By: Quinn Potter
Coffin Dodgers is about seven old people racing against the Grim Reaper. It’s a humorous, ironic version of a Mario Kart game. Bring your best scooter-driving tactics, get ready to pick up an Uzi and join in the fun.
This is a game for all ages and levels of players, which means the controls are perfectly placed for instant entertainment. There’s no remapping option and it’s not needed. Even the most novice players can grasp the basics in mere minutes.
The game is set in a wild and zany world, and the graphics reflect that. A bold palette of colors pops off the screen as your soul zips around town on a motorized scooter. The town looks like an idyllic community from the 1940s in America. Houses, a small shopping area and a bell tower circle a lake. Birds chirp and pedestrians saunter as your soul scoots around to collect suitcases with special powers.
Although everything is neat and organized, this is not a world where you’re going to waste precious time lingering over details. Shop names are generic (“hardware shop, farm shop”) and bi-level clapboard houses vary only in color, not appearance. Scooters emit smoke once every few minutes, but that’s all for special effects.
On a downside, the jaunty music can get downright annoying. There’s only so much vim and vigor an old soul can have in a day. The non-stop peppy beat quickly becomes exhausting.
The typical mode is single player, but you can play split screen in local co-op to have up to four players. In single you can choose Story, Quick Race, Time Trial or Open World. Within Open World, there’s Crazy Grandad, Explore or Tutorial. In co-op, you can race or explore, that’s all.
The souls you get to choose from are clever and fun. Jeremiah is a retired Amish sheep farmer, Hank was one of the original Harley riders, Wilbur is a blues guitar player, and Professor Percival Chase III is a mad scientist.
Sad to say, but the two female avatars are either a former “Playman” model or an obnoxious old lady who speaks her mind in a “piercing gravelly voice.” If you complete the full game, you get the added bonus of being able to play as Death.
Pick a soul and set up your scooter. Decide if you’re going to race solo or with friends. Pull up to the quaint, homemade starting line and rev up your scooter for a crazy adventure. Stick to the middle of road to pick up suitcases with special power, such as rockets, oil, electricity, an Uzi, a force field and a power surge. Launch your weapons at your opponent or boost your speed when you race alone.
Want to add something extra to your game? Change up your scooter from low to high or a self-modified “garage” mode… or choose a different track for your race. Drive down the construction zone in Subway Scurry to try your luck at avoiding zombies and subway cars.
Super-mild comic violence occurs here when you run into zombies and the blood quickly splatters across the screen. Clock Tower Clash, Devils’ Horseshoe, and Sewer Sort are mild variations on the race around town, but they don’t have anything unique or surprising.
The real fun is going to come from who you play and how often their avatars die. Watch novice drivers run into walls, get lapped by AI (other racers), or back themselves into a pile of cardboard boxes. Note that the time you have to wait before you respawn is lengthy for such an action-packed racer. There’s no online racing option, so it’s really best to play with friends and family locally.
Coffin Dodgers is funny and should be restricted to only those gamers who have a nicely warped sense of humor. If this applies to you, hop into your recliner so you can spend an afternoon watching a couple of old geezers fire Uzis at each other as they race Death on their scooters. There’s nothing too violent or shocking here, so it’s guaranteed silly fun for all ages.