Welcome to my review for Coffin Dodgers.
Developer: Milky Tea
Publisher: Wales Interactive
This is an ID@Xbox title.
Released: May 6th 2016
Coffin Dodgers. A simple premise, 7 old timers, of various backgrounds, residing in the quaint town of Sunny Pines. Relaxing in their old age, when suddenly, The Grim Reaper comes for their souls! Determined not to be taken, as they consider themselves too young, they challenge Grim to a race in their mobility scooters. As you would quite rightly do so yourself.
Talking of the characters, they each have their own background story at the character select screen. But aside from this, there is no difference between them. So choice does not matter. Grim is also a playable character, but you must complete the game once to play as him.
The game is very short, and you are looking at a completion time of 2-3 hours. Achievements are very easy, and as of writing, I have 850g unlocked with just 4 achievements left.
After completing the story mode however, is where the real problem lies. There is little desire to come back to Coffin Dodgers, and little in the way of temptation sadly. I have been following this game since before it released on Steam, and had high hopes for this title. Quirky idea in my opinion.
The main issues with the lack of longevity, is the lack of interesting game modes. Free roam does not entice you to drive around aimlessly. Crazy Grandad mode whilst sounds fun, is just driving around collecting old folk items. So aside from the related achievement, you won't be revisiting this mode again.
Multiplayer is available, and you can have the 4 player split screen flavour, and that's your lot. So no Xbox Live gaming with your friends, which would have suited me given I live nearly 2 hours drive away from any friends. Couch battles it is.
Another mode I would love to have seen implmented, is Track Editor. I don't know if it was a financial, or time constraint that prevented this from inclusion. Shame really. Could have kept some life in the game.
Graphics: Visually, not the best looking Indie game out there. Coffin Dodgers does look like it's from the PS2 era, but graphics doesn't necessarily make a game. Gameplay first right? It's bright and vibrant colours however, make up for the lack of quality, and would please children. I know this does work, my children were fixated with it.
Gameplay: Very sensitive controls, and you only need to gently nudge the analogue stick to turn your mobility scooter around the bends. What does surprise me is the lack of drifting. You can take nearly every corner at top speed, except the few hairpins that pop up in some races. The camera does need some attention, as when you take a sharp corner to fast, it fails to keep up, and results in collisions.
Music/FX: The menu music is a slighlty sinsiter vaudeville villainesque style, but it is a shirt number, and plays on repeat. So sadly, it does get irritating after a while. The sound FX are what you would expect from the engine noises to everything else within the game. Nothing too spectacular.
Achievements: A very easy 1000g to be earned. The £9.59 asking price may put you off, so maybe a sale would tempt you? But if you're looking for a quick boost to your gamer score, then it's going to be worth a purchase surely? Nothing is too taxing, and even the grind based achievements are quick and painless.
Summary: I had high hopes, I really did. It just fell short of my expectations at the end of the day. Whether it be time or financial constraints that prevent Coffin Dodgers from becoming a classic. There is a fun little game hidden away, that's wanting to be loved. But with the short falls, it may just be waiting for a while.
That's not to say it's a bad game by any means, it's just not that good. It's an average game, that could have been executed so much better than it has been. At the end if the day, kids will enjoy it's bright visuals, and mildly amusing action.
I think Milky Tea could learn some lessons from this, and hopefully, develop more games learning from their past mistakes and short comings. They're certainly on the right track.
Thank you to Wales Interactive for supplying a code for the game