About The Game
Coffin Dodgers sees you take on the role of saving one of seven quirky retirement village residents, each racing for their soul in 'pimped up' mobility scooters against none other than the Grim Reaper himself. Our old heroes are armed with a variety of home made weapons and gadgets to take on anything the Grim Reaper and his Zombie army may throw at them. Can you survive the retirement village?
Players must battle it out against The Grim Reaper and other competitors over a 13 race Championship, where only the most skilled racer will survive. There are 4 distinct areas within the Sunny Pines Retirement Community, each featuring it's own mini tournament in which your rank against other competitors will ensure you progress to the next stage however finish bottom of the pile and the Reaper gets to take your soul. The final race takes place over each of the 4 areas in a straight shoot out between you and the Grim Reaper.
When it comes to Kart racing games those with an unbiased opinion will overwhelmingly agree that Mario Kart is & probably always will be king.
It can be beaten in odd generations of course Diddy Kong in my opinion was far superior to Mario Kart 64 but one of the main reasons for that was doing things a little differently.
Of course not being on a Nintendo system (at present at least) takes away some of the direct comparison & competition but as more and more well known franchises are thrown together in Karting games these days the unique differences or selling points can make all the difference.
Coffin Dodgers while not entirely unique has a few amusing differences to the standard karting games I’ve played before.
For a start 7 of the characters are all well past retirement age and the 8th is so far past it he’s dead already!
The Grim Reaper (Or Greg as I’ve called him for some years) has come to the quiet little retirement village of sunny pines to claim the souls of all its residents.
The seven bravest of these residents (the others presumably gave up the will to live)decide that they’ve still got plenty of energy left in the tank (as they’ll prove) and they come together to lay down a challenge to the reaper.
A race quite literally to the death.
Regardless which character you choose they'll all play the same which is a shame.
Of course getting in and out of go karts in some form or another would probably be a bit much for this bunch of golden oldies so they instead decide upon mobility scooters and set out race tracks across the town.
The scooters themselves can be upgraded in 3 areas engine, gearbox & body as well as upgrades for melee weapon, basket (Number of pick up weapons held) & paint colours.
You’ll earn a number of coins to pay for these upgrades as you progress through the games story.
The races are split into various categories (basically cups) Village, Town, Farm, Graveyard & Showdown.
All but showdown have 3 tracks each with each race having 4 laps.
Although they are all actually in the same place and you’ll drive across some parts of the track in all 3 races each race opens up and blocks off certain areas to give them their own layout.
The showdown only has one race and only 2 laps but includes various parts of track from each of the 4 locations that preceded it.
It doesn’t make any difference which racer you choose none of the 8 have their own stats so all control exactly the same.
Grim does have his own ending but you’ll have to beat the game with one of the other 7 before you can use him.
At the end of each set of location tracks a set number of the racers who finish bottom of the rankings will be claimed by death and taken to their grave.
But it’s not just about staying out of the death zone at the bottom of the table you’ll also need to finish in the top 3 (or higher later on) to advance and unlock the next location.
And of course Grim doesn’t actually want any of you to win so once you’ve done with the village and move onto the town races and beyond everyone who has been taken to their grave will return to race as zombies and be exempt from future death.
So for example if at the end of the town races the bottom 2 in the rankings were both zombie racers it would be the living racers above them that are claimed despite finishing much higher up.
Poor Martha has finished in the death slot
The weapons are mostly your standard kart racing game items from a homing rockets that work most of the time, oil slicks you can drop behind you to slip others, a force field shield to protect you from damage and a speed boost among others.
Your position in the race seems to have little bearing on what weapons you get from pickups I was out in front many times picking up rocket after rocket or shields for protection.
In addition to the pickup weapons you have a melee attack holding down the circle button will power up your attack and releasing the button will send your weapon out towards your nearest opponent.
If the power gauge is full and you land a hit they’ll automatically be knocked from their scooter if it’s not full you’ll usually just make them dizzy unless they’re already in such a state.
The feature reminded me a little of the old road rash games in particular and how much I enjoyed knocking off and then running over my fallen opponents.
When you aren’t looking to race in the cups there are a couple of other options out there too such as a quick race, time trial and open world.
Open world gives you the option of just picking a driver and going for a little drive across the who race area.
There are also a number of highlighted spots you can stop in should you suddenly decide you actually wouldn’t mind a race after all.
And open world is also the home of Crazy Granddad where you have to drive around the whole town trying to grab items as quickly as possible.
Once an item has been claimed another will appear and more time will be added to your clock.
With every road open it will take some skill to rack up a large point score and find the fastest route to the next item.
Unfortunately there is no local high score chart for the game nor a multi player option that would have been chaotic fun but you could of course take turns seeing who collects the most points and it is a nice fun little distraction from pure racing.
Fun is really the name of the game here too I had a blast with Coffin Dodgers from the very start to the very end.
It’s the first platinum Trophy I’ve earned on the new PlayStation account created with this site and I’m very pleased about it too.
But despite all the fun it’s given me there are still a couple of issues I have to point out.
The game is far too easy.
It doesn’t always seem to at the very start with only a basic scooter and no real idea of the track layout, especially if you get knocked off the scooter in the very early stages.
But one or 2 upgrades later (engine in particular) you’ll be off at the start and presuming you stay clear of trouble soon be enjoying the freedom and loneliness of being all alone with very little company more often than not.
And that’s how it continues with each race as you get to the latter stages of the game the other racers put up a little ore fight and occasionally even hang in there with you to the end especially if you have the odd crash or rocket assisted help but the game just isn’t a challenge for those of us that have spent many a year with various kart games.
The other little annoyance I had is when you finish a race Grim will pass on little comments depending on where you placed.
But playing through the story mode a second time as Grim he still pops up with the exact same lines for instance calling me a scumbag for finishing first or how much he wanted me dead despite the fact I was him and he had won!
I know it’s easier to do this than program some new responses just for a single character but as everyone who wants the platinum trophy (and a gold one) will have to play through the story mode as Grim it would have been a nice little touch for him to instead brag about his victories and how much he’s looking forward to claiming the souls of the fools who challenged him.
Being out in front in first place and all alone with a rocket for back up happens too often for my liking
Scooters are fantastically easy to control regardless of skill level.
Whimsical but amusing story line.
Perfect balance of weapons pickups with none being vastly over powered.
Split screen multi player for up to 4 players.
Nice overall track designs with a couple of mini short cuts to find.
Time Trials, Open world and crazy granddad to explore when you want a break from racing.
With 20 now taken out by the Uzi The platinum Trophy is all mine!
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT
Far too easy for experienced kart racing gamers
No online multiplayer.
No high scores or multiplayer for crazy granddad
Characters don’t have their own stats
Martha might not have dodged a coffin but at least she won't be in it too long.
I enjoyed my time with Coffin dodgers immensely.
It’s not the best kart racing game in the world, not the most polished and far from the biggest challenge.
But it has charm a ridiculous story line and a good balance to both its weapons and kart handling.
With a few more track locations and a more determined opponents it would have been even better and hopefully if the teased sequel does arrive it will take these foundations and build upon them further and create a slightly longer lasting game.
For those who yearn for the good old days of split screen multi player racing or just want a fun all be it quick kart racing challenge this one will tick a lot of the boxes.
Those that want a more challenging experience will have to cast their gaze elsewhere unless of course the lure of a fairly easy to claim Platinum Trophy is something you desire.
We'll never be posting any game endings during these previews and we'll try to keep as many spoilers as possible out of sight.
But obviously your watching a video of a game you probably don't own and there might be things here you don't want to see viewing is always your own choice.
A review copy of the game was provided by Wales Interactive and reviewed in accordance with the review policy.