. It would have been nice to see a bit more variety in these weapons. If hit by a power-up enough, you can fly off your scooter, leading to your kart being reset. It’s fun the first couple of times it happens to see your character’s ragdoll animation fly throughout the level, but after that it’s more of just an annoying novelty. A unique take the game has is that you can swing your cane at other racers to knock them off. This attack can be charged for an even more powerful strike. Upgrades are pretty limited, as the only options you have are to increase top speed, acceleration, melee range and amount of power-ups you can have at one time. The paint and look of the scooter can be changed as well, but it doesn’t add much. These attributes are gathered by completing races during the story mode. If you do a quick race, you won’t be earning any coins, so expect to play the story mode a few times to fully upgrade the scooter, and it doesn’t take long to do so. I was able to fully upgrade the scooter in about 3 runs through the story mode, and each run takes less than 30 minutes. An Explore mode is present for players to run around the city of Sunny Pines and complete a small challenge and do other races. It’s a mode that is a small diversion from the rest of the game.
There are seven playable characters from the start, with the Grim Reaper himself being unlockable after clearing story mode for the first time. Characters are pretty much just aesthetic changes, as each character uses the same kart that you’ll be upgrading over time. In terms of tracks, there are 13 total tracks taking place over 4 different areas of Sunny Pines. The final race against the Grim Reaper takes place over each of the previously discovered areas. There’s enough variety in the tracks to keep it interesting, but there isn’t much of a challenge to them. Depending on the track, zombies and even UFO’s will be present on the track. They are a small hindrance on the overall gameplay, but at least they add something. Running into small obstacles likes cones and zombies will increase your overall experience points, but I wasn’t sure how much XP I gained affected how many coins I ended up with.
I was able to see everything Coffin Dodgers had to offer in just about two hours. After completing the story mode three times, and playing the game’s Explore mode, (which has its own mini game included) and fully upgrading the kart, there isn’t much else to do in the game other than the local multiplayer. However, there is a time trial mode if you are wanting to achieve the best times. Local multiplayer is supported up to 4 players. An online mode would have been nice, especially when there isn’t much single player content to hold a player’s interest. Once the kart is upgraded even slightly, it is very easy to breeze through the game. After upgrading the kart’s top speed even one time, I was flying by the CPU in just about every race, which found boring after a while.
Coffin Dodgers is no more than a stop-gap in your daily gaming routine. I was able to obtain the Platinum Trophy in the game in just a couple of hours, and after beating the Story Mode a few times and fully upgrading the scooter, there wasn’t much else to do, unless you want to play the game locally with friends. Even in those couple of hours, it’s easy to breeze through and get first place on all the races, especially with a fully upgraded scooter.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here.
What I Like:
- Wacky premise
- Upgradable scooter
- Swinging the cane
What I Dislike:
- Lack of variety in weapons
- Easy to breeze through content
- Limited upgrades on scooter