Ever since Mario traded his running shoes for a four-wheeler, go-kart games have been a console staple.
Witness Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D for the iPhone, which debuted in 2008 (shortly after the App Store launched) and has been a top seller ever since.
Now comes Gameloft's Shrek Kart, which casts everybody's favorite ogre in the Mario/Crash role for some fairy-tale-themed fun.
Actually, you can race as Shrek, Donkey, Fiona, Puss in Boots, or any of 10 movie characters--each with his or her own vehicle and special ability. (Shrek, for example, can "break wind" to breeze through walls that would otherwise slow him down.)
Though noteworthy for offering 15 total tracks, 11 power-ups, and four single-player modes (more than Crash Bandicoot on each count), Shrek Kart plays pretty much like every other kart game.
Make no mistake: it's visually stunning and tons of fun, but where's Mike Myers? Where's Eddie Murphy? It would be great to hear the characters' voices in a movie tie-in like this, but Shrek Kart has only the prerequisite cutesy sound effects and music.
The good news is that it offers something Crash Bandicoot lacks: multiplayer. The bad news is it's local multiplayer only; up to six racers can compete over Wi-Fi or just two via Bluetooth.
If you want Internet competition (the gold standard for any racing game), you'll need to look to Cocoto Kart Online. It doesn't match Shrek's lovely graphics, but it does offer instant global competition.
It's also 99 cents, versus $4.99 for Shrek Kart. The latter is undoubtedly one of the best kart games I've played on the iPhone, but I'm disappointed by the lack of voices. I dunno, maybe I'm just being an ogre.
What's your favorite go-kart game? Crash the comments (get it?) to share your thoughts.