Speed Racer: The Videogame, also known as simply Speed Racer, is a racing video game developed by Sidhe Interactive for the PlayStation 2 and Wii consoles, by Virtuos for the Nintendo DS, and by Glu Mobile for mobile phones; and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Glu Mobile. It is a tie-in to the 2008 film Speed Racer The actors from the movie reprise their role on the video game counterpart. The Mobile version was released in April 2008, and the Wii and Nintendo DS versions of the game were released on May 6, 2008, while the PlayStation 2 version was released on September 16, 2008, alongside the DVD release.
The game is a racing game in the vein of the F-Zero series, including tracks full of odd twists, turns and loops impossible by realistic standards, set in five vibrant, exotic locations (six in the PS2 version). The goal of the game is not only to win first place in each race, but also to have the most points by the end of the cup to win the competition. Points can be earned by placing high during races, but also by performing stunts and, most commonly, bashing into and destroying other racers with the use of car acrobatics, called "car-fu" in the game. Driving well (i.e., not hitting walls, avoiding other drivers) rewards the player with a boost. Four boosts may be collected this way, and if all four boosts are used at once, the car enters a "speed zone" in which the players travels more than twice as fast as their regular top speed, and any cars hit by players in this state are significantly damaged and/or destroyed. Boosts may alternatively be used to repair the car by refilling the health meter. A full boost will repair half of the health meter, while a partially filled boost meter will only repair a smaller amount of the meter. The player can distinguish the vehicle's health by the gauge, but also the colour of the jet at the rear of the vehicle: if it is bluish-white, the car is fine; if it is red and smoking, it is severely damaged; if the camera suddenly starts to zoom out, the car is going to explode. If this happens, the player must quickly repair their car, or else it will explode. If the player's car explodes, the player will re-spawn nearby; however, the brief delay between the car exploding and re-spawning allows other racers to pass the player.
Each version of the game has its own unique control method. The PS2 version uses a standard control setup, where the buttons are used for driving and attacking, while the DS uses the stylus in conjunction with the touchscreen. The Wii version can be controlled by holding the Wii Remote sideways, and also with the Wii Wheel peripheral, and is controlled by a combination of button input and motion controls, such as waving the Wii Remote to the left or right to make the vehicle quickly slide in that direction.
There are a total of 20 selectable characters from the film in the game (25 in the PS2 version), each with their own unique vehicle. Each character also has a specific rival, whom, should the player destroy or finish the race before, award bonus points. For example, Speed Racer's rival is Jack "Cannonball" Taylor. In certain gameplay modes, players can enter alliances with other racers, who will attempt to interfere with the player's rival. Performing "car-fu" on allies will penalize the player, however. Each character's car has different stats, of which there are 4 in total.
The original musical soundtrack of the Speed Racer video game was composed by Winifred Phillips and produced by Winnie Waldron. It has received positive reviews. Reviewer Sam Bishop of IGN wrote, "The music in the game happily bounces back and forth from vaguely tribal, ambient tracks to more driving, aggressive sounding electronica loops."
The DS version received "generally favorable reviews", while the PlayStation 2 and Wii versions received "average" reviews, according to the review aggregation website Metacritic. In Japan, Famitsu gave it a score of one five, one seven, and two sixes for the DS version.