Wacky Wheels is a kart racing game developed by Beavis-Soft and released for the PC in 1994 by Apogee Software. The game features a cast of wacky animal characters to choose from and to race against.
The game was clearly inspired by Mario Kart (released in 1992) featuring very similar graphics and gameplay. Both games involve racing around a flat track trying to overtake your opponents using pick-ups to slow them down. Unlike Mario Kart where this is random (you drive over question marks on the floor), in Wacky Wheels each pick-up has its own unique icon making things a great deal less random. The pick-ups range from direct attacks (using hedgehogs & fireballs) to track obstacles (e.g. oil slicks).
Just like Mario Kart there are cups to win with each cup offering multiple tracks to race on. Every cup also offers different speeds (= difficulties) and each track is unique. In these cups you race against 7 other opponents and score points according to how many you manage to overtake.
To train your aiming skills there is also Duck Shoot mode where the aim is to hit as many ducks within 2 minutes as possible.
Besides the single player modes there is also multiplayer which made this game a real classic. You can either play against an opponent on another PC via the COMM-BAT mode or using splitscreen. These modes offer regular racing as well as a “deathmatch” mode where the most kills wins.
- Edwardson was obsessed with Mario Kart at the time and in his free time while working for Copysoft, he worked on trying to mimic the Super Nintendo’s Mode 7 in MS DOS. This ultimately led to the creation of Wacky Wheels released by Edwardson’s own company Beavis-Soft.
- Due to Edwardson being employed at Copysoft at the time, this game led to a royalty battle between Apogee and CopySoft. Apogee paid off Copysoft but despite this, Copysoft still released their own similar game called Skunny Kart before Wacky Wheels was even released. Edwardson accused Copysoft of having used his engine to make the game without his permission.
- Perhaps because of all this drama, Wacky Wheels remains the second and final game released by Beavis-Soft.
Wacky Wheels HD (2016)
In 2016 the game received an official HD update which is relatively faithful to the original although with some new touches. Sadly enough this re-release has since been abandoned and the website states that the game may have trouble running on modern Windows. Considering Windows 10 was released in 2015 this is curious … .
The good news is that because of this, the game can be freely downloaded from the website.
- No downloads available at this time
- Text & screenshots: RedAvatar
- PIB: N/A
- Video: Dosgamert
- Box art: MobyGames, RedAvatar
- Documents: archive.org