ExciteBots: Trick Racing

Date Completed: July 11th, 2011

I was lucky enough to purchase a Wii on launch day but I was not lucky enough to be able to pick up Twilight Princess with it.  There weren’t many games available at the time so I had to plug the Zelda shaped hole in my heart with a game that I probably wouldn’t have considered in other circumstances – ExciteTruck.

Surprisingly I really got into ExciteTruck.  When playing I would usually start in a seated position but I always wound up hopping up to my feet and jumping all over the room.  ExciteTruck stands out to me as one of the best examples of how motion-based gaming can actually work well.  ExciteBots is the sequel to ExciteTruck, and it includes Wi-Fi so I naturally had to pick it up.

My first impression of this game is that ExciteBots is silly.  While ExciteTruck was over-the-top fun motion based action racing ExciteBots adds on several layers of buffoonery that at first I wasn’t sure what to think of.  In addition to the jumping, spinning, drifting and crashing action of ExciteTruck, in ExciteBots you’ll also find yourself bowling, throwing darts, playing the tambourine, fishing, putting together a sandwich, saving butterflies and kicking field goals.  No longer will you be driving something so mundane as a ‘truck’.  Now you’ll be driving an insect or lizard based robot that can transform into a bipedal running machine.

Fishing?  In the middle of a race?

Simply put, this game is nuts.  In a very fun way.  After getting into the game I couldn’t stop playing it.  Races take under 5 minutes so it’s a pretty easy game to pick up and put a few minutes into at a time.  You win by collecting stars, not by finishing first so your first goal is to pick up as many stars as possible.  Most courses have several routes through them which may yield different amounts of stars, depending on your Bot.  Some bots are better at jumping, some are better at drifting and some are faster.  You have to pick the right route through a course to maximize your star collecting potential.  There is actually a surprising amount of strategy involved.

 
ExiteBots has additional modes such a Poker Run, unlockable trophies, unlockable paint jobs, unlockable Bots, and extra play modes such as Super Excite and Mirror mode.  The game itself may not take long to play but it’s not hurting for content.  I’d say that this game is a great value and a worth choice for any Wii game library. (it’s pretty cheap now, under 20$ new)
I was never able to use the Wi-Fi mode of this game.  I tried talking some of my friends into buying this game but no one else was interested.  Sadness.
Pros
*Short fun levels.
*Lots of unlockable content.
Cons
* My friends wouldn’t buy it and play me on Wi-Fi!!!
Is it fun: Yes
Score: 7/10
Length:  ~5 hours
System: Wii
Genre: Racing
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