DSiWare continues to have a pulse, and ATV Fever is one of the latest releases for the aging service. It’s not a bad game, but it is just an average one.
You’ll race nine different vehicles in this game across Arcade, Championship, and Free Play modes. Achievements can be earned which help you not only keep track of your progress and growth, but also provide some replay incentive. Being able to earn all of them in bronze, silver, and gold, is a welcomed feature.
The visuals suffice for DSiWare. Though dated, there’s some decent texture work, and varied track backgrounds. The movement is very choppy however, and it will definitely take some time to adjust and get used to things – this game looks better in stills than in motion. The generic rock music fails to make much of an impact. It can be adjusted in intensity or muted altogether however (along with the sound effects) so even though it doesn’t contribute a great deal, it won’t annoy.
Controls are manageable with practice, but they feel quite sluggish. It makes it very easy to over steer, although this depends in part on which vehicle’s being used – they all have stats showing their pros and cons, which is nice. For being all terrain, these vehicles handle much worse than I’d expect if you veer of the track! The aggressive AI highlights the control quirks, as they’ll frequently bump you and cause you to spin out. Early use of the generous turbo limits this though, and the steady challenge means you won’t grow complacent while playing.
There’s a fair amount of content here (this was a former DS retail release after all) but while it doesn’t do anything terribly wrong, it all feels too standard. If you’re both a big ATV fan and still in the market for new DSiWare games, this could be a decent selection. Otherwise the choppy visuals and spotty control knock it down to just average.