It’s taken a while, including the acquisition of the original developers, but we’ve now see the KartKraft full Steam version released. This means the price is now set at £30.99 for the karting sim, which has been in Early Access since November 2018.
Formerly known as KartSim, we originally covered Black Delta and their plan to release the game back in 2016. Since then, the simulation has undergone a lot of updates and revisions, while Black Delta were acquired to become Motorsport Games Australia in March 2021. And it’s good to see it finally get a full launch, although there’s a lot more planned for the future.
The full version of the game now includes scheduled multiplayer sessions with a bespoke matchmaking system, which is something that wasn’t available in early access. And as you can imagine, online competition with other humans has been eagerly awaited since the first news of the sim. In edition, you also get eight officially licensed kart manufacturers and five different classes to race in, including KartKross, and seven officially licensed and laser-scanned circuits, including the newly added Whilton Mill.
“Since joining the Motorsport Games team last year, we’ve been provided with more resources and tools than ever before to make KartKraft the remarkable game that it is today,” said Zach Griffin, Director of Technology at Motorsport Games. “With our full launch out of Early Access, we couldn’t be more pleased to finally bring a list of features that have been asked for by our community for some time, including online multiplayer, user interface updates and more tracks. More importantly, this does not signal the end of KartKraft’s development, but the start of the next chapter. I’m confident that players will love this game just as much as we have enjoyed making it.”
To mark the full release of KartKraft, there’s the new Hangar Track, along with a new Monster Kart. The online multiplayer includes up to 25 drivers on track at once, to simulate the experience of being on a packed circuit.
Having played KartKraft a fair amount in early access, the online multiplayer was the biggest missing feature for a full release. The AI is serviceable, the relatively small selections of karts and circuits was fine, but the biggest problem was that there’s no real single-player mode, so without humans to compete against, it became a hot lapping experience.
Hopefully these elements will get further improvements in the near future, along with the UI and graphics options for anyone using multiple monitors (I’m not the only person to have had issues in the past trying to get the game to display on the right monitor, or across triples). The actual kart physics have been pretty good for a long time, and it’s great fun to drive, so a few tweaks to those areas would transform it for me into a sim I’d want to spend plenty of time in, rather than an occasional diversion from other titles.
KartKraft is available for the PC via Steam, here. And keep up with all the latest KartKraft news, updates and eSports here.