Salt disintegrates snails. Combinations of mucus secretions and dew wipe the slimy mollusks from this planet in a searing avalanche of goop. Gastropods are gorgeous compared to their suffering agony as their internal mechanisms shatter, drying them alive. No wonder frenetic racers of underground snail racing see fit to stock rations of salt.
Turbo is analogous to Mario Kart, only clumpier with distractingly tight digital controls. Frumpy visuals counteract charming human locales, a call back to the beautiful joy of Micro Machines, sans joy or beauty, made less so as acquired salt bombs make colorful impact on trailing drivers. Eww.
Nintendo’s DS is shifting to software life support systems which bore cartridges such as this into the system’s interlocking slot. Produced for a tiny-handed audience who remain enamored with boxy, low resolution visuals, Turbo is strangling the hardware in its final extended hours.
Turbo is unfinished. Instruction manual copy references abilities pertaining to a flood of these Dreamworks console adaptations, with the exception of this one. Motorized snails punch gas pedals to glide on ill-fitted surfaces with glaring seams, sinking racers into a camera fluttering abyss. Elements seem constructed via puzzle pieces, only cardboard edges are cut fat and will not fit where they should. Unpredictable collision determines when to impede progress, not player skill, and starting line paint holds places for six racers. Turbo on DS only has four.
Developer Torus Games seizes this garden snail romp to rightful genre, kart racing a haven for Indy 500 dreams. Only, those elements are lost, 90-minute gameplay story-less as mundane tournaments are conquered. Over arching narrative is ignored to trim down on development, any sense of differentiation between four characters voided. Scratchy digitized quips does not a character make. Deadened, non-existent animation portrays polygonal models as inanimate; courses shift position around models instead of creating environments inhabited by Dreamworks’ latest.
Mechanisms stifle generalized balance, tricks singularly acclimated for speed bursts. Implications of other trick bonuses are unknown; they’re conquered by necessity within provided boosts. Ramps mean executing forward flips – for guaranteed acceleration lift – scouring over opponent times as AI works within whole gameplay framework needlessly. Turbo’s target audience will find themselves befuddled until obviousness of single power exploitation is discovered. Suddenly, rear ejecting salt seems cruel and unnecessary. Taco shields and growth apples (?) are utterly meaningless.
Bungled course design is directionless, often masking corners with shards of polygons, either unintentional glitches or intended confusion. Ramps positioned near corners exhibit critical design philosophy failings: D-pad turning mixes with d-pad trick execution, each directional press dual in purpose. Intuition says to prepare cornering in the air, leading into devilishly irritating, instinctual mistakes. Meetings with the ground are often guesswork sans shadows, doubling possibilities of turn/trick failure.
Turbo carries zero multiplayer functionality, quite possibly one of the few (if not the only) direct racing games to dodge multi-playing audiences in the modern era. After film-length playtime, replay value is voided. This becomes a $30 cartridge weighing too little to make due as a paperweight, too slim to stop a door, and too egregious to keep in a collection. Turbo’s long term value is mystique as a peculiar release of some finality, a potential terminal exhale of low-end, licensed software on otherwise giving hardware.
Turbo: Super Stunt Squad is a single-player racing game based on the 2013 DreamWorks film. Play as five turbo-charged snails from the movie, including Smooth Move, Whiplash, Skidmark, Burn and the main mollusk himself, Turbo. He’s a snail who dreams of going fast, which would seem like an unattainable dream. That is, until something incredible happens to Turbo to change that. The game is similar to kart racing games like Mario Kart. There are a series of races strung together as Grand Prix championships, with points assigned based on how well you finish. The snails can hit jumps and perform stunts in the air, which earns players a power-up for use in the race. Turbo: Super Stunt Squad features no multiplayer play on the Nintendo DS, but other versions do.