Tuesday, April 30, 2013

ExciteBots: Trick Racing! Hours spent playing the Wii's most bizarre racer! Official U.S. Nintendo Channel data report.

Coffee Beans
Can you imagine a video game sales pitch to a publisher which mentions, "Sandwiches: Drive through the ingredients in the proper order to make a delicious sandwich.", as a mini-game feature? Probably not? Yeah, I couldn't either until I saw it in motion and did just that in ExciteBots: Trick Racing on the Wii!

ExciteBots: Trick Racing released for the Wii in the U.S. on April 20, 2009, with two SKUs available for purchase. One SKU included the game with the Wii Wheel peripheral, the other SKU was just the game only.

ExciteBots was developed by Monster Games, the same developer behind the Wii launch title Excite Truck and the 3DS launch title PilotWings Resort. The game was published by Nintendo, and received an ESRB rating of "EVERYONE" with "Mild Fantasy Violence" listed as content for parents and gamers to be aware of.

How many hours have U.S. Wii owners spent making sandwiches, playing darts, bowling, and throwing pies at clowns during races in ExciteBots: Trick Racing, since the game released just over 4 years ago? If you own a Wii, or even a Wii U, how many hours might you expect from ExciteBots: Trick Racing should you buy it? Brew yourself some coffee, and let's take a look!

40+ races, 19 ExciteBots to customize/unlock, local and online multiplayer.
The Brew
ExciteBots: Trick Racing has approximately 58,393 U.S. Wii owners with game-play data reported through the Nintendo Channel. The game's 875,169 Total Hours of reported game-play (seen in the image above), is equivalent to the game being played for almost 100 straight years!

The game's reported average of 15 Hours 0 Minutes "Per person", makes ExciteBots: Trick Racing the Wii's most played game in the Excite series on the system. That's more hours played "Per person" than Excite Truck, the Wii NES Virtual Console Excitebike release, and the WiiWare Excitebike: World Rally release. U.S. Wii owners have averaged playing the game about 1 Hour 29 Minutes each time they play it, according to the data from the image.

How was ExciteBots received by critics and customers? The game currently has a "professional" review score average of 80.19%, based on 27 reviews from GameRankings.com. The current customer review score average is 87.77%, based on 54 reviews for both SKUs of the the game on Amazon.com. Overall, positive reviews from critics and customers that played the game.

If you're interested to see what I wrote about the game over 2 years ago, you can read my piece "An Exciting Wii Racer - Ignored by Nintendo, Not Known by Wii Owners" HERE. If you're interested in reading an actual review (one with a score!), I suggest you check out SuperPhillip's review for ExciteBots HERE (If you're a fan of Saved by the Bell, you should spot a reference to the series in it!)

Caffeinated Thoughts
First, let me answer the second question (okay, really like fourth question) from above. If you own a Wii, or even a Wii U, is ExciteBots: Trick Racing a game you should look at buying? YES! If you enjoy arcade racing type games that have a great sense of speed, I highly recommend you give ExciteBots a try. The game can be found for under $20 new, and under $10 used. (Only $5 used HERE, at GameStop!) Now, if you're a Wii U owner interested in the game, you just need to make sure that you own a Wii Remote as well, because Wii games can't currently be played with the Wii U GamePad.

Just a little above average...
As for my reported game-play time with ExciteBots, the image above shows my reported time with the game as it appears on the Nintendo Channel. So, I have just over three times the number of hours played, as the reported average "Per person". Again, if you can grab the game now for under $10 used (I doubt Nintendo is still publishing it), I would highly recommend that you do so. You should easily be able to get around 10 hours of game-play from it just enjoying the single-player racing campaign on your own, without even playing local or online multiplayer or the mini-games in it.

Like I mentioned in my piece over 2 years ago, ExciteBots: Trick Racing had little (to no) advertising before and after it released, which I find unfortunate and might be a reason you have never heard of it (or, simply forgot about it quickly). If you haven't seen any footage from the game, the video below should give you a good idea of how the races are set up. The races in the video are of me racing online against Daemion from MyLittleGamer.Blogspot.com:

Monster Games (again, the developer) has a pretty solid record of racing games now, and in just a few shorts weeks their next game will be released for the Nintendo 3DS, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D. I'm glad to see Nintendo has apparently formed a good developer/publisher relationship with Monster Games, allowing the developer to even try new things outside of their racing roots with series like PilotWings Resort and now porting Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D.

Seeing that Monster Games has produced some really solid games for Nintendo platforms in recent years, like ExciteBots, I really hope that Nintendo will let the developer create either a new Excite game for the Wii U. If not a new Excite game for the Wii U, I think even a completely new racing game from Nintendo's F-Zero or Wave Race series for the Wii U (personally, I would like a Wave Race HD title right now) would be great.

If you perhaps played both Excite Truck and ExciteBots: Trick Racing on the Wii, which game did you enjoy more? If you enjoyed ExciteBots as much as I did (or, perhaps even more and paused playing it to leave a comment!), do you hope that Nintendo will get Monster Games to make an ExciteBots sequel for the Wii U?

Also, if you have played a lot of racing games on the Wii, can you think of one that is perhaps more hilariously bizarre and fun to play than ExciteBots?

You can purchase some of the games developed by Monster Games for Nintendo platforms linked below!


  1. Oh man, Excitebots is far and away my favorite racing title and probably my favorite Wii game as well! I'd spend my days off JUST playing this game over and over, hoping for the elusive S rank. I think it might have been the only game in my Wii for about 5 weeks or so. Throw in the online, challenge mode, and poker races and I was glued to my tv. I bought Excitetruck later and was disappointed. It's not a bad game, actually it's a fine little racing title... but Excitebots just blows it away. When I wanted to improve my performance on Mario Kart I'd pop in Excitebots for practice since it's much faster and much crazier. I'd love to see a sequel to Bots, but we'll probably see another iteration of Truck. World Rally was a lot of fun too, but no local multiplayer kinda hurt it for me.

  2. "When I wanted to improve my performance on Mario Kart I'd pop in Excitebots for practice since it's much faster and much crazier."

    As a Mario Kart Wii owner, I agree. I played ExciteBots first, then Mario Kart Wii. The sense of speed is done so much better in ExciteBots. Going from the one game, to the next, really shows how SLOW Mario Kart feels. I actually had a draft around here about that issue, but never published it.

    Thanks for the comment and feedback!

  3. I own it. I got it for less than $10 at Gamestop. It is one of my favorite racing games as well. It is so crazy, zany, and weird that I can't help but like it :D

  4. I played... Excitebikes a million years ago (and not toooo long ago picked up the 3D remake of it for the 3DS as a freebie). Still haven't gotten around to playing this, which is a shame because I've heard so many good things about it. Even if racing titles aren't my favorite as a rule, this has always looked fun.

  5. "It is so crazy, zany, and weird that I can't help but like it :D"

    Sounds like a good ad could have been. "Do you know your uncle? The one that is crazy, zany, and weird...but you can't help love him? He's just like ExciteBots!"

    I'm trying to remember if we ever played online together now...I can't remember!

  6. I played Excitebikes on the NES when I was little, actually remember the friend's house I played it at. We didn't own it, but I enjoyed the track editor at the time. I'm really not surprised your office doesn't have this though, as Nintendo didn't seem to market it that well, which is really unfortunate.

  7. I don't believe we have. I'm fairly certain that I've only played online in random matches. I enjoyed racing you in Sonic, I'd like to challenge you in ExciteBots (time permitting of course!)

  8. Time? What's that? Actually, being that you would be playing it on the Wii U via Wii Mode, I'm kind of interested to see if there would be any issues (I wouldn't expect any, but I haven't tried it).

  9. I'd have to consult you here. That is possibly not one thing I usually do!

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