- Publisher: Microsoft Studios
- Developer: Big Park
- ESRB Rating: “E" for Everyone
- Genre: Racing
- Pros: Tons of vehicles; lots of events; huge stunt parks; fun multiplayer
- Cons: Really easy racing; unlocking stuff can be a pain
Joy Ride Turbo is a Mario Kart clone. Period. It is a easy to control arcade-style racer with weapons that are pretty much direct copies of Mario Kart (or Sonic All-Stars Racing) weapons. The only difference here is that you use your Xbox 360 avatar instead of mascot characters. Everything else is the same, but that is a good thing because it means Joy Ride Turbo is a heck of a lot of fun.
The game offers a ton of different races on a number of interesting courses. There are also dozens of vehicles to use, but in order to unlock them you have to find three hidden parts crates for each vehicle that are hidden around the levels - which means actually unlocking everything requires a lot of poking around every nook and cranny of the levels to make sure you find everything. The part crates aren't exactly hard to find, but your first several hours with the game will likely be spent with the handful of initially unlocked cars while the rest of them wait with 2/3 parts unlocked as you frantically search for the final pieces.
In addition to normal races - which you can play with or without weapons if you want - there are also huge "stunt park" areas with ramps and half pipes and a ton of hidden collectibles to find. The stunt parks have big jumps, lots of turbo boosts, and lots of ways to just goof off and have fun. Some modes from Kinect Joy Ride such as drag races or smash events aren't included here, but there is still plenty of content to keep you busy.
Our one complaint with the gameplay is that it is a little too easy. The A.I. rarely puts up a fight and winning every event your first time through isn't too difficult. Playing with human opponents in multiplayer is a lot more interesting. With that said, however, core components of the game - powersliding and doing tricks which both build up your turbo boost - actually slow you down more than your turbo boost makes up for. You are oftentimes better just driving through corners normally rather than sliding because you go faster. Likewise, while the tracks are full of shortcuts and alternate routes, most of them are slower than just staying on the main path.
With all that said, though, Joy Ride Turbo is still a ton of fun to play in spite of these nitpicky issues. It is a fun and intuitive game that gamers of all ages and skill levels will be able to jump into and have a good time with. And, most importantly, it is a much better game than Kinect Joy Ride was.