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Walt Disney World Quest: Magical Racing Tour

Score: 100%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Activision
Media: Cart/1
Players: 1
Genre: Racing

Graphics & Sound:

How appropriate to hear strains of It's a Small World pumping through the tiny speaker on my Game Boy Color! From Walt's small world to Nintendo's small platform, right? Some of the other great Disney tunes in Walt Disney World Quest: Magical Racing Tour are Grim Grinning Ghosts and Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah with Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life for Me) being one you'll probably only know if you've actually visited Walt Disney World. Anyway, it's nice to have a GBC game with some real music... Graphically, WDW Magical Racing Tour is crisp, and looks amazingly similar to the PlayStation version. Characters and their cars move smoothly across the side-scrolling tracks, and weapon power-ups look simple, but good. The use of color in each level is great, with plenty of detail and animation.


Anyone who played the PlayStation version of WDW Magical Racing Tour will be surprised at how similar the track layout is for this kart racing game. Even some of the shortcuts look like they're in the same place! The premise of the game (like a kart racer needs a plot!) is that Chip N' Dale dropped some nuts in the Walt Disney World fireworks machine and caused an explosion that sent parts of the machine flying into various rides through the park. So, each track is a ride and each ride contains one piece of the fireworks machine. Take first place, and you win a machine piece. After all the machine pieces are collected, the fireworks show can go on, and hundreds of tourists can go home happy. A secret character will also become available for play.

Even though collecting all the pieces of the fireworks machine means you've won the game, WDW Magical Racing Tour has more than a few challenges on the side. Nail the first-place spot on any track a second time, and you win a pennant. Collecting all the pennants opens a secret track. If you select a race track for the third time, a challenge level opens up, and you have to find 8 trophy cups before the clock runs out. Winning all the trophies for each racetrack opens more secrets. Some non-racing gameplay is found in bonus levels, where you have to collect coins under a time limit, and also in the racetracks. Each track has Lucky Fairy power-ups scattered through it; finding them all and completing the bonus levels opens up all the secret options. 3 secrets characters and 3 secret tracks round out the initial cast of 10 characters and 10 tracks.

Aside from Lucky Fairy power-ups, the weapons available in WDW Magical Racing Tour are a wacky bunch. The weapon effects aren't as cool as in the full 3D version, but turning all the other racers into frogs is still pretty funny. The teacup and guided bottle rocket are very cool, and it's easy to fall into your own traps if not careful. Coin power-ups raise the top speed you can reach, and Lucky Fairies help increase power-up strength to get you out of jams.


WDW Magical Racing Tour is almost too easy. With a lack of really outstanding racing games for GBC, it's hard to criticize a good one, but if I had any gripe to make, it's that all the fun is over way too soon. Learning shortcuts and experimenting with characters is all good and well, but don't expect the entire game to take up more than a long road trip, and certainly not more than a weekend rental. Some kind of link play would have really changed things, but it isn't in the cards.

Game Mechanics:

Some of the racing elements in WDW Magical Racing Tour are consistent from other kart racers or less sim-styled racers. A 'speed-strip' gives any of the characters a quick burst of power, useful for gaining an edge on competitors. Also good for speed are ramps found through levels. Pushing on the D-Pad when you hit a ramp gives a vehicle some air and even more of a lead on the competition. Power-ups were described before, but the mix of projectile and trap power-ups doesn't change how they're used. Each character is styled a bit differently, but all control about the same. Controlling vehicles is done by moving the D-Pad and accelerating with the (A) button, while the (B) button handles weapons. For bonus levels or picking up items, stopping and going in reverse is possible, and done naturally by pressing the D-Pad in the opposite direction. Since this is kart racing, you won't need brakes.

The theme of each level means you'll do more than drive. No flying is in order, but racing by boat, snowmobile and log is part of the package. Handling does change slightly for the water or snow levels, giving more slip and slide. Secret areas and lanes are found in almost all the levels, and often it's just a matter of preference. Going somewhat to the gripe I had with difficulty, it's almost impossible to lose once you've gained a lead. Every once in awhile someone zaps you from behind with an acorn and you lose time, but for both you and the opponents, being in the lead usually is a permanent condition. At least they were fair; it's devilishly hard to catch up if you fall behind.

I was a big fan of WDW Magical Racing Tour on PlayStation, so my bias is clear on this one. If you can look beyond the short length of this racer and enjoy everything that's here, you'll have fun. Especially if you love Disney and the theme parks, racing tracks like Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean is a hoot, but any racing fan with a Game Boy Color should take a look at this game.

-Fridtjof, GameVortex Communications
AKA Matt Paddock

GameBoy Color/Pocket Tony Hawk 2 GameBoy Color/Pocket X-Men Mutant Wars

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated