A True Victory Lap
HIGH Solid racing and the addition of voice acting.
LOW Online is still lacking.
WTF Being able to play as the black-and-white version of Raphael from TMNT.
In 2020, I reviewed Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix and in 2021 I covered Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl. Both are crossover party games (the former a racer, the latter a fighter) featuring famous Nickelodeon characters, and both published by GameMill Entertainment. While my reviews ranged from average to mediocre, the main issue I had with both was the lack of personality. Specifically, the lack of voice acting or any meaningful bonuses for fans. So, two years after the release of Grand Prix, I’m given the chance to review the latest crossover from GameMill, Nickelodeon Kart Racers 3: Slime Speedway — a title that my editor billed to me as a “CJ jam.”
Off the bat, I think that’s an appropriate way to describe this one. It’s a licensed kart racer featuring 40 characters spread across Nickelodeon history, ranging from the likes of SpongeBob SquarePants, Rugrats, Garfield, and the always radical Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It’s the kind of thing I’m almost expected to write about at this point.
Fundamentally, the core aspects of the last iteration are still in place. Players can compete in several different events including single races, full Grand Prix modes, and a few battle missions as well. The biggest changes come in the form of different vehicle body types, as well as the addition of bikes. Players can customize these parts to finely tune their vehicles by swapping different car bodies, wheels, and exhaust pipes that adding to each attribute — speed, acceleration, handling, turbo, etc.
The freedom to customize is a solid addition, allowing for some great combinations of parts and letting players tweak different things. I personally took to using motorcycles, as their handling around tight corners felt better.
Another new addition comes from the transformations that occur in the middle of each race. For example, if the racetrack has a predetermined path that requires the play to go through water, the vehicle will transform into a watercraft and the race will continue. Sure, it’s been done in other games of this type, but the addition only adds to the already-solid driving.
The feel behind the wheel has been drastically improved since last time thanks to a perfect balance between arcade floatiness and sim weight to each car. Drifting is also easier than most racers, allowing players to pick up serious momentum. There are also solid accessibility and control features here, like an auto-steering mode and the ability to use gyro controls.
Also returning from the last entry is the pit crew. Before each race, players select from a list of over 70 supporting characters, each with active or passive abilities. These range from Mr. Krabs from SpongeBob, who grants players the ability to magnetically attract slime tokens towards them, granting them a significant speed boost throughout. Others, like Shredder’s claws, allow for defense from enemy weapons. It’s standard kart racer stuff for sure, but it adds a variety. Having to unlock most of these items through play also means I have certain goals to work for and good motivation to keep playing — and honestly, I think the incentive to play and do well is my favorite part of Slime Speedway.
During every race in one of the Grand Prix modes, players are given challenges to complete ranging from picking up a certain number of slime tokens or hitting other racers with items. These get factored into a star total at the end of the cup, with higher scores netting racers more slime tokens to purchase more stuff in the garage. There’s a real sense of accomplishment here and it forced me to play outside my comfort zone, such as seeking out shortcuts or risking a lead just to drift a few times more than I normally would. All of that adds immense replay value, which is something I thought was sorely missing in the last entry.
Also excellent? Slime Speedway’s best new addition — voice acting. Yup, every character now has dialogue and a few lines before, during, and after races. Sure, they repeat a few times but I’m happy we got something. It also helps that they feel like they were tailor-made for the game, rather than shoe-horned in via archived recordings. It’s great to have some of the most iconic (and talkative) cartoon characters finally say something.
Multiplayer offerings are still barebones, however, as the options are only limited to the same single-player modes — just online. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find anyone to play with as of this writing, though split-screen play remedied that. Up to four players can race and it feels right at home with this style of game.
While a lot of Nickelodeon Kart Racers 3: Slime Speedway’s best and most improved aspects may be pulled from other racers, the quality jump between this one and its predecessor cannot be overstated. Slime Speedway is a confident, enjoyable and joyful party experience. The devs have finally hit the mark, delivering a great entry into the pantheon of mid-budget licensed games. Fans who are nostalgic for old cartoons and anyone with younger kids will definitely have a great time here.
Disclosures: This game is published by GameMill Entertainment and developed by Bamtang Games. It is available on Switch, PS4/PS5, PC, and XBO/X/S.This copy was obtained via the publisher and was reviewed on PS5. Approximately 8 hours were spent in single-player, with a few of the single-player cups completed and a few other modes played. About 1 hour was spent in the game’s split-screen mutliplayer.
Parents: According to the ESRB, this game is rated T for Mild Cartoon Violence. The site reads: This is a kart-racing game in which players compete with characters from several Nickelodeon shows (e.g., SpongeBob SquarePants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). Players race around slime-covered tracks and use “cartoony” power-ups (e.g., acorn bombs, baby-bottle rockets) and special attacks (e.g., nunchuck toss, fire-breath attack) to cause opponents to spin out and slow down; some weapons cause mild explosions to occur.
Colorblind Modes: Colorblind modes are not present in the options menu.
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Gamers: Subtitles and visual cues are present, but cannot be adjusted. No sound is needed for successful gameplay. This game is fully accessible.
Remappable Controls: The controls cannot be remapped.