All-Star Fruit Racing Review

Game: All-Star Fruit Racing
System: Nintendo Switch
Publisher: PQube
Price: £34.99/€39.99 (eShop 10% pre-order discount applies until launch day)

(Review code kindly provided by PQube)

Mario Kart is without question the king of kart racers on Nintendo systems.  In recent years, however, we’ve seen an increase of quality 3rd party kart racers coming to Nintendo consoles such as the Sonic Racers franchise.  So it’s inevitable that All-Star Fruit Racing will be judged in accordance to the high standards already set.  So how does this new kart racer fare against the competition?

The Positives

All-Star Fruit Racing plays like a typical kart racing title.  Generally speaking, the game controls and plays well.  The goal just as in other racers is to beat your opponents to the finish line.  The game has 21 tracks which are spread over 5 Islands: spring, summer, autumn (fall), winter, and Special Islands.

I was instantly impressed by how easy it was to pick up drifting.  As in Mario Kart, a drift is used to take corners without losing speed.  Likewise, All-Star Fruit Racing awards the player with a speed boost depending on the length of the drift.  During a drift, a special meter appears at the bottom of the screen.  The longer the drift, the fuller the meter gets, and the fuller it gets, the bigger the boost becomes.  But be warned, if held for too long, your engine will overheat, and consequently, your kart will enter into a spin.

The game’s most interesting mechanic is called the Juice power-up system aka the Juicer.  The purpose behind this is to add a tactical element to special moves.  In All-Star Fruit Racing, special moves become available as you collect fruit bubbles.  The juice from each fruit bubble is collected and gathered into the corresponding tank.  There are 5 types of fruit in total and four tanks.  The juicer can be used to mix and match fruit juice in order to obtain particular special moves. However, you may decide to fill up and mix juice from all 4 tanks in order to use your character’s unique Mega Juice Move.

While on the subject of characters, All-Star Fruit Racing begins with a character roster of 10, but this can be expanded to 22 if certain goals are met.

To top it off, the game boasts 5 play modes and 3 difficulty levels.   My favourite mode is Career mode.  Career mode features 11 cups, and each cup offers a nice mixture of tracks and race types.

O yes, your kart is fully customisable as well.

So far, everything sounds positive.

The Negatives

In spite of the positives, I’m afraid there are some negatives to consider.

The first major negative is the price. A game’s retail price sets a bar of quality for the game that bares it, and regardless of its many positive aspects, All-Star Fruit Racing isn’t a £30 plus game. This fact is proven by simply looking at All-Star Fruit Racing’s current price on Steam. Steam players can currently purchase the exact same game for £19.99.

With the high price in mind, players will immediately compare All-Star Fruit Racing to the likes of Mario Kart 8, and sales will inevitably suffer as a result.

Overall, the game is enjoyable but feels a little unrefined. The visuals can be muddy, colours are not as vibrant as they could be (especially in handheld mode), the frame rate could be smoother in places, and the game’s soundtrack as well as level design varies in terms of quality. There are also times when tracks are not always clearly visible.  I’m also slightly disappointed by the lack of expression and personality in the game’s characters.  Just a little more movement in the eyes, hands, and arms would make a major difference in the game’s look.  In their current state, characters in-game appear a little stiff and awkward, which is a shame.   There’s also a slight problem with how the game detects a kart falling off the track.  I’ve had a few instances where I’ve purposely driven close to the edge of a track, which results in the game thinking that I’ve fallen off, and as a result, lose my position in the race.

Now none of this would matter too much if the game cost between £10-£15, but its price is forcing it to be compared with the big boys.  A high standard has already been set for this type of game, and I’m afraid that All-Stars Fruit Racing simply can’t meet it, at least not yet.


I’ve actually enjoyed my time with All-Star Fruit racing.  I’m also looking forward to testing the recently promised online mode, and hopefully participate in competitive races online.  I really want the game and franchise to succeed.  I think it has lots of potential, and I like how the developers have tried to add unique mechanics to try and set it apart from other titles within the same genre.  However, I personally can’t recommend a purchase at the current retail price.  With Mario Kart already available, and now with a new Sonic Racers title due later this year, I’m afraid the game may just  be simply overlooked.

I’m not sure

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