Disney Speedstorm Logo
Disney Speedstorm Icon
Disney Speedstorm

Developer: Gameloft

Competititve Mutliplayer
  • Price: $29.99
  • Release Date: Apr 18, 2023
  • Number of Players: 1 - 8
  • Last on Sale: Aug 22, 2023 [$20.99]
  • Lowest Historic Price: $20.99
  • ESRB Rating: E [Everyone]
  • While I wouldn’t go as far as saying there’s a new Mario Kart competitor on the market, Speedstorm is still quite compelling in many ways

    When it comes to family-friendly console racing, Mario Kart is, and has been, the absolute king, and to date nobody has really come close to knocking it from its throne. Despite Disney Speedstorm featuring quite an array of impressive elements it also won’t be taking the crown, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its own appeal. The main thing to know is that it is absolutely a “games as a service” production, having more in common with mobile games and the like complete with different currencies to grind for and spend on anything from new characters, powering up the ones you have, or buying gear to help them look cooler. Since this is Disney we’re talking about, it opens the door to tons of properties. That makes for a diverse set of characters and the environments for its tracks, with plans to continue adding more in the future. 

    Aside from the Disney magic absolutely everywhere I’ve also come to appreciate how it has deviated from the formula quite a bit. The tracks are far more ambitious in their design, not simply having a main route with shortcuts, but instead ripe with alternative routes to take and try to exploit. It has a few mode variations I appreciate as well, with my favorite being one where the power-ups are in the air, forcing you to jump for them and upping the insanity a bit. Last, the custom character actions and the option to charge many power-ups for a different effect greatly increases the variety of craziness you may need to deal with. I will note that the feeling of speed in the game is definitely a bit odd, and can even feel elastic at times, but it is at least something you can get used to. Now, the one biggest area where the game struggles, if not fails, on the Switch is with local multiplayer, limited to only 2 people and generally struggling to perform well on the platform as the speed and intensity increase. That said, the online multiplayer plays perfectly fine, with a ranked mode where you’re playing with the characters you have at their current levels and another where everyone is equal and maxed out, making for a truly intense experience. 

    Considering that you only need to pay to play this for the moment, with the plan being for it to become free-to-play at some point in the future, it’s a bit tougher to give a strictly-scored review for. Taking its price out of the mix it’s an ambitious and generally successful game that should satisfy just about anyone looking for a racing game they can come back to day after day, week after week, always having something new to unlock or at least work towards. If you have an affinity for Disney and its characters that also should have a multiplicative effect as the game is full of personality, great music, and flair that taps into a wide swath of its content, with promises of even more to come. While, unfortunately, on the Switch it can’t really compete with Mario Kart on the local multiplayer front, if you’re more interested in having something you can continue to enjoy and play in perpetuity this may be a better match. Once again I stand quite impressed with Disney managing to pair with the right partner to produce a licensed game that truly respects and makes the most of what they’ve been given to work with.

    Justin Nation, Score:
    Nindie Choice! [8.6]

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