Disney Speedstorm
Key promotional artwork[c]
Developer(s)Gameloft Barcelona
Publisher(s)Gameloft
Producer(s)
  • Yura Liapin
  • Josh Abrams
  • Rodolfo Nunez
EngineJet Engine
Platform(s)
Release
  • Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch
    • WW: 28 September 2023
    [a]
  • iOS, Android
    • WW: 2024
    [b]
Genre(s)Kart racing
Mode(s)Single-player and multiplayer

Disney Speedstorm is a free-to-play kart racing game developed by Gameloft Barcelona and published by Gameloft.[5][6] It features various Disney and Pixar characters racing vehicles on tracks themed after the worlds of their films and franchises.[7][8][9][10] The game was released in a pay-for early access on 18 April 2023 for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S,[1][2] with a soft launch on iOS and Android on 1 August 2023.[3][4] It left early access on 28 September 2023.[11]

Gameplay

Disney Speedstorm is a free-to-play kart racing game with a roster composed of characters from various Disney properties, such as the Mickey and Friends, Pirates of the Caribbean, Monsters, Inc., Toy Story and Beauty and the Beast franchises, among others.[12][13][14][15][16][17][18] Various minor Disney characters appear as "crew members" that provide stat boosts and other enhancements for characters from their affiliated collections (franchises), such as the Orange Bird serving as a Crew Member for Figment.[19]

The gameplay is similar to Mario Kart.[20] Racers, as the game refers to its playable characters, can drift to improve their cornering and charge their nitro boost, which can only be used when the boost meter full. Racers also get a small drift boost from long drifts (indicated by their tires glowing blue), which also gives them an extra boost charge. Racers can sideswipe other Racers to knock them aside, jump to reach higher grounds or dodge obstacles, offensive power-ups or other Racers, perform aerial stunts off designated jumps for a small speed boost upon landing, and grind on designated blue rails to also gain nitro boost. Racers can also pick up various power-ups, called "skills", by driving through sprites with the image of Arbee, the game's emotive AI mascot, on them. These skills include offensive weapons that stun Racers, shields that protect Racers from stuns, cloaks that make Racers intangible and invisible, nitro boost charges, rushes that provide sudden bursts of speed, and hacks that flip a Racer's screen, potentially confusing them. Skills can also be "charged" to cause different effects; for example, a charged shield allows a Racer to stun another Racer who drives into them, at the cost of not being protected from being stunned. The availability of the various skills depends on the Racer (except in "Single Skill" races, mentioned below); for example, some Racers can receive and use shields while others can receive and use cloaks.

Game modes

The game includes various different single-player and multiplayer modes. Single-player modes include "Starter Circuit", a series of events divided into chapters focusing on a single racer (specifically Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy; Mulan, Hercules and Jack Sparrow previously had their own dedicated chapters during the first two seasons) that effectively serves as the game's "tutorial", limited events, which offer rewards for completing specific objectives or for getting a fast time on a leaderboard compared with other players online, and Season Tour, a limited-time campaign mode that changes each new content season. Multiplayer includes ranked multiplayer, where players race to earn points to unlock tiers of rewards for each of their unlocked Racers, regulated multiplayer,[21][22] a separate ranked multiplayer (with its own set of rewards that change weekly) that puts all Racers at the same performance levels, "Private Track", which allows players to set up their own custom races online with friends or invited players, and "Local Freeplay", the game's only offline mode, which features custom races for one to four players (one or two players on older consoles) in split-screen multiplayer.[23][24]

The races themselves are available in different types that feature different gimmicks: "Classic" is a traditional race; "Single Skill" forces all Racers to use the same power-up skill (usually an offensive item such as a mine); "Floating Objects" have speed boosts and power-up items floating above the ground, thus forcing Racers to jump to reach them; "Fog Challenge" covers the track in a dense fog—limiting visibility—and removes the minimap from the player's heads-up display; and "Last One Standing" is an elimination race where after a short (and declining) amount of time passes, the last place Racer either loses a "shield drone" and is teleported ahead on the track to try to avoid falling back to last or is eliminated if they have no more drones remaining. In the season two update in June 2023, the game added two new race types called "Color Match" and "Follow the Leader";[18] the former type forces players to pick up power-up items corresponding to one of two colors—green and purple—each of them is assigned to as indicated by the HUD and an underglow effect beneath their vehicle, switching between colors during the race, while the latter adds a long slipstream trail behind the race leader that provides a speed boost to the racers following the trail.

Characters and maps

As of February 2024, the game has a total of 49 playable characters, referred to as Racers, from fourteen Disney media franchises.[14][15][16][17][18] Additionally, each franchise, except for the Disney Parks and WALL-E, also has an affiliated map (each featuring multiple track layouts), with Mickey Mouse & Friends having two (one based on modern Mickey Mouse media and one based on classic black-and-white shorts such as Steamboat Willie), while Disney Speedstorm itself has an original environment called "Arbee's Arena".

The game also features a wide voice cast, most of whom reprise their respective characters from their original works.[25][26][27]

Overview of characters and maps in Disney Speedstorm
Origin Character Voice actor Map Release date(s)/season(s)
Aladdin Aladdin[28] Scott Weinger Agrabah 28 September 2023
(Season 4: The Cave of Wonders)
Genie[29] Jim Meskimen
Jafar[30] Jonathan Freeman
Jasmine[31] Linda Larkin
Beauty and the Beast Beast[12] Robby Benson The Castle June 2022
(Alpha season: Honor and Glory)
(Belle, the Beast, and The Castle map)
28 September 2023
(Season 4: The Cave of Wonders)
(Gaston)
Belle[12] Julie Nathanson
Gaston[32] Richard White
Disney Parks[d] Figment[10] A. J. LoCascio[33] None 18 April 2023 (Season 1: Unafraid)
Disney Speedstorm Arbee§[e] Unknown Arbee's Arena
Frozen Anna[34] Kristen Bell Arendelle[35] 30 November 2023
(Season 5: Let It Go)
Elsa[36] Danielle Bisutti
Hans[37] Santino Fontana
Kristoff[38] Jonathan Groff
Olaf[39] Jake Green
Hercules Hades[40] James Woods Mount Olympus June 2022
(Alpha season: Honor and Glory)
(Hercules, Meg, and Mount Olympus map)
28 September 2023
(Season 4: The Cave of Wonders)
(Hades)
Hercules Tate Donovan
Meg Susan Egan
The Jungle Book Baloo Joel McCrary Jungle Ruins June 2022
(Alpha season: Honor and Glory)
Mowgli Adan Carrillo
Lilo & Stitch Angel[41] Tara Strong Kauaʻi 31 July 2023
(Season 3: ʻOhana)
Captain Gantu[42] Kevin Michael Richardson
Jumba Jookiba[43] Piotr Michael[44]
Lilo Pelekai[45] Micah Aliling
Stitch[46] Chris Sanders
The Little Mermaid Ariel[47] Jodi Benson Atlantica[35][47] 8 February 2024
(Season 6: Under the Sea)[47]
Prince Eric[47] Christopher Daniel Barnes
King Triton[47] Jim Cummings
Ursula[47] TBA
Mickey Mouse & Friends Daisy Duck[48][49] Tress MacNeille Toon Village
The Silver Screen
June 2022
(Alpha season: Honor and Glory)
(Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy,
Toon Village map, and The Silver Screen map)

1 July 2023
(Season 2: To Infinity and Beyond)
(Steamboat Mickey and Steamboat Pete)
21 August 2023
(Season 3: ʻOhana)
(Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck)
Donald Duck Tony Anselmo
Goofy Bill Farmer
Mickey Mouse Bret Iwan
Minnie Mouse[50] Kaitlyn Robrock
Steamboat Mickey[18] Bret Iwan
Steamboat Pete[18] Jim Cummings
Monsters, Inc. Celia Mae Roxana Ortega The Scare Floor 18 April 2023
(Season 1: Unafraid)
Mike Wazowski Carlos Alazraqui
Randall Boggs Piotr Michael
Sulley Christopher Swindle
Mulan Fa Mulan Ming-Na Wen The Great Wall June 2022
(Alpha season: Honor and Glory)
Li Shang BD Wong
Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Oswald[51] David Errigo Jr.[52] None 30 November 2023
(Season 5: Let It Go)
Ortensia[53] Audrey Wasilewski
Pirates of the Caribbean Elizabeth Swann[13] Eliza Schneider A Pirate's Life June 2022
(Alpha season: Honor and Glory)
Jack Sparrow Jared Butler
Toy Story Bo Peep[18] Annie Potts Andy's Room 13 June 2023
(Season 2: To Infinity and Beyond)
Buzz Lightyear[18] Tim Allen
Jessie[18] Joan Cusack
Woody[18] Jim Hanks
WALL-E WALL-E[54] Ben Burtt[f] None 30 November 2023
(Season 5: Let It Go)
EVE[55] Elissa Knight 8 February 2024
(Season 6: Under the Sea)[47]

Soundtrack

The music is done by a team of four musicians (Vincent Labelle, Nicholas Dubé, Francis Collard and Martin Courcy) remixing classic Disney and Pixar tunes.[56][57]

Development and release

Disney Speedstorm is developed by Gameloft Barcelona, the developers of the Asphalt games 8: Airborne and 9: Legends, and was designed to be a high-speed racing game based on Disney's franchises and characters. It was made using the same game engine Asphalt 9: Legends used, Gameloft's in-house Jet Engine.[58] Alexandru "Sasha" Adam, VP and studio manager, Gameloft Barcelona explained, "The gameplay mechanics, the racer abilities and the location design were all tailored to serve our vision of a fast and gripping competitive experience."[59]

Announced in March 2023, the game was released in early access for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S on 18 April 2023.[60][61] A trailer for the game was released on 9 September 2022 at the D23 Expo.[62]

On 30 June 2023, Gameloft announced that the game would leave early access, entering its intended free-to-play period, on 28 September 2023,[11] following the conclusion of the game's third season.

On 1 August 2023, Gameloft soft launched the game on iOS and Android alongside the game's third season update.[3][4] The soft launch began in Spain and Romania, with plans to expand the soft launch to the Philippines, Brazil, Vietnam, Mexico, Australia, Taiwan, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Austria, and Ireland over time.[3][4]

Downloadable content

On 27 March 2023, Gameloft released a trailer announcing three "Founder's Packs" that would be available during the game's early access period.[63][64][65] The Founder's Packs, which were required for early access, all contained Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck as unlocked racers (with the Deluxe Founder's Pack adding Mulan and the Ultimate Founder's Pack adding her, Hercules, and Jack Sparrow), plus a choice to immediately unlock Baloo, Belle, Beast, Elizabeth Swann, Li Shang, or Mowgli; Tokens (the game's premium currency; 4,000 Tokens for Standard, 7,000 for Deluxe, and 12,000 for Ultimate), two (or three for Ultimate) Golden Pass Credits (unlocking the Golden Pass, the game's battle pass system), exclusive racing suits and kart liveries for each of the immediately unlocked racers (depending on the player's chosen tier), exclusive Donald Duck kart wheels and wing (Ultimate only), and an exclusive player avatar and profile motto.[65]

As a free-to-play title, all content in the game (apart from the Founder's Pack exclusives) is added via seasonal content updates, which are added approximately every two months. Each season adds four or five new racers from a newly-added franchise of focus for that season, a new map based on that franchise, and new "bonus" racers not affiliated with the season's focused-on franchise that are made available mid-season, as well as new crew members and customization options for the racers.

Reception

Disney Speedstorm received "mixed or average reviews", according to review aggregator Metacritic.[70][71][72] 56% of critics recommended the game on review aggregator OpenCritic.[66]

John Hansen of Push Square said while they had reservations with the free-to-play monetization, they thought the game had a lot of potential and summarised by saying "if you're a Disney fan, it's a good way to mash together some of your favorite old movies and battle it out on the racetrack."[69]

Chris Scullion for Nintendo Life praised the gameplay but criticized the performance issues of the Switch version and felt that the game's monetization would deter some players.[68] Luke Reilly of IGN found the game had too few tracks and was overly repetitive for its then-asking price, while criticizing its excessive monetization scheme.[67]

Notes

  1. ^ The game was released in early access on 18 April 2023.[1][2]
  2. ^ Mobile version soft-launched in select regions on 1 August 2023.[3][4]
  3. ^ Racers depicted clockwise from upper-left; Baloo, Jack Sparrow, Mickey Mouse, Fa Mulan, Belle (in background), and Sulley.
  4. ^ Currently depicted in-game as Walt Disney World.
  5. ^ Arbee only appears as a non-playable AI-controlled Racer within the boss challenges in the game's Season Tour mode, taking on the role of a Racer from the Tour's focused franchise.
  6. ^ Uncredited; archive audio only.

References

  1. ^ a b Romano, Sal (November 30, 2022). "Disney Speedstorm delayed to 2023". Gematsu. Retrieved November 30, 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Disney Speedstorm early access races onto Nintendo Switch in April". Pocket Tactics. 12 March 2023. Retrieved 27 March 2023.
  3. ^ a b c d Madnani, Mikhail (2 August 2023). "'Disney Speedstorm' Mobile Soft Launch Now Available, Season 3 Live on PC and Consoles". TouchArcade. Retrieved 2 August 2023.
  4. ^ a b c d Tiwari, Rohit (2 August 2023). "Gameloft's Disney Speedstorm soft-launches on mobile ahead of its full launch in September". GamingonPhone. Retrieved 2 August 2023.
  5. ^ "Disney Speedstorm Preview: High-Octane Gameplay In A Troublesome Package". Screen Rant. 15 April 2023. Retrieved 19 April 2023.
  6. ^ "Disney Speedstorm confirms Xbox & PlayStation versions coming later this year". VideoGamer. 26 April 2022. Retrieved 27 March 2023.
  7. ^ "Disney Speedstorm Preview: A Charming Kart Racer That Has Some Baggage". IGN. 13 April 2023. Retrieved 19 April 2023.
  8. ^ "Disney's version of Mario Kart speeds into early access next month". Polygon. 17 March 2023. Retrieved 27 March 2023.
  9. ^ "Game Review: "Disney Speedstorm"". Laughing Place.com. 17 April 2023. Retrieved 19 April 2023.
  10. ^ a b "Epcot mascot Figment joins Disney Speedstorm roster". Flickering Myth. 15 April 2023. Retrieved 19 April 2023.
  11. ^ a b Romano, Sal (30 June 2023). "Disney Speedstorm launches September 28". Gematsu. Retrieved 30 June 2023.
  12. ^ a b c "Disney Racing Game Reveals Magical Beauty & The Beast-Inspired Track". Screen Rant. 17 May 2022.
  13. ^ a b "Pirates of the Caribbean's Elizabeth Swann Joins Disney Speedstorm". Screen Rant. 16 March 2022.
  14. ^ a b "Disney Speedstorm Shows A Disney Mash-up Racer". GameSpot. 9 September 2022. Retrieved 27 March 2023.
  15. ^ a b "Disney Speedstorm characters". Pocket Tactics. 13 March 2023. Retrieved 27 March 2023.
  16. ^ a b "Disney Speedstorm Characters - Every Racer Revealed So Far". Nintendo Life. 13 March 2023. Retrieved 27 March 2023.
  17. ^ a b "Disney Speedstorm Character List - How To Unlock All Characters". GameSpot. 18 April 2023. Retrieved 21 April 2023.
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  28. ^ Disney Speedstorm [@SpeedstormGame] (September 12, 2023). "Prepare for a magic carpet ride when Aladdin joins the race in Season 4 of #DisneySpeedstorm!" (Tweet). Retrieved 13 September 2023 – via Twitter.
  29. ^ Disney Speedstorm [@SpeedstormGame] (September 14, 2023). "If you wished for this Racer to join #DisneySpeedstorm, it's your lucky day! The Genie will see you on the racetrack in Season 4🧞‍♂️!" (Tweet). Retrieved 15 September 2023 – via Twitter.
  30. ^ Disney Speedstorm [@SpeedstormGame] (September 15, 2023). "Get ready to rule the racetracks with Jafar in Season 4 of #DisneySpeedstorm!" (Tweet). Retrieved 19 September 2023 – via Twitter.
  31. ^ Smith, Thomas (2 August 2023). "Celebrating the Wonder of Disney Princess". Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved 2 August 2023.
  32. ^ Disney Speedstorm [@SpeedstormGame] (September 21, 2023). "No one races like Gaston! Get ready to go trophy hunting with our newest Racer, joining #DisneySpeedstorm mid-season through a Time-Limited Event!" (Tweet). Retrieved 21 September 2023 – via Twitter.
  33. ^ LoCascio, AJ [@AJLoCascio] (April 20, 2023). "✨The purple dragon is out of the idea-bag! Honored to be voicing Figment in @disneyspeedstorm ! If you know me you know I'm LOSING MY MIND!!!! So excited to carry the baton for this 80s EPCOT Center icon!!! I genuinely can't believe it!!! Thank you to everyone at @disney ! ✨" (Tweet). Retrieved 2023-04-21 – via Twitter.
  34. ^ Disney Speedstorm [@SpeedstormGame] (November 10, 2023). "Anna is ready for some daring drifts in #DisneySpeedstorm Season 5!" (Tweet). Retrieved 15 November 2023 – via Twitter.
  35. ^ a b Penwell, Chris (29 September 2023). "Disney Speedstorm roadmap includes Frozen and The Little Mermaid tracks". Destructoid. Retrieved 15 November 2023. To help celebrate the launch, Gameloft announced its upcoming roadmap. We know that the environments from the undersea Atlantica and frozen tundra around Arendelle will emerge as two locations players will race around in.
  36. ^ rawmeatcowboy (6 November 2023). "Elsa revealed for Disney Speedstorm's 5th season". GoNintendo. Retrieved 15 November 2023.
  37. ^ Disney Speedstorm [@SpeedstormGame] (November 14, 2023). "Hans is gearing up to hit some hairpin turns in #DisneySpeedstorm Season 5!" (Tweet). Retrieved 15 November 2023 – via Twitter.
  38. ^ Disney Speedstorm [@SpeedstormGame] (November 8, 2023). "Kristoff's kart has got a fresh coat of lacquer so he's all set to join the race in #DisneySpeedstorm Season 5! 🛷" (Tweet). Retrieved 15 November 2023 – via Twitter.
  39. ^ Disney Speedstorm [@SpeedstormGame] (November 13, 2023). "We've got some brrr-illiant news! Olaf is joining the race in #DisneySpeedstorm Season 5! ⛄️" (Tweet). Retrieved 15 November 2023 – via Twitter.
  40. ^ Disney Speedstorm [@SpeedstormGame] (September 20, 2023). "Don't get too hot-headed, the ruler of the Underworld is here! Hades will join the race in #DisneySpeedstorm in Season 4 in a dedicated Time-Limited Event" (Tweet). Retrieved 21 September 2023 – via Twitter.
  41. ^ Disney Speedstorm [@SpeedstormGame] (July 21, 2023). "Angel will take the tracks by storm with her Siren Song in Season 3 of #DisneySpeedstorm!" (Tweet). Retrieved 21 July 2023 – via Twitter.
  42. ^ Disney Speedstorm [@SpeedstormGame] (July 20, 2023). "Captain Gantu is touching down in Season 3 of #DisneySpeedstorm to bring some ruthless competition to the racetrack!" (Tweet). Retrieved 20 July 2023 – via Twitter.
  43. ^ Disney Speedstorm [@SpeedstormGame] (July 19, 2023). "Jumba is bringing his purely theoretical, completely within legal boundaries experiments to #DisneySpeedstorm in Season 3!" (Tweet). Retrieved 20 July 2023 – via Twitter.
  44. ^ Michael, Piotr [@piotr.michael] (31 August 2023). "Lots of ALOHA being a part of this OHANA! Can you guess which alien I voice? HINT: When it comes to racing... he's very scientific!" – via Instagram.
  45. ^ Disney Speedstorm [@SpeedstormGame] (July 18, 2023). "Lilo's ready to make a splash in Season 3. 🏄‍♀️" (Tweet). Retrieved 20 July 2023 – via Twitter.
  46. ^ rawmeatcowboy (26 June 2023). "Stitch Gets Ready to Chew up the Track in Disney Speedstorm: Season 3". GoNintendo. Retrieved 27 June 2023.
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  48. ^ Watts, Steve (24 July 2023). "Disney Speedstorm Season 3 Brings Minnie Mouse, Lilo & Stitch, And More Characters". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 24 July 2023. Retrieved 24 July 2023 – via GameFAQs. Minnie's friend Daisy Duck will also join mid-season.
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  50. ^ Watts, Steve (24 July 2023). "Disney Speedstorm Season 3 Brings Minnie Mouse, Lilo & Stitch, And More Characters". GameSpot. Retrieved 24 July 2023.
  51. ^ Disney Parks [@DisneyParks] (November 2, 2023). "It's your lucky break! 🐰 Oswald will join the race in Season 5 in a dedicated Time Limited Event in #DisneySpeedstorm! @DisneyGames" (Tweet). Retrieved 4 November 2023 – via Twitter.
  52. ^ Errigo Jr., David [@ErrigoVoice] (November 10, 2023). "Well, the rabbit is out of the hat!! I'm voicing Oswald in @SpeedstormGame!! As a lifelong Disney fan, I couldn't be more excited!! Huge thank yous go out to the teams at DCV and @gameloft as well as my team at @SBVTalent To say I feel very LUCKY lately just doesn't cut it. 😜" (Tweet). Retrieved 1 December 2023 – via Twitter.
  53. ^ Disney D23 [@DisneyD23] (November 2, 2023). "Ortensia is ready to overtake the competition! She joins the race during Season 5 through her own Time Limited Event in #DisneySpeedstorm. @disneygames" (Tweet). Retrieved 4 November 2023 – via Twitter.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
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  55. ^ Disney Speedstorm [@SpeedstormGame] (January 17, 2024). "EVE has evaluated the competition in #DisneySpeedstorm and is aiming for first place! She will join the race during Season 6 through her own Time Limited Event!" (Tweet). Retrieved 17 January 2024 – via Twitter.
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