Team Sonic Racing, out now on Xbox One, PS4 and PC, is the latest in a quietly successful, kid-friendly series of kart racers based on Sega’s rapid blue rodent. It doesn’t have the effortless genius of Mario Kart 8, but like that game there are dizzying, colourful rollercoaster courses to negotiate and the mandatory four player split-screen mode for cheerily vindictive couch-based multiplayer.
The word ‘team’ in the title refers to the game’s unique central mechanic: you’re racing in a squad of three now and working with your teammates via slipstreaming, side-drafting and sharing items is the easiest route to victory. When everyone’s crossed the finish line, points are tallied up and the team with the best overall score wins. It’s like Formula One, if points were only dished out for the constructor’s championship and also Kimi Raikkonen was a giant purple cat.
Naturally, it’s frustrating when you lose the race as a team even though you finished first but if, as is likely, you’re playing alongside a little nipper who’s struggling to wrap their tiny hands around the controller let alone drift around a corner, it allows you the option to co-operate and win together. Just remember to swap the champagne for a juice box.