"Looney Tunes: Space Race" is a kart based racing video game. It was first released for the Sega Dreamcast in 2000 by Infogrames. In the United States, the game received an age guidance rating of "E" which deemed it appropriate for all ages. It is based on the animated characters of the "Looney Tunes" animated license.
In this title, players assume the role of one of the more popular Looney Tunes characters. Using a combination of wit and out-of-this-world antics, players will whiz around in rocket based vehicles as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Sylvester, or others while attempting to rank in the highest pole position. The title offers players a total of 12 race courses which each require the player to execute three consecutive laps. As with most kart races, players also have access to a randomly generated weapon at set intervals within the course. In keeping with Looney Tunes these weapons include falling pianos and anvils which restrict the movement of opposing characters, and allow the player to take advantage of the situation by advancing further within the race course. The game comes across as something which is quite generic as per the genre and doesn't offer much by the way of innovation. While this certainly isn't something I found to be a negative aspect, the experience does seem to be a bit bland in delivery.
What immediately strikes me about Space Race is how far the weapons stretch across the race course. The player will always start the last pole position despite any high ranking placement in the previous race, though this seems to be a moot point as any given ranged weapon launches itself across an incredible distance while locking on to a character within its sight. Absent are the days of experiences such as "Mario Kart" where firing green turtle shells required some degree of skill and accuracy; Space Race simplifies the process of weapon use and reduces the many races to a game of chance where players hope to receive Godly weapons such as heat seeking laser guns.
The graphics of this title are presented from a trailing view of the player's selected character. I found each title character to be designed and animated very well, and had no difficulty differentiating between the included names. Each course is packed with various three dimensional environmental accents which include overhead traffic and various bits of intergalactic shrubbery. The game is played at a high speed, though consistently maintains a smooth frame rate which adapts to sudden commands by the player such as twists or turns. The soundtrack is somewhat minimalistic in comparison to the pleasing visuals. Musical scores are very quiet in the mix and are generally unnoticeable over the roar of each vehicle. The video game also includes voice snippets from title characters in the Looney Tunes series but there are too few to be considered a pleasing addition to the game. Within one race, for example, I began hearing repeated fragments of speech from Sylvester the cat.
Space Race could perhaps appeal to a younger audience who find themselves enthralled with Looney Tunes. There is very little challenge to be had here, and the low amount of race courses combined with repetitive voice samples make for a lacklustre racing experience. Adult racers may want to avoid this title.
Looney Tunes Space Race is a fantically fun and crazy racing game similar in format to the classic Mario Kart game. Playing as many of the Warner Bros Looney Tunes Characters such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd (Marvin the Martian and Porky Pig are unlockable) you race around a collection of crazy and inventive worlds each with two unique courses. Each character has its own personal vehicle such as Wile E Coyote's ACME Rocket and Sylvester's scooter and you are equipped with an array of fun weapons to attack your opponants with to win the race. The real success of this film is how well designed the characters and levels are; the Looney Tunes characters transfer perfectly with the cell-shaped design style and the crazy animated courses are a wonder to enjoy as you race through. The level of detail is astonishing as characters react to weapons by moving around to look and dodge attacks and make comments throughout the race. There are however some let downs; the game is quite slow to load and the commentary throughout races by Fog Horn Leg Horn can get annoying. Overall its an incredibly fun and exciting game to play as a multiplayer but the single player doesn't keep you playing.