Family Kart 3D (Nintendo 3DS) Review

By Matteo Carlarino 31.08.2014

Review for Family Kart 3D on Nintendo 3DS

Granted, it's quite an unfortunate entrance for a game that includes the word 3D in its title to actually lack any stereoscopic feature, but there's luckily more to enjoy than complain about in this latest entry in the Arc System Works' Family series. As quirky and derivative as it comes, Family Kart 3D still manages to put up a fun ride.

Let's make things straight: Family Kart 3D is a shameless Mario Kart clone. Everything - from the menu screen, to the soundtrack and even one whole circuit - seems more or less ripped off from Mario Kart DS. The game packs the usual kart racing-style competition throughout a handful of lively locations. Along with Time Trial, Free Play and Quick Play modes, there is also a Grand Prix championship, which is branched off into Bronze, Silver and Gold Cups, each one consisting of four courses. Even though the GP can be played on three difficulty levels, only Beginner is available from the get-go, while the next two need to be unlocked.

Family Kart 3D sets the player against seven different opponents - as in the other family members, save the one picked up as the alter ego - with eight vehicles to choose from, all equipped with their own speed/acceleration/cornering ratio; a crazy wheeled cardboard box pretty much stands out from an otherwise uninspired line-up, and it's definitely the most wonky and fun 'car' to drive around.

Screenshot for Family Kart 3D on Nintendo 3DS

Predictably, it's not all about racing. No respectable Mario Kart wannabe would be taken seriously without random weapons or bonus items to collect, and Family Kart 3D makes no exception. There are turbo boosts, shields, missiles to clear the way up, as well as oil slicks to drop on anybody that is buggering from behind, all conveniently wrapped into rainbow-coloured boxes.

Where Family Kart 3D stops mimicking Mario Kart - only to take inspiration from another franchise - is in the drifting department. As it happens in Ridge Racer 3D, sliding on corners causes the nitro gauge to rise up to three stocks, which can be used anytime in the race. Even if the skidding mechanics - triggered by tapping R straight after steering - may seem a bit tricky at first, they are easy enough to master and add a pleasant layer of strategy, especially during the infamous last lap.

Screenshot for Family Kart 3D on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 6 out of 10


With no online multiplayer and its very flimsy Grand Prix tour, there is no way Family Kart 3D could ever strive for Mario Kart 7's throne, but in all honesty it doesn't even seem to aim so high. It's a little, flippant alternative to the more eminent Nintendo hit, and indeed a solid and enjoyable diversion for any kart racing fan out there.


Arc System Works


Arc System





C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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