Everyone loves a good old-fashioned cart racer, right? I mean, that's why Mario Kart games are so incredibly popular with each iteration.
But what if you're itching for a cart racer that isn't Mario Kart? Fortunately, there's a new option that's now out for the Nintendo Switch, you know, in case Mario Kart just isn't enough for you.
All-Star Fruit Racing (ASFR for short) is a bright and colorful racer that's friendly enough for all ages. Plus, it's jam-packed full of fun fruit trivia, which ends up being rather educational. And while it plays similarly to Mario Kart, there are enough differences to make it its own unique game that's worth checking out.
Here are some tips to help you get started in All-Star Fruit Racing! Let's dive in.
- Master the controls
- Drift for speed boosts
- Mix-and-match power-ups
- Master the tracks and game modes
- Play more to earn parts and customize
Master the controls
If you've played Mario Kart, then you probably have the controls for that game ingrained in your brain. Let me tell you right now — toss all that out. ASFR has a different control scheme that takes some getting used to.
To accelerate your cart, you'll press ZR. For brakes, it's the R button. The left joystick allows you to steer, and ZL lets you drift and reverse. The L button blows the horn, and there are several camera modes that you can switch to, including first person, with the directional buttons. The Y, X, A, and B buttons are used for connecting and disconnecting the four fruit tanks, which we'll get to in a bit. Pressing down on the right joystick activates your special move, depending on what fruit tanks are filled.
Honestly, while the controls differ slightly from Mario Kart, you'll get used to it quickly enough after a few races. It feels more simplified, especially for drifting, and the various camera angles prove helpful in certain situations.
Just don't press on ZR when the countdown hits "2," because there's no boost like you get in Mario Kart, unfortunately.
Drift for speed boosts
Like any arcade racer, drifting is the key if you want to win. Fortunately, drifting's a bit easier to master in this game than others.
Again, you don't need to learn any special button combination to properly drift in ASFR. In fact, there's a button, ZL, that allows for drifting automatically as you steer around corners. As in most arcade racers, the best time to begin your drift is as you enter the turn. Careful as to not oversteer, because then you'll end up drifting into a wall or some other obstacle.
While you drift in ASFR, a gauge appears at the bottom of the screen. This indicates your cart's engine, and how stressed out it is. Be careful to not drift too long, because it'll overwork the engine and cause it to overheat, resulting in wasted time on the track. But depending on how much drifting you do, you'll also gain a small speed boost, which helps you gain an edge over your opponents.
Some of the game modes feature randomized power-ups, similar to what you'd find in Mario Kart. You know the drill — grab a bubble with a "?" on it, watch it spin for a second or two, and then get a random item that may or may not help you, depending on your current situation.
But ASFR's a bit more distinctive with the power-up system when it's not randomized, and it takes some time to understand how to use it fully.
Along each track, there are fruits floating around in bubbles that you can collect. Grabbing these fills up your four fruit tanks (Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter fruits). You can press the corresponding button to either connect or disconnect each tank.
When you have at least two or more fruit tanks connected, you're able to combine them for a power-up ability. Each racer has their own unique aesthetic, fruit specialty, and power-ups that they can use.
The icon in the center of the tanks tells you what power-up you'll get by combining the current fruits together, so if you want a particular item, you'll need to remember the combination you need for it.
With the power-ups, it's a lot of trial-and-error and experimentation. Just play around with it and see how each power-up works!
Master the tracks and game modes
There are several different game modes in ASFR, which means a lot of variety in how you play.
For the most part, you may stick with Career, where you progress through a series of tournaments with varying tracks and game modes. It's a good way to get familiar with the different kind of modes available, and you never know what you'll end up with when you play.
There's also Custom Race, Fast Championship, Custom Championship, and Time Attack modes, along with Training if you need it. For each game type, you can select the area that you want (more get unlocked as you play), the difficulty, and the race type.
Race types include Random Juicer, Juicer, Dragster, Elimination, and Elimination Mix. Juicer is where you combine fruits for special moves, whereas Juicer's random items. Dragster has juice moves recharging over time, and Elimination is where the racer in last place is eliminated after a countdown. If you enjoy living dangerously, Elimination Mix features random countdowns.
There's a total of five islands in ASFR, and a handful of tracks on each. These tracks differ in their layout and can feature a wide mix of straight paths, curves, ramps, hills, and other fun stuff. You'll need to spend time and practice to master them all.
Play more to earn parts and customize
ASFR follows in the footsteps of Rocket League when it comes to customization. This means that the more you play, the more parts you unlock to customize your cart with, but it's all purely cosmetic.
While there's plenty of fruit racers with different aesthetics that you can play as, the cart will always remain the same, no matter who you choose. To make it your own, just select the Garage option in the main menu.
There are three main cart bodies to choose from, but lots of other things such as wheels, front and body masks, wheels, rims, aerials (antennae topper), and horn sounds. Plus, the color for everything's changeable, so go ahead and pick your favorites!
When you start out, there's only so much you can pick from, but a lot more options get unlocked as you play and progress.
Take it easy and enjoy the ride
All-Star Fruit Racing's one of those family-friendly cart racers that you can take your time with. It's a game that's best enjoyed in short bursts throughout the day, and definitely not something you need to speed through in a week. Plus, even though the controls feel simplified compared to other titles, you still need practice and patience to master it.
So go out, grab some fresh fruit, and take a bite into this deliciously fresh arcade racer!
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