I recently got to try out Jimmie Johnson’s Anything With An Engine with Jimmie Johnson himself. Yes, I got to play Xbox with the 4-time driver of the year. As awesome as that sounds, I am happy to say that I was able to play this kart racing game and come up with a unbiased impression of it, because that’s what us journalists are supposed to do. So how much fun is to be had with this title? Well, read on to find out.
First off, Jimmie Johnson’s Anything With An Engine does anything but take itself too seriously. The graphics are cartoony and some of the racers are very silly. I mean there are scuba divers and evil-looking grandmothers driving in this game for crying out loud. There are 8 racers per game, and there are multiple different kinds of game modes. These game modes include your standard races and time trials, and then you also have survival, endurance and matador. Survival mode has players at the bottom of the list eliminated after each lap and endurance has you go through multiple laps with a mix-up of game modes. Matador is the most interesting of the bunch, because it splits players to drive in opposite directions on a track and this leads to lots of head-on collision.
Now how does this game play? Well, you have your acceleration and double-tapping the acceleration to pull off some boosts. This works pretty well, and there is even a Mario Kart-esque timed boost that can be pulled off right before a race begins. The controls are tight, and drifting is here as well for your sharper turns. As for your offensive craziness, because this game does have lots of it, you have missiles, side rams and mines. All of these, when pulled off and used effectively, will add to your points. The more points you get, the stronger your mines, missiles and side rams become. You will also be taking damage throughout your races, but don’t worry, because every lap has an F-Zero-esque repair zone.
What I like best about Jimmie Johnson’s Anything With An Engine is that it is solid fun that leads to some intense moments. Races are kept tight, not through rubber-banding, but by shortcuts that open up for those who have been left behind. This is not to say that there won’t be any legitimate shortcuts for those up ahead, but these shortcuts are sure better than trying to balance out who gets what items depending on what place their in. You know what game I’m talking about!
With multiple tracks, great gameplay, and the promise of a robust online functionality, Jimmie Johnson’s Anything With an Engine is looking like it will be an enjoyable kart racer. We look forward to bringing you more coverage of the game in the near future.