I didn’t exactly love the time I spent playing Nickelodeon Kart Racers 3: Slime Speedway, but I didn’t hate it either. Slime Speedway is one of those middle of the road games that, if you have kids, might be worth scooping up at launch thanks to its colorful graphics and fun assortment of cartoon chaos that’ll help keep them both busy and entertained.
However, if you're considering snagging the game for yourself as a kart racer fan for example, Slime Speedway is one that’ll be more worthy of consideration in the future once some of the bugs have been patched, or once the game is available at a discount rather than its full $49.99 (USD) price point.
Prime time slime time
Nickelodeon Kart Racers 3: Slime Speedway is as average of a kart racer as it gets. If you’ve played through previous Nickelodeon Kart Racer games, or enjoy games like Mario Kart and Team Sonic Racing, you’ll likely have no trouble navigating your way through Slime Speedway.
The controls are wonderfully simple and approachable, which is great for those looking to purchase the game for their kids. As you’d expect, you have your standard kart racing mechanics such as jumping, drifting, using items, and so on. However, you also have access to other elements to help spice things up as well.
For example, at the start of each race, players are able to piece together a pit crew of three characters to help aid them in their efforts to slide across the finish line in first place. Each pit crew member boasts their own unique support ability. Depending on the sort of support abilities you want to focus on, you’ll choose one character to be the lead or chief, and will then assign the roles of crew mechanic and crew engineer to the two other characters you’ve selected.
With the lead crew member, you’re able to fill up your Slime Meter while racing and activate their unique support ability whenever you like, with the other characters complementing this with their own passive buffs. There are 90 crew members to choose between, and it’s a lot of fun to mix-and-match these in the game.
Some notable crew characters include the lovable Spunky from Rocko’s Modern Life and Gary from SpongeBob Squarepants, with the game’s Turbo Edition offering two exclusive crew characters including Firelord Ozai from Avatar: The Last Airbender and Shredder from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Not only is your crew customizable, but so is your kart in terms of things like wheels and body (bikes are included in the game now as well), with characters able to use any kart body they like. None are restricted to their own specific karts. And, similar to the large assortment of pit crew characters, Slime Speedway features a massive roster of playable characters for you to choose from and unlock, with 40 unlockable characters included in the game (42 if you have the Turbo Edition) from various Nickelodeon properties. Additionally, the game’s characters are fully voiced for the first time in the series.
The voice acting is alright, though it can get annoying at times with characters repeating the same lines as you’re racing around. And, as fun as it is to race around as characters like Invader Zim and Powdered Toastman from Ren & Stimpy, the game takes a step back in the amount of time and effort you need to put in to expand your roster of playable characters.
You’ll need to earn in-game currency by racing in order to unlock characters, and from my experience with the game, I noticed that it can take dozens of races to earn the amount of currency needed to unlock a character. I don’t mind racing to unlock characters in Slime Speedway, but I do think the sheer amount of racing you need to do in order to expand your roster of playable characters is a little on the unfair side.
That aside, other positives for Slime Speedway include 36 fun Nick-based tracks like CatDog’s house and Nature-O-Rama from Rocko’s Modern Life. There are some track designs that leave much to be desired, particularly the opening tutorial track, but for the most part the tracks are solid. There’s also a solid offering of game modes including Slime Scramble Grand Prix, Time Trial, Free Race, Arena, and Challenges.
While the grind to unlock characters in Slime Speedway is a pain, some of the game’s other assorted issues make the game even more of a hassle. These include an online component that’s surprisingly dead and empty at launch, with Slime Speedway offering no crossplay between platforms.
Even when you are able to match up with people to race with, there are other issues plaguing the game’s online multiplayer including frustrating issues with inaccurate placement. For example, there are times your placement will change dramatically from where it was when you finished the race for no explainable reason.
Aside from this, the game experiences assorted timing and visual issues with its QTEs, notifications, and things like a lack of clear hit indicators or warnings for items. Less of a bug and more of an annoyance, but the speed between races also drags on for far too long.
The last thing you want in a racer is for it to feel slow, and there are aspects of the game that don’t feel as snappy and responsive as they should. When the game works, there’s plenty of fun to be had. But as it stands at launch, there are a few issues that could really use fixing, so it may be better to wait to play this game until it’s received a solid patch or two.
Nothing to write home about
All in all, Nickelodeon Kart Racers 3: Slime Speedway isn’t the worst kart racer I’ve ever played, but again, it’s also not the best especially when compared to previous entries in the series. As previously mentioned, Nickelodeon Kart Racers 3: Slime Speedway is a middle of the road racer in almost every aspect save for its character roster, graphics, and elements like picking three characters to be part of your pit crew.
This review is based on a digital PS5 copy of Nickelodeon Kart Racers 3: Slime Speedway supplied by the publisher. Nickelodeon Kart Racers 3: Slime Speedway is available as of October 14, 2022 for platforms including Xbox One, Series X|S, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PC.
Nickelodeon Kart Racers 3: Slime Speedway
- Large roster of playable characters for you to unlock
- A step up graphically from previous entries in the series
- Approachable controls, great for younger gamers
- Solid selection of game modes and maps
- Assorted tech issues and bugs
- Online lobbies are painfully empty
- Repetitive, obnoxious lines of character dialogue
- Requires too much grinding to unlock characters and items