Coffin Dodgers Review


Race in Peace…

When a bunch of ageing pensioners are visited from the Grim Reaper, they hold a meeting to decide what can be done to prevent their soul being taken. Naturally, they challenge Death to a mobility scooter race in which winners get to go back their knitting and losers get the scythe treatment – and so begins our foray into Milky Tea Games’ bizarre kart racer.

Game: Coffin Dodgers
Developer: Milky Tea Games
Publisher: Milky Tea Games
Reviewed on: PC (Steam review code provided)

There was a time when these kart racers were pretty much everywhere. Nowadays only a couple manage to make the grade with Mario Kart 8 currently leading the way, so another entry, especially one with such an unique narrative twist, is far from unwelcome. The problem with a lot of those old racing games is that they were tacked on to franchises without to much care on gameplay and production. Whilst Coffin Dodgers does hold it’s own in places, there’s unfortunately a lot of similarities to those rather forgettable titles.

The game structure itself is what you’d most likely expect. Story mode introduces you to the handful of old-timers you’ll get to race with such as Lucy the ex-centrefold model or ‘Iron Horse’ Hank – the former biker gang leader, and once chosen you’ll be tasked with grabbing top 3 finishes in a point-based championship style format; victory carrying the ultimate prize of staying alive and avoiding the Reaper’s gaze. You’ll even get to race him at certain points, too.

The biggest worry might have been the possibility of clumsy handling and control schemes but Coffin Dodgers actually does a pretty good job of making the racing itself enjoyable. It might not be the same feel as the other top tier kart racers, but it’s definitely accessible and has a nice flow once you’ve gotten to grips with the nuances. The power ups are fine in many ways but seem like a missed opportunity. For example, you’ll get the almost obligatory rockets and oil spills, then alongside them machine guns and energy force fields. The theme of old codger racing could have easily been incorporated into the weaponry for good humour, but the only time it has been is with a melee-attack walking stick that only serves to be horribly frustrating.

I know, I know. Every kart racer (ever) has had the foible of frustration. If you’re not leading the race then you’re destined to get hit, smashed, bombed and whacked from every angle imaginable, mostly at times when you’ve only just been respawned back into the race – Coffin Dodgers sadly follows that archetype to the letter. Even if you miss the incoming fire you’ll have the chance to be propelled from your scooter by driving too fast into protruding scenery; then you’ll respawn and get hit off again by a walking stick – it’s in the kart racer creator’s manual, obviously. I won’t talk about the obvious ‘rubber banding’ apparent in-game, it’ll only upset me and you all know the drill.

There’s some nice additions such as upgradable scooters that can be tweaked and boosted with coins earned from races. Boosting speed, handling and amount of power-ups you can hold all help mix the gameplay up slightly, whilst helping the sense of progression. It’s nothing too in depth, but the option is welcome nonetheless.  You can even put your own mark on the scooter with some minor design and pain tweaking – Grandad’s ride never looked so good.

Well, it’s probably looked a lot better actually. Coffin Dodgers visuals feel more like that of an old, old-gen game but to be honest you won’t find it that detering. The setting of the villages and town early on in-game make up for it with some quaint design. A ‘Start’ sign painted onto a clothes line of garments, fruit laden market shops and scattered distractions like boxes, traffic and zombies (apparently part of Death’s army), all have that pleasing cartoon-y feel that manages to issue some allowances to an otherwise way below-average looking title.

My interest was peaked once I ducked out of the story to look at some other game modes. There’s some staples like time trials and basic multiplayer, but there was also a mode entitled ‘open-world’. It seemed like an odd edition and my interest was quickly deflated when I realised it was essentially a menu from the seat of your scooter. You can explore the town, but there’s next to nothing worth exploring. Every now and then you’ll pass a power-up which acts as mere folly seeing as you’re alone in the village, and you can access other game modes and races by driving into certain points. Again, it felt like a missed opportunity that could have been developed into a proper free-roaming story mode like some of the older, classic kart racers.

The multiplayer is definitely fun if you can find a game (it was rather a long wait at time of writing). It has a that nice pick up and play feel, especially with the accessible nature of the racing. You’ll also have some other modes that involve chasing down items in the town or battling for them if you’re playing with others but I felt like I’d had my fill after a couple of games so longevity might be an issue for all but the most hardened kart racing fans.


Coffin Dodgers’ humorous premise goes a long way to get your attention, but never really feels like it invests itself fully in its own creation. Also, whilst there is plenty of joy zipping around, whipping grannies in leotards on your quest for race coins, the mostly solid core gameplay isn’t enough to carry poor graphics and thin game modes alone. So if you’re crying out for a kart racer to sink a bit of spare time into, then you might find some value here, but overall there’s games released 15 years ago that look and play better, so don’t be expecting too much.


Began gaming on a hand-me-down Commodore Vic-20 back in the mid 80's and hasn't managed to shake the addiction yet. Genres of choice include anything that contains bullets and/or bouncy balls. Has been known to dabble in Destiny content.


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