At first glance, Walt Disney World Quest: Magical Racing Tour appears to be a very exciting game that both young and old will enjoy. After all, most people enjoy Disney World and a game based on the theme park should be equally interesting.
Unfortunately, the optimism soon disappears. First, the gameplay is very similar to other cart racing games popularized by Mario Kart and it's apparent that the developers were unable to add anything new to this particular genre. While the gameplay is enjoyable, the lack of "real" Disney characters is a big disappointment.
The basic premise of the game is somewhat nonsensical. A machine has been destroyed and pieces of it are hidden throughout the park. This part of the story isn't too difficult to swallow but the idea that racing other characters somehow allows you to get the pieces is somewhat lame -- why would winning a race help you find missing pieces? This isn't a problem for younger players who are interested in the arcade action but the concept is ludicrous and contrived.
In addition to the plot, there are a few additional areas worthy of reasonable criticism. Only three regular Disney characters, Chip, Dale and Jiminy Cricket, can be chosen as racers. Beyond those, the additional characters seem to have been created for no other purpose than to fill the gap. Having the opportunity to guide Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck would have been a big improvement compared to Moe Whiplash. Furthermore, you can't even use Jiminy Cricket until you unlock his character by winning all of the races.
Another disappointment centers on the Disney World environments as portrayed in the game. You race in areas such as Thunder Mountain, the Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean and even the Haunted House but, instead of adding realism to the game, the areas are modified enough by the designers to make the experience much less than it could have been.
Not everything in the game is a negative. For instance, the replay factor should appeal to children though adults will find it quickly tiresome. The levels have many hidden areas you can use for shortcuts, some of which are required to win races, and exploration to find these areas adds to the length of gameplay. The music is done very well and the graphics, although not realistic, fit the game nicely.
The computer-controlled characters may be too difficult for kids to defeat and seem to acquire power ups that the human controlled players can't acquire. Additionally, they seem to have the ability to driver faster and steer better than is possible for a human player. Overall, the game may simply be too hard for kids to win and that, coupled with the lack of favorite Disney characters, will put off most adults.
Graphics: The graphics fit the genre nicely (but are not spectacular) and the levels are well conceived.
Sound: About as average as it gets with no innovation.
Enjoyment: The gameplay is good but the plot needs work. The lack of familiar Disney characters hurts the overall presentation.
Replay Value: There are several levels to complete and with the advantages the computer opponents enjoy, you'll have to search for the shortcuts available in each.
People who downloaded Walt Disney World Quest Magical Racing Tour have also downloaded:
Disney's Donald Duck: Goin' Quackers, Disney/Pixar's Monsters, Inc. Scare Island, Disney's Lilo & Stitch: Trouble in Paradise, Disney's Hercules Action Game, Disney's 102 Dalmatians: Puppies to the Rescue, Disney/Pixar's Finding Nemo, Disney's Mickey Saves the Day: 3D Adventure, Disney/Pixar's Buzz Lightyear of Star Command
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