Mario Kart has just about perfected the kart racing genre of video games. So much so that you rarely see competitors these days. Which is a shame really because as good as the Mario Kart series is, it would seem to me that there is plenty of room for some unique variations and even improvements. There have been a number of competitors in the past and while some are better than others, few come close to Mario Kart.
Shrek Swamp Kart Speedway is one of those games that doesn’t come close. This game was released on the Game Boy Advance in 2002. It’s based on a movie license (Shrek) so that’s a clue right away that it probably won’t be all that great. It tries to stick very close to the Mario Kart formula being a virtual rip-off of Mario Kart: Super Circuit which was also released for the Game Boy Advance and was the first handheld Mario Kart. However, it just doesn’t execute very well. The graphics are not as good, the controls are not as good, the music is not as good and the sound effects are not as good. The tracks aren’t as well designed either for that matter and there are fewer of them. I suppose that if you are looking for a bad rip-off of Mario Kart with a Shrek license slapped on then this is the game for you.
This game has never been re-released and given the Shrek license and being a mediocre game at best I’m sure it never will be. You’ll have to track down an original on eBay or elsewhere (which is pretty easy to do) or resort to emulation. Those looking for a good alternative to Mario Kart should probably look elsewhere though. Mario Kart: Super Circuit is a much better choice for the Game Boy Advance, even if you really, really love Shrek.
The ad above is from issue number four of Nintendo Power Advance.