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A review of the Rookie Version (Demo) of Michael Schumacher Racing World Kart

By John
2 August 2002

Well here we are - my first review on SimRacingWorld. After years of doing all the backend coding of the site I have decided to write my first game review - Michael Schumacher Racing World Kart 2002 - Rookie Version. Rookie version basically is the free demo version - grab it here. It includes 1 track (Japan Indoor) and 1 race class (500cc) where as the full version includes 16 tracks and 3 race classes.

The game has been developed by JoWooD Productions Software - an Austrian company. Their description of the game is:-

"Kart 2002 is the ultimate 3D Kart racing simulation with 3 different race classes and karts, 16 tracks and a realistic driving experience, all based around the start of Michael Schumacher's career."

Initial Impressions

On running the game you are presented with a very clean and easy to use interface for choosing your kart colours, starting a race and setting the options. Everything is sensibly laid out and it's very easy to get started.

Options

Again this is well laid out and very easy for anyone to understand. However, I feel that there are not enough options especially under the graphics tab - I'll come to this later when I talk about the game engine.

Game Modes

Practice
Race around a circuit for as long as you like trying to set the fastest time. Includes a ghost kart.

Time Trial
Race the circuit for 4 laps trying to go as fast as you can. Your score is then put on a leader board if it is in the top 10 - no prizes for guessing that the top 2 initial records in the table are set by Michael Schumacher.

Championship
Qualify (if you want) and then race 4 laps against 5 other AI karts.

Gameplay / Physics

The makers describe this as a simulation and I would tend to agree with them. Although I have not been karting for a few years the physics do seem very accurate - slow acceleration, loads of grip and easy to drive.

The modelling of the driver is also done well as he moves from side to side when he steers and lurches forward if you hit anything.

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