|Designer(s)||Andy Edwardson and Shaun Gadalla|
|Release date(s)||October 17, 1994|
Wacky Wheels is a MS-DOS arcade kart racing video game released by Apogee Software in 1994, with the emphasis on fun over realism both in looks and gameplay. The game strongly resembles Super Mario Kart from the Super Nintendo, but the karts are described as lawn mowers and the eight playable characters are animals from a zoo. It was released on Steam on May 6, 2015 as part of the 3D Realms Anthology.
While racing, players can collect hedgehogs, bombs and other objects that can be used to shoot or distract opponents. The game features both single and multiplayer play, with split-screen, modem, or direct serial link. In multiplayer mode, two human players can either race against each other or battle in special arenas where the sole purpose is to hit the opponent a certain number of times with hedgehogs. This last gaming mode, called Wacky shoot-out, is similar to the classic deathmatch mode from first-person shooter games or the Battle Mode of Super Mario Kart.
The game was and still is distributed as shareware, with only a few characters and courses active. Registration is required to unlock the remaining characters and courses. It is also the first game to feature a Dopefish cameo appearance.
Wacky Wheels was not the first game to feature this type of gameplay, now known as go-kart or kart racing. The developers, Andy Edwardson and Shaun Gadalla, had been inspired by Super Mario Kart, and wished to create a similar experience on the personal computer. During development, he sent out a playable demo that included its source code to Copysoft to canvas interest in funding the project. They rejected it and instead Apogee began funding development. However, just prior to the release of Wacky Wheels, Copysoft released a similar game titled Skunny Kart. Edwardson and Gadalla accused Copysoft of copyright infringement, noting the similarity in the games: however, no legal action was ever taken.
In 2014 it was announced that "Cascadia Games" got the rights on Wacky Wheels from Apogee and is working on a sequel/remake of the game. First screenshots and gameplay videos are available on the developer's website and the release is announced for the fourth quarter of 2015.
- Wacky Wheels Website (can also purchase full version as download)
- The Official Apogee FAQ (Andy Edwardson's paraphrased history of Wacky Wheels appears in section 2.8.9)
- Wacky Wheels Steam page (with controller support)
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