Developer: Shanghai Taomee Network Technology Co.,Ltd.
Price: $0.99
Version: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Have you ever found yourself wanting to play a Mario Kart game on your iOS device of choice? Have no fear race fan, because Mole Kart 2 Evolution is here to the rescue. Where the original Mole Kart shamelessly aped from the Nintendo franchise with reckless abandon, the second installment attempts to distance itself from thievery allegations, while still borrowing enough to strike the same chords.

The main area of “borrowing” is in the game’s power-up system, which consist of driving through floating question mark boxes, acquiring items that resemble turtle shells and even a monster that instead of spraying ink on the screen, instead obscures it with leaves. Fortunately the developers decided to take a different direction with the career mode, veering away from a grand prix, and moving more towards timed objective races.

Instead of just trying to be the first car to cross the finish line, many competitions end up being a race against the clock. Some of the goals include item matches where the player must destroy targets using specific items X number per match, races where X number of speed boosts must be used and straight up time trials. At the end of each race stars are awarded for the accomplishing the tiered goals shown before the green light. These stars are used to unlock more events in the career mode.

Before you ask, yes, there are still traditional races, but that seems to be far from the focus this time around. In terms of kart racing mechanics there are four different control schemes at the player’s disposal. No matter what scheme is chose, though there seems to be a slight amount of play in the turning, it is still evident that Mole Kart 2 is a very competent racer in its own right. Plus, there are mini-campaigns associated with each of the playable characters and their unique vehicles, so you could be busy for quite some time.

Despite venturing back to drink at Nintendo’s favorite watering hole, Mole Kart 2 Evolution has taken steps to distinguish itself as its own brand. Thankfully, the title’s low $0.99 price point also buys quite a bit of forgiveness. There is more than enough game to justify the price tag. Hit the gas and hustle over to the App Store to check it out.

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