Your dreams of Mario Kart on Facebook will likely never become a reality, but that's OK. Illustrious developers like Nexon and Twiitch (with some help by RockYou) have swooped in and filled the void with KartRider Dash and KartWorld, respectively. Both offer real-time multiplayer racing, customizable karts and plenty of power-ups, but which does it all better?
And we're off ... into yet another Facebook Game Face-off, our weekly column in which we pit two like Facebook games against each to decide which is best once and for all. We'll judge both games on three criteria: their racing game, the social features and overall fun factor. Start your engines...
How Do You Zoom Zoom?
For the old folks, KartWorld's racing plays out much like R.C. Pro-AM. This racer sees players race three laps against four other drivers on numerous tracks from an isometric perspective. While there are some goofy, fun power-ups like oil slicks and speed boosts, KartWorld just doesn't offer the same sense of speed as its competitor.
It might be thanks to full 3D graphics and a traditional camera angle, but racing in KartRider simply feels faster than the competition. The speed lines that blur past your kart as you hit the speed boost only help make it feel more as if you're careening into the finish line at 150 miles per hour. A myriad of goofy power-ups and a drifting system only make this game more intense, which is definitely a good thing.
Go Karts Love Company
Social features is where KartWorld might have the upper hand, especially if you're looking for a game with more traditional, asynchronous play. Between racing challenges you can send to your friends with ghost data (carbon copies of your performance on a track) and friendly leaderboards, KartWorld has social in spades. However, it would be nice if the game's real-time multiplayer racing feature worked well more often.
What KartRider lacks in traditional social features it more than makes up for in live multiplayer races. With just 40,000 daily players, this racer manages to match players up with eight competitors in both item and speed modes almost every time. While it's rather seamless throughout, you won't find much in traditional social features aside from gifting.
Going the Distance
KartWorld has immense potential to be an entertaining, unique racer on Facebook, but quiet live multiplayer rooms aren't doing it any favors. The karts in Twiitch's creation are beautifully designed and fully upgradeable, which is something KartRider can't exactly say for itself. But KartWorld simply fails to satisfy that need for speed, an essential for bringing players back.
On the other hand, Nexon knows that the vast majority of its KartRider fans want to go fast, and it has undoubtedly delivered. That and an adorable cast of characters (albeit driving some ugly karts) aside, this is one of the first racers to convince us that responsive, intuitive controls are possible on a keyboard.
Who Goes Home with the Cup?
In our book, the winner of this race is KartRider Dash, but not by much. With time, KartWorld could easily close the gap and provide a worthy race to the finish line. But what matters is the here and now, and in that regard, Nexon's Facebook kart racer is bar none the most impressive on the market. But we'd rather leave this to you, the racers:
KartWorld or KartRider Dash?
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