Wacky Wheels was possibly one of the most enjoyable games I have ever played. The sheer thrill of racing around a track shooting powerups at your mates is incredible. So yes it’s a bit old (October 1994), but shooting hedgehogs at your mates is timeless. This makes it a must-have part of our retrospective series.

Wacky Wheels allows you to play against your mate head-to-head using a modem or serial cable – long time since I tried that – where can you even find a PC that has a serial network port? Anyway the split-screen option is a great way to experience the heart-racing music and furious 3D point-of-view vivid VGA graphics and animations.

Wacky Wheels logo

You can play any of eight wacky animals in Wacky Wheels. Each animal has its own colorful antics and animations, including a tiger, elephant, raccoon, panda, shark, and more. The shark was always my favourite. Just to show you how groundbreaking this game was, we included a quote from the 3D Realms site:

These animals are not wimpy racers, they are very competitive. They hate to lose! We’ve programmed each racer with a artificial intelligence and they take great joy in bumping you and zooming past you when you spin off the track. (As each racer passes you they turn their head toward and honk their horn.)

In Wacky Wheels, you get six unique racing game modes. Including time trials, normal racing (with many variations), battle zones, and the just-for-fun duck shoot-outs. This will keep you going for a while. Take, for example, the duck shoot-outs. The shoot-outs take place on special battle zones, which are not designed for racing. The object is to race around a huge, wide open area, full of obstacles, and maze-like walls, all the while collecting ammo and shooting at the ducks-on-wheels. (Think quake arena on a golf cart when wasted.)

Wacky Wheels screenshot

So other than the very aerodynamic hedgehogs there are several other weapons to collect including bombs, oil slicks, ice blocks, and flame balls.

These games are action-packed, and Wacky Wheels is a perfect example. From start to finish you get edge-of-your-seat excitement and action. When playing, you’ll grit your teeth, lean your body into the corners and scream “EAT MAGMA!” as you launch a hedgehog that sends the racer in front of you spinning into the lava!

  • · High-speed 3D point-of-view racing!
  • · Large variety of race tracks. (42 total in the “Upgrade Edition”.)
  • · Two-player, head-to-head modes via modem connection, serial link or at the same computer.
  • · Time trials mode, allows you to go for a record time on each track.
  • · RemoteRidicule(tm) feature, allows you to send a funny/distracting messages to your opponent during matches.
  • · Opponents are programmed to be very competitive.
  • · 60 high score charts–one for each of the unique racing options.
  • · Giggle keys, which allow you to send funny messages to your opponents.
  • · Many cheat passwords, and a secret ammo power-up key.

Download it from the 3D Realms website

Originally released October 17, 1994.