JoyRide Turbo

6 Overall Score

Simple controls and cheery graphics make this a great game for kids.

Online matchmaking is frustrating and unlocking more cars is tiresome.

Written by on May 26, 2012 in [, , , ]

Joy Ride Turbo cruised into the XBLA this past Wednesday, May 25th.  I would have had my review up for you all to enjoy sooner, but I was having too much fun playing the game with my kids to stop and write.  For those of you familiar with Kinect Joy Ride which was released in 2010, the “Turbo” version is going to look very similar.  It brings you most of the more popular tracks from that game, but has scrapped the motion controls.  Personally, I’m thrilled because while I thought Kinect Joy Ride was a good game, something about standing there with your arms out steering an invisible steering wheel just wasn’t fun.

Joy Ride Turbo features 42 vehicles, plenty of additional tracks and three different modes of play: Battle Race, Pro Race and Time Trial.  You can play locally with four player split screen, or with up to eight players online.  There is also a new Stunt Park where you can roam around three open spaces all featuring elements of the regular tracks.  I got bored pretty quickly with the Stunt Parks, as all you really do is cruise around doing stunts and collecting trophies, coins and bonus materials.

Online play with Joy Ride Turbo is completely frustrating if you are trying to play with random opponents.  Matchmaking requires a tremendous amount of patience as it takes at least five minutes to get a room going.  People pop in and out constantly as you’re trying to fill a room and the countdown timer, giving people time to select their track, takes much too long.  Then after everyone picks the track, race style, etc for the game there’s some form of random selection based on what everyone votes on.  I’d recommend playing with a group of friends in your own room.  Once you finally get online to race it is fun, but the fun factor is cancelled out by the fact that it takes longer to get into a race than it does to race a race.

The Championship Series takes you through all the tracks in true Kart race fashion where you smash through boxes, getting weapons to throw your opponents off track.  There are shortcuts scattered throughout the tracks that you have to venture through in order to collect crates of car parts if you want to unlock anything other than the one car per course style that they give you.  Even after playing for hours upon hours, I had yet to collect enough parts to unlock even one new car.  In order to collect them you’d really need to focus on just that, and not placing first in the race.

Racing is simple though, the controls are easy and respond well, and you should be able to finish in the top three, even if you aren’t the best at racing games.  My favorite aspect of this game is that it caters to children.  My ten year old son even said that the game probably wouldn’t appeal to older gamers because it’s “too cartoonish”.  The graphics are definitely bright, cheery, and cartoon-like and I love the fact that you use your avatar as your character.  While we found the split-screen rather annoying (my son says this is because our 60″ flat screen TV is too small) it was fun to play with the kids.  A lot of racing games lately are too difficult for school age children to play, and this one is absolutely perfect for them.  We had fun bombing each other, and they even let me win a few rounds.

Joy Ride Turbo is available for only 800 Microsoft Points ($10) and I feel like that is a completely fair price.  Much better than the $40 we paid for Kinect Joy Ride only to play it a couple times and then never look at it again.  There are many reviews out there saying it should be 400 Microsoft Points, or free even, but $10 is right for this.  I have spent the last two days playing and am still not completely bored with the game, and my son is bugging me to race him again right now so I’d say give it a test drive and see what you think, I personally think it’s a good game.  Not great, but definitely good.


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Author: Marcia Webb View all posts by

14 Comments on "JoyRide Turbo"

  1. bigblakafrodaddi May 26, 2012 at 4:41 pm - Reply

    Awesome review of the game just like the good ol sg days.

  2. Farva May 26, 2012 at 4:43 pm - Reply

    Great review. I only played the Kinect racer at Pax a few years ago and I hated the controls. The group I was with all agreed that it’d be much more fun with classic controls. It’s good to know that the gaming industry finally heededy words of wisdom and produced said game for such a reasonable price.

  3. Ryan Valz May 26, 2012 at 5:04 pm - Reply

    it is a good price for a racing game. still annoyed that the original joy ride was supposed to be free

    • Marcia Webb May 26, 2012 at 5:12 pm - Reply

      Boo-hoo, you have to pay for your games 🙂

  4. Amy May 26, 2012 at 5:10 pm - Reply

    I love racing games, especially ones that are casual fun that can be enjoyed with friends and family. I’m not too much into the super serious single player racing games. Reading this review makes me wish we had a 360. I will file this away for when we finally get one.

  5. Shawn May 26, 2012 at 6:16 pm - Reply

    thanks for the review. Given that it’s easy enough for school age children I might stand a chance at doing ok in this game!! lol Assuming I could figure out how to get a hold of it!! Nice article! 😀

  6. mcthekeep May 26, 2012 at 6:39 pm - Reply

    Great review! I picked this up and have only had a chance to play for a short time but looking forward to playing it with my kids. We had a lot of fun with Joy Ride for Kinect but like you said it got old standing there with your arms out. This should be a blast for them and for me.

  7. Aaron May 27, 2012 at 1:48 am - Reply

    I don’t know, I still feel $10 is too much for a standard cart game – I mean, they’re going to charge for DLC on it, aren’t they…

    • Marcia Webb May 27, 2012 at 6:16 am - Reply

      I paid $10 for lunch yesterday. This game
      Asked longer than my lunch did.

      • Marcia Webb May 27, 2012 at 6:17 am - Reply

        Lasted…stupid iPad!

      • Aaron May 28, 2012 at 11:14 pm - Reply

        $10 lunch? Well la-de-dah miss fancypants!

  8. Lanae May 28, 2012 at 4:08 am - Reply

    I love the idea of bringing back more Old School games for kids to play with their parents like the ones we played when we were a kid….I know I loved mine and will have to check this one out as soon as we get a kinect with my nephew…he looooooooovvvveeeesssssss racing….it rocks that you take the time to play with your son too…not all parents do….he will remeber that for SURE!!! I hope you have an awesome day and have many better days to come!!!!!….

    • Marcia Webb May 28, 2012 at 4:16 am - Reply

      This one doesn’t require the Kinect 🙂

  9. ShinyMilburns May 28, 2012 at 11:05 am - Reply

    My favorite part was when the cars went “VROOM, VROOM”

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