DreamWorks All-Star Kart Racing PlayStation 5 Review

While DreamWorks All-Star Kart Racing doesn't offer much to distinguish itself from other kart racers, it's still a fun and affordable game for the whole family.

By MChipmunks, Posted 06 Nov 2023

By now, it is no surprise to anyone that Mario Kart is the undisputed king of the kart racing genre. After all, it was Mario and friends that started this genre of video games back in 1992 with the launch of Super Mario Kart for the SNES. Ever since, numerous other properties, including the likes of Crash Bandicoot, Sonic, and even Diddy Kong, would throw their hat in the ring.

Games like Crash Team Racing (1999), Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing (2010), and Diddy Kong Racing (1997) were all solid titles to compete with the mustached plumber’s kart racers. They would not reach the same heights, but were stunning releases all their own. The genre exploded with so much popularity that even cartoon and movie properties wanted a slice of that action, and who could blame them? These games sell like hotcakes.

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Bamtang Games is no stranger to the world of kart racers, as they have developed the Nickelodeon Kart Racers series to varying degrees of quality. In 2022, they released Nickelodeon Kart Racers 3: Slime Speedway, which has been their most successful release to date. Earlier this year, Bamtang Games released Avatar The Last Airbender: Quest For Balance, which was a rough release for the Peruvian-based gaming studio, to say the least.

While Avatar: The Last Airbender: Quest For Balance was surely a bump in the road, is their latest release, DreamWorks All-Star Kart Racing, a road you want to travel on? Like Shrek, let’s peel back the layers on this onion and see what Bamtang Games cooked up with the latest kart racer on the block.

DreamWorks All-Star Kart Racing wastes no time in getting you into the thick of it with a mandatory tutorial. It would have been nice to skip this entirely as it is. For veterans of the genre, you will roll your eyes as the game explains mechanics you’ve already come to expect from similar games of the genre. You play as Donkey from Shrek for this tutorial, which is fine and dandy until he and Shrek exchange dialogue.

The voice acting is a topic I will revisit in this review because it is a doozy. Once you have completed the tutorial, you are taken to the main menu. It is quite bare bones as you have three main options, including single-player, multiplayer and online. There are four additional sub-options, including garage, extras, settings, and change profile.

Unfortunately, I was unable to find any matches when testing the online functionality, so I will be omitting that from this review. Single-player contains your standard fare with cups, free races, time trials, and challenges. There are a total of six cups to choose from, with twenty unique maps from across various DreamWorks franchises.

DreamWorks All-Star Kart Racing, Kung Fu Panda, The Bad Guys, Kart Racing, Racing, Colorful, Po, Mr. Wolf, Racing, Action, PlayStation 5, PS5

The roster is also quite sizable, representing some of the most famous characters from DreamWorks movies, including Shrek, How To Train Your Dragon, Trolls, Madagascar, The Bad Guys, Boss Baby, Megamind, and Kung Fu Panda. After you choose a racer, you will get to customize your car parts for stats that match your play style, not unlike Mario Kart.

For a budget title, DreamWorks All-Star Kart Racing features eye-pleasing maps that are faithful to the source material, such as Shrek’s famous outdoor bathroom at Shrek’s Swamp or a Gronckle flying in New Berk (How To Train Your Dragon). Each race begins with a rhythm mini-game to get a boost, but it feels pointless due to how easy it is. The CPU racers always complete the boost mini-game correctly, so every racer is getting a boost at the start, which defeats the purpose.

For example, In Mario Kart, you will get a boost at the start as long as you start accelerating at a precise moment, right after the yellow disappears at the traffic light. Less skilled players may not know about this or get the timing off, rewarding the player who performed it correctly. Minor gripe aside, once you get into it, you will notice how well the game plays. With my prior Mario Kart skills put to the test, I was drift-boosting and pulling off tricks in no time. The rumble feedback in the DualSense felt nice to the touch in the heat of the race, granting players a heightened sense of immersion.

When you perform midair tricks speeding off a ramp, you have tight control of where your character will land. This comes in handy so that you can precisely land on an item box or when attempting to grab one of the various collectibles on each map. Speaking of which, each map has a hidden golden collectible, which you can then view in the extras menu later. This seems to have no purpose other than collecting for collecting’s sake to complete an arbitrary checklist.

DreamWorks All-Star Kart Racing, Racing, Kart Racing, Kung Fu Panda, Tigress, PlayStation 5, PS5

It would have been nice if the developers gave the player a real reason to grab the collectibles–bummer. Driving around feels good, which is obviously very important for a racing game, but the voice acting is downright atrocious in DreamWorks All-Star Kart Racing. Not being able to get the original voice actors is fine, especially for a title with such a limited budget. However, certain characters sound like maniacs in the way they laugh incessantly, especially characters like Shrek and Po.

Characters will repeatedly say the same lines whenever you grab an item, drift-boost, or land tricks and become nauseating fast. Thankfully, you can turn off the voice volume in the settings in the main menu. It is a shame because some characters like Donkey, Wolf, and Fiona sound close to their movie counterparts, and it would have been nice to hear them talk once in a while but not in the same lines over and over.

When the game works, it is a blast, especially with friends, but there were noticeable hiccups that would appear from time to time. Collision issues would pop up where my character would fall through the map when there was clearly a road to drive on. There were times when I’d drive straight off a ramp only to slow down seemingly out of nowhere. In other instances, the character would suddenly spin out as if they were hit by an item, but that wasn’t always the case.

Item boxes in DreamWorks All-Stars Kart Racing can be confusing, as it is not clear what each item does. One item looks like a giant wardrobe, and you toss it to an unknown effect. You just have to take a shot in the dark and hope for the best. While the Trolls themselves aren't playable, they accompany every racer on their kart, handing you Trolls exclusive items in the form of speed boosters and another that grabs nearby music notes.

DreamWorks All-Star Kart Racing, Multiplayer, Shrek, The Bad Guys, Colorful, PlayStation 5, PS5, Action, Racing, Kart Racing

You will find these music notes sprinkled across each map, and just like in Mario Kart, they increase your top speed and can be used as currency for the in-game shop. DreamWorks All-Star Kart Racing features an extensive catalog of parts for you to purchase and customize your racer’s kart to your heart's content. The Troll's influence in the gameplay, aside from their special items, the magic paths. Once you collect a harp, you will unlock a hidden rainbow pathway that leads to a golden collectible.

Remember back in the days of gaming past, when you had to unlock characters in the game? DreamWorks All-Stars Kart Racing’s challenges mode is where you will unlock much of the game’s cast. The challenges require you to meet certain conditions before finishing a race to complete them. Some of the unlockable characters in this mode include King Julien (Madagascar), and even Lord Farquaad (Shrek) himself joins the competition.

Despite this, DreamWorks All-Stars Kart Racing is a bare-bones game with not many reasons for long-term playability. While playing cups with your friends can be a good time, multiplayer is missing a level of zaniness only found in Mario Kart. I speak, of course, of a battle mode. DreamWorks All-Stars Kart Racing is far from a horrible kart racing experience, but it could have been so much more with real reasons for hunting down collectibles and a proper battle mode for an even, well-rounded package.


While DreamWorks All-Star Kart Racing does little to set itself apart from its contemporaries, it offers a satisfactory kart racing experience with a friendly price tag. Coming in at $39.99, it is well worth the purchase for the content offered. The lack of a battle mode hinders the replayability factor, and that is a shame because it would have been the cherry on top of the sundae.

If you ever wanted to play as Shrek and friends in a modern kart racer, DreamWorks All-Stars Kart Racing certainly scratches that itch. The game has minor flaws here and there, but they aren’t game-breaking and could easily be fixed with an update. If you are hoping to buy the rally pack, that will set you back another $15, and it is a lot to ask for only offering two additional characters. For families looking to buy their children a fun holiday title, you will find one here.

Michael Nicolosi (@ChipmunksMikey)
Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): PC, PS5, XBSX, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Publisher(s): GameMill Entertainment
Developer(s): Bamtang Games
Genres: Racing
Themes: Family, Kart Racing, Action, Multiplayer
Release Date: 2023-11-05

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