Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Wacky Wheels

In late 1997 I had conquered Duke Nukem 3D. I wouldn't say I was tired of the game, but I could definitely use a break.

Also at this time, I started editing files that installed with games.

Personal favorite edits were replacing all the sounds in a German Monopoly ripoff with Simpsons and Beavis and Butthead sounds and replacing the taunts in Scorched Earth with very personal taunts aimed at my brothers.

So I started poking around my copy of Duke Nukem 3D. Most the files didn't mean anything to me, random DLL and map files. And then... then I found the holy grail.

It was a folder stacked with some full games and some shareware games.

I had full versions of Duke Nukem 1 and 2, games I didn't know existed. There was shareware of Realms of Chaos and Rise of the Triad. (A weird game that always is in my mind, but I've never spent more than a few levels with)

And then what turned out to be the shareware I played the most, Wacky Wheels.

You see, I loved MarioKart and as I've said before, I didn't get Nintendo systems because my cousin
would. I would always get the competitors system, only three years later.

So I had extreme MarioKart jealousy. And when I opened the Wacky.exe, flickering in full 256 colors was a kart racer built for PCs.

Yes, MarioKart 64 was out and was way more interesting, but that's not the point. My brothers and I now had a kart racer with local 2 player gaming.

They tried to shoehorn a rediculous story into a game that has no need for literature. A bunch of zoo animals escaped on lawn mowers and now race them around while shooting hedgehogs at each other.

This might very well be the flattest game ever created. Besides the walls surrounding the track and a few obstacles, everything is the flattest of flat flats.

I saw this game pop up on the GOG summer sale today for less than $2, I figured it was time to relive my childhood. (Besides, with how much I played the shareware, I probably owed 3D Realms and Apogee a few dollars.)

I've heard that some people get sick in VR.

Unfortunately, that's how I felt playing this game.

The game is a flickery mess now that it's stretched for higher resolutions.

It uses the annoying keys from days when devs were still trying to figure out the best layout. Use the arrow keys to move, Alt to drive, Ctrl to fire, and space bar to not only drift, but to do a 90 degree turn on a dime.

The combination of finger fatigue and eye strain didn't allow me to play past the third race. I was happy to add this game to the collection, but it's something I will probably only break out if and when my brothers come over and want to see it.

So the interesting news (I guess filed under never thought in a million years) is that a group called Cascadia Games is building an official sequel for 2016. I never would have thought a 22 year-old-shareware kart racing game that I found on the Duke Nukem 3D would be revisited.

Now if I could just get someone on a Hunter Hunted sequel.

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