Racing gets infested with excitement.
Excitebots: Trick Racing is the direct sequel to Excite Truck (itself a descendant of ExciteBike). The quasi-realistic setting of the first game has been replaced by pure wackiness. Though the game looks similar to its predecessor, the more cartoon-oriented focus helps the game a great deal. The idea was to take some of the essence of Mario Kart and add it to the mix. The trucks of the previous game have been replaced with animal-based robotic vehicles such as bugs. The game includes a number of environments, from the deserts of Egypt to the hilly grasslands of China.
Perhaps most importantly, the control has been relaxed, making it more accessible and fun than Excite Truck. Players still control their vehicles by holding the Remote sideways and tilting left and right to steer and forward and backward to adjust tilt, but they should experience fewer crashes. Excitebots also stresses tricks in addition to its racing. Players gain stars for performing tricks in the air, cornering well, and even ending up in spectacular crashes. Players can also get attack items like missiles and giant hammers. These stars determine rank independent of actual race position, so it's important to do more than just race during the game. The courses often have alternate paths in three dimensions-- sometimes flying high can net you even more bonuses.
Excitebots adds a number of mini-games directly onto the racing course. Challenges include bowling, soccer, and darts. Another common course obstacle is the red bar. Bots attach to the red bar and must spin around it to launch back onto the track. Players must move their Remotes with the right timing in order to launch properly and receive bonuses. This is interesting the first few times, but its inclusion breaks up the otherwise fast-paced action of the game.
The game includes plenty of modes and courses, as well as online play, which was missing from Excite Truck. (Split-screen is still here as well.) Fans of Excite Truck are likely to also enjoy Excitebots, and the game may even pick up some new fans thanks to its less serious approach and improved control.