Pocketbike Racer Review

Pocketbike Racer is a bad kart-racing game that's often broken.

Pocketbike Racer is one of the three games being made available by Burger King as part of a limited-time promotion. The games are all available for $3.99--provided you also purchase some food. At a cost of four dollars, you get what you pay for, but the games do still have some inherent value, even if it's solely on an ironic level. On top of that, the limited-time nature of the deal means that these games might (but probably won't) be rare in the future. Pocketbike Racer is a Mario Kart-style racing game on tiny motorcycles that can fire a handful of different weapons. It's not so good.

Racing on pocketbikes is probably very hard on the knees.
Racing on pocketbikes is probably very hard on the knees.

Like any mascot kart-racing game, there are multiple characters to choose from in Pocketbike Racer, and these ones mainly come from the deep, deep pantheon of the Burger King library. Starting right at the top, you have the King himself, but there are others, like Whopper Jr., Subservient Chicken, and, uh, model-slash-TV-hostess Brooke Burke. From there, you choose a bike, each of which has ratings in three different statistics. You then race. The main mode is a very standard combat racing mode, where you want to finish first and can get ahead of your opponents by using your weapons. There are gates on the course that fill a weapon meter when you pass through them. As the meter fills, more weapons become available to you. The lowest level is a shield, but you can move up to a bottle rocket, firecrackers, a homing rocket, a flash bomb, and the disruptor, which reverses the controls of any target it hits. If you get more energy than you need, you can toggle the weapons back down to a lower-level item, but the controls for this are awkward. Other modes include a more combat-intensive battle royale, a cone slalom, a time trial, and a stripped-down mode that takes all the gates and weapons away for a pure race. There are multiple courses in the game, starting at a Burger King parking lot and progressing to a backyard level, a garden, and so on. The courses have a couple of shortcuts but are otherwise very generic. The racing, too, is very generic. The physics are floaty in that "this is a budget game" sort of way. Combined with the way your bike can occasionally get hung up on pieces of the level geometry, racing really isn't much fun.

On top of all the single-player modes, Pocketbike Racer has Xbox Live support and leaderboards for comparing lap times. You can play up to six players online, but we had more luck getting the whole game to lock up than we had at actually getting an online race going. Also, there must be some sort of lap-time exploit out there, because some of the lap leaders have times of zero seconds. Once you get a race going, it's not much better than the single-player, but at least the human opposition is better at navigating the course. The artificial intelligence frequently gets hung up, especially in battle royale mode, where some bikes try to race backward, only to get caught on the wrong end of a jump ramp.

Like the other Burger King games, Pocketbike Racer doesn't have much value as a game. But as a curiosity that won't be around forever, it's cheap enough and weird enough to consider adding to your collection. Heck, the ridiculous opening full-motion video, which shows the Burger King sitting on a bike while various real-world backgrounds are green screened in behind him, is probably worth $4 bucks by itself.

The Good
Weirdly compelling FMV intro sequence
More features than you'd expect from such a budget game
The Bad
Racing is bad, at best
Online is often broken
Repetitive music
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

Jeff Gerstmann has been professionally covering the video game industry since 1994.

Pocketbike Racer More Info

  • First Released Nov 19, 2006
    • Xbox
    • Xbox 360
    Pocketbike Racer is part of a Burger King promo for Q4 2006, and features the King and his miniature motorbike crew racing around on five speedways.
    Average Rating1034 Rating(s)
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    Developed by:
    Blitz Games
    Published by:
    King Games
    Arcade, Driving/Racing
    Content is generally suitable for all ages. May contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.
    Mild Violence