Best alternatives to the 'Mario Kart'-like 'Angry Birds Go' on tablets

by Matt Swider

February 9 2014

Angry Birds Go's top-notch presentation doesn’t wear thin, but sometimes the stamina of its bird-and-pig cast can.

Like we noted in our review, its free-to-play structure forces ready-to-race players to lay off the gas while their birds take inconvenient 25-minutes snoozes. Microtransactions are a tempting way to ruffle their racing feathers so that you can wake them up and begin the next event right away, but there are alternatives as well.

To accelerate the time, there are plenty of other kart racing games to try—several that made a nest on in the App Store and Google Play Store well before Angry Birds Go. Best of all, you don’t have to spend money or wait for the cuckoo bird to wake your idled racer. Click through the slideshow below for the best kart racers on tablets.

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Links & Apps

  • 1 Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
    Slide 1
    Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
    $4.99

    There’s no official Mario Kart game on tablets and Nintendo seems to only be teasing us with its mobile plans at this point. Luckily, Sega’s quick-footed Sonic the Hedgehog has been willing to fill the plumbers shoes yet again—and this time he brings friends to the starting line. More than Tails, Knuckles and Doctor Eggman, Sega diehards will appreciate the inclusion of Shenmue’s Ryo Hazukiadm. We still can’t explain why Sonic, aka “the fastest thing alive,” needs a car, but the sliding mechanics work well and there’s lag-free multiplayer too.

     
  • 2 Cro-Mag Rally
    Slide 2
    Cro-Mag Rally
    $3.99

    As one of the very first games we downloaded in Apple’s exciting new iTunes App Store back in 2008, Cro-Mag Rally is the ancestor to all of these mobile kart racers. Like the stone age theme, its nine tracks are time-tested with 3D graphics that were ahead of its time (except when it came to some primitive-looking racetrack textures). With added game controller support, AirPlay mirroring and GameCenter multiplayer, it’s worth going back in time to check this one out. Our one gripe is it never evolved to Android devices.

     
  • 3 Tiki Kart 3D
    Slide 3

    If Crash Bandicoot’s Wumpa guardian Aku Aku was to carve out his own mobile game, it would take the shape of Tiki Kart 3D. This colorful-looking kart racing game takes place in and around the depths of a tropical island’s volcano, which enabled the developer to throw some insane level design ideas in its 15 tracks. Just as out of control are its extreme, cartoon physics. Best of all, it’s free to download on both iOS and Android tablets.

     
  • 4 Steampunk Racing 3D
    Slide 4

    From the makers of Tiki Racing 3D comes a steam-powered twist on kart racing tablet games. The 15 tracks here are less about insane jumps and more about the science fiction weapon pick-ups that litter the war-torn raceways. There are 30 industrial-age weapons in this death race and custom vehicles from Dozenbergs to Zeppelins. Its theme may be retro, but its ability to provide real-time multiplayer for six players makes this free Android and iOS game feel modern.

     
  • 5 Cocoto Kart Online HD
    Slide 5
    Cocoto Kart Online HD
    $3.99

    Cocoto Kart Online HD is a zippy little Mario Kart clone that does its best impression of Nintendo’s mascot-filled masterpiece, and it succeeds in a lot of ways. Its pace makes the gameplay difficult—more so than the rubberband AI faux challenge that other games offer. Track memorization is essential to achieving first place, and with 10 tracks plus mirrored courses and a battle mode, there’s a lot to take in. The graphics can’t compete with other kart racers out there and the game hasn’t been updated in more than three years, but what’s here is fun to play on iOS.

     
  • 6 Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2
    Slide 6
    Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2
    $2.99

    Crash Bandicoot does actually have his own racing game on tablets. In fact he has two, but the not-so-obvious winner is Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2, not Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D. They’re both 3D it turns out, but only Nitro 2 supports online multiplayer, which is almost essential in any kart racing games these days. This sequel also looks better; it adds polygons and pushes the draw distance back a little further than the original. The only downside is that neither game has veered into the Android lane.

     


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