Coffin Dodgers (Milky Tea Studios)
It is hard not to crack a smile while knocking old people off their mobility scooters as you dodge U.F.Os and zombies in a bright, cartoony setting. It sounds horrifying, I know, but then again Coffin Dodgers is a game that doesn’t take itself very seriously. This kart racer is currently available on Steam Early Access and pits seven retirement village residents in a race to the death against the Grim Reaper himself.
Kart racers are incredibly entertaining if done right and the genre could do with a bit more representation on PC. The Early Access version we played offers a story mode where you take on death and your fellow retirees on tracks that span a village, town, farm and graveyard. Each area consists of three races and those unfortunate enough to end up in last place forfeits their soul to the Reaper. They don’t get to enjoy their eternal rest either as Death brings them back as zombies to race on his side. The story mode isn’t very long, but it is fast paced and entertaining. There is also still a final showdown against the Grim Reaper, which has not yet been added to the game yet.
In addition to the story mode, there are time trial and free roam modes, but sadly the multi-player modes have not yet been implemented in the build we played. Milky Tea Studios have promised online multi-player as well as a split screen local versus mode for the full release though. Weapons are an important aspect of the genre and Coffin Dodgers doesn’t disappoint. It features Uzis, missiles, oil and even a defibrillator with which to thwart your fellow racers. Characters are also equipped with melee weapons in the form of canes that can be charged up to knock nearby opponents clean off their mobility scooters. Thanks to the ragdoll physics these falls look extra painful.
The unique cast of characters include a retired Amish sheep farmer, mad scientist, former German Messerschmitt pilot and even an ex-centerfold model. Between races you can use the cash that you have earned to upgrade your scooter a bit. Everything from the engine and gearbox to body, basket and melee weapon can be improved if you have enough money. We really enjoyed the track designs in this game, but the visuals could do with a bit more work. Everything is colorful and cartoony, but somewhat lacking in detail, especially in comparison to the excellent promo art the game has.
Coffin Dodgers is already very enjoyable, but it is really going to be the multi-player modes that will make or break this game. Personally we would love to see the characters fleshed out a bit more and given their own unique abilities or stories as well as some more customization options. The game will also require a bit more polish before the full release, but so far it is looking very promising and it is already very entertaining.
This preview is based on the Beta V1.3.666.0.1 build of the game.