Konami has finally released Krazy Kart [$7.99] in the U.S. tonight. The game was originally launched internationally just last week. The initial impressions were favorable but with some more mixed reviews as people spent more time with the title. Most seem to agree that it doesn't quite capture the magic of Mario Kart, but we're not even sure if that's a realistic measure of comparison.
Krazy Kart Racers features a slightly obscure cast of Konami characters such as Sparkster (from the SNES game of the same name), Robbie Rabbit (the mascot from an amusement park found in Silent Hill), and the frog from Frogger along with seven others. The controls work well and feature both tilt steering and touch controls. Acceleration is handled automatically, and there are virtual buttons on screen to brake and use whatever power-up you've managed to pick up.
16 tracks are included, based on themes of the games the characters are from. For instance, Power Stadium is a baseball diamond shaped track to go along with the baseball player racer from Power Touch Pros and there's a Antarctic themed track to go with the penguin racer from Penguin Adventure. These tracks can be played in grand prix, time attack, and free run modes as well as with friends or random people online in the included internet multiplayer modes.
Perhaps the most disappointing reports, however, from the early international adopters are the buggy multiplayer options and a lack of competitors to play against. However, since the majority of App Store downloads seem to come from the U.S., the selection of players should improve substantially with the U.S. release. The buggy and crash-prone online interface is unfortunate as online multiplayer is Krazy Kart's distinguishing feature from other App Store kart racers. With the U.S. release, we will continue testing to see how this influx of users affects game finding and online play.
Strangely the U.S. release is only compatible with iPhone, and not iPod Touch. While likely a mistake on Konami's part, one you should be aware of. Konami has addressed this issue and it is now compatible with both iPhone and iPod Touch.