KartRider Pit puts the brakes on racing, but the action doesn’t slow down.
Though it has its flaws, Nexon’s KartRider Dash is a pretty brilliant game. Everybody loves Mario Kart-style mascot racers, and nothing beats hooking up on Facebook to slam your Aunt Matilda with a missile (“This is for that lousy sweater you sent last Christmas—BAM!”) But weapon-armed go-karts take a savage beating on the racetrack, so a swift, savvy pit crew is essential to the karting experience. KartRider Pit is an iOS time-management game that takes the KartRider crew off the track and into the pit.
Right off the bat, KartRider Pit provides a very different play experience from KartRider Dash. You don’t do any racing yourself, so get used to staying in one area and watching karts zip by. You won’t have time to feel nostalgic, though. Like most time-management games, KartRider Pit moves quickly. When kart riders zip into the pit area, you need to attend to their requests by dragging the kart into the appropriate station. Some requests include oil changes, car washes, tune-ups, and tire changes. When your customer is done, he pays up and is flagged to go.
Initially, you run the pit area as KartRider Dash‘s little blue mascot, Dao. You can unlock Dao’s pals as assistants using coins (the game’s soft currency) and kart points (bought via microtransactions). You can also pay to upgrade the pit’s work stations, and likewise upgrading your friends will help them get the lead out.
Whereas most time-management games throw you to the wolves after a few levels, KartRider Pit allows you to level up slowly via forcing you to earn a certain amount of money first. As you climb the ladder, the action gets more intense. More racers spill into the pit area every day, and they aren’t interested in a pit crew that lollygags. If you take too much time to serve their needs, they’ll take off (“Yeah, hope you like driving with three tires, pal.”)
Aside from its adorable chibi-style graphics, KartRider Pit has a few additional traits that sets it apart from the time-management bog. There’s no score multiplier for serving or checking out multiple racers at once, and in the same vein, there’s no point total that you need to meet in order to progress. You’re encouraged to meet certain daily totals, and it’s easy enough to keep your “Happiness” rating high—presumably, your customers drive over Dao’s head if it reaches zero, but it’s hard to deplete your rating unless you really screw up. KartRider Pit is quite laid-back for a time-management game.
In fact, you’re given direct control of the game’s speed. Feeling bored? Want to earn more money? Crank up the pit’s activity to twice its normal rate. Or four times its normal rate. Feeling frayed? Drop it back down. Managing the pit at top-speed requires a lot of assistants, though, and unlocking the full lot takes a lot of kart points.