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Free fan-racer Sonic Robo Blast 2 Kart is brilliant knockabout fun

The starting grid in SRB2 Kart - the Saturn-style 3D models are optional

I didn’t expect to lose most of Sunday to Kart Krew’s fan-made racer Sonic Robo Blast 2 Kart, but I did and don’t regret a second of it. On a technical level, it’s a Doom mod,  but also a completely standalone freeware game. There’s full online play, a built-in server browser and a mostly-friendly bunch of players ready for some N64 styled knockabout racing fun. It supports solo time-trials against ghost replays (no AI at present), up to four players in local split-screen, or up to sixteen players in messy online mode. Grab it here and check out the trailer below.

Based on the (also Doom-based) third-person platformer Sonic Robo Blast 2, SRB2 Kart is a side-project created by the Kart Krew, a talented bunch operating out of the SRB2 forums. Were it not for its lack of single-player AI, SRB2 Kart could easily pass for a retail game, featuring dozens of tracks across racing and battle modes, some fun power-ups and a tasty drifting system. It has a neat little in-game manual (complete with a centre crease) that explains most of its tricks and secrets, and the default controls are set up perfectly for an Xbox or equivalent gamepad. Just jump in.

SRB2 Kart’s legacy as a Doom mod shines through in online play, because creating new tracks and playable characters is easy, and the required files are automatically distributed to anyone playing. It’s a mod scene for a mod of a mod, and that’s brilliant. This becomes clear when you look at some of the extra, non-Sonic content included in the game, including a few guest characters such as Donkey Kong and teen robot Aigis from Persona 3. The rabbit hole gets a lot deeper, too – there’s even a track set in the Midnight Channel from Persona 4, complete with some great music.

While I’m normally hesitant to write about fan-made stuff in case projects get nuked, being a v1.0 release, a mod of a Sonic mod for Doom and knowing Sega’s usually-chill attitude towards fan creations, I feel this is safe to share. And I really do want to share it – I spent hours playing this yesterday, and even built a minor rivalry or two playing on the official Kart Krew UK servers. Keep an eye open for “Dom The Human” online – I’ll try not to intentionally run over you if I get the Giant Car power-up. Give solo mode a spin until you figure out drifting, then head online.

You can snag SRB2 Kart here for Windows, Mac and Linux, and its parent game (not required, just interesting), Sonic Robo Blast 2, here.

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Dominic Tarason

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