Excitebots is pure, unadulterated fun.
To be frank, there is little more that needs to be said about the game, but perhaps at least some backstory is required.
Excitebots is the unexpectected sequel to Excite Truck which was a sort-of-but-not-exactly entry in the famed Excitebike series. The result is an entirely wacky experience that has the player swinging baseball bats, plowing through bowling pins, spinning around bars, and – if you can believe it – making sandwiches. The fact that, for once, Nintendo didn’t play it safe with an old franchise really pays off because this game incorporates some of the wackiest and fun mechanics available for the current generation.
The new Excite series is an unique set of racers because the player does not actually have to get first place to win the race, although it is very helpful. Rather, there is a certain number of stars required to pass the level gathered through various means. Both Excitebots and Excite Truck share this quality, but Excitebots steps it up a number of bizarre notches to include many more ways to get these stars. While understandably creating skepticism even with Excite Truck fans, these new ways make the game far more – well – exciting. The other noticable change is that the trucks are now animal and insect shaped robots. There isn’t as much reason for this change except that it suits the completely wacky tone of the game and helps to choose a favourite racer.
Essentially it comes down to Excitebots being a complete adrenaline rush with tight level design and – yes – intuitive controls. In fact, Excitebots (and Truck) are the only non-pointer controls on the Wii that are completely intuitive. While the game could technically still be very successfully controlled via analog stick, tilt controls are more than just functional and actually help draw players into the madness and intensity. This overlooked series is a major reason to own a Wii and a very rare title to argue the validity of the Wii Remote’s gyroscopes.
While the tilt controls, robots, and over-the-top nature are family friendly, do not be fooled. To open up new difficulties, the toughest “S” class must be unlocked on every single race, and this is far from an easy task. The most dedicated and skilled players will have a very difficult time beating and unlocking everything.
Excitebots really does have something for everybody and is a fantastic reason to own a Wii. Anybody who misses a time when video games were just pure challenge and fun, Excitebots will absolutely be a wonderful and almost nostalgic choice.