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Well the first thing you notice is probably the reason you were curious enough to look in the first place, the name of the game, COFFIN DODGERS.

It is not, as you may expect, a road race where you travel behind funerals and dodge the coffins as they fall out the back of the hearses, it is in fact something I am already quite familiar with - driving a mobility scooter - although mine cannot make the speeds or carry the weaponry the ones in this game do. There is one thing I am totally familiar with though and that is mobility scooters do not have brakes.

COFFIN DODGERS can be played as a solo game on a full screen or multi-player using split screen, though at the time of writing the multi-player wasn't available to test. You can play a single race, selecting from any you have reached to date, a Time Trial (wait until you are up to speed with the way the Mobility Scooter handles - from experience I can assure you that being used to riding a MS in real life is NO advantage) or you can play the story which means it is you against the other seven OAP's for the first race. Each race descending in opponents as long as you continue to not come last. The Grim Reaper wins each race and collects the soul of the racer who came in last.

Backtracking awhile. There are 8 old people living in the Sunny Pines Retirement Village, at least there were 8, a 9th recently moved in, a Mr G Reaper, and he is causing some concern amongst the residents. They are not keen with his dress style - long black robes, or the fact that he carries a sharp scythe blade on the end of a long pole.

  About to meet Mr Reaper (Gulp!)

The residents get together and come up with a deal which they proffer to Mr Reaper and surprisingly he accepts. The deal is that the residents will entertain a series of races around the village streets whereby they drive their souped-up mobility scooters against each other. Mr Reaper will ride his own scooter. To make things more fun the residents have access to their walking canes while they are driving, taking both hands off the handlebars to swing at their nearest opponent, and Grim spices it up even more by introducing numerous power-ups that can be collected along the routes.

   

Using the WASD or Arrow keys on the PC keyboard you steer your mobility scooter around the roads, dodging the piles of mysterious boxes (that are always on the streets in every filmed race scene), zig-zagging the Traffic Cones, and doing everything they can to ensure that when the race ends they don't end also.

Several years ago a friend gave me a game of Racing Grannies - 2 old grannies in wheelchairs and wind-up motores - well while  that was fun this is FUN! 

   

You get to choose your rider from the residents. Apart from visually I haven't found any difference in their abilities - doesn't mean there aren't any just that I'm not good enough to have discovered them. I spent so much time waiting for my OAP to climb down off the fence or pick her/him self up off the floor - because of my poor dexterity (and arthritic thumbs and fingers) - and the fact that mobility scooters are not meant to drive fast or corner on two wheels. The game is totally crazy, highly addictive, bloody silly and brilliantly animated. It flows extremely well and the pick-ups, though fairly regular for this game type, work on the touch of the [Space] button. It is a game where you get so tied up in trying to knock someone off of their MS that you forget you have to steer. There's nothing quite as amusing as seeing an `old dear' crashing into a white picket fence and head-over-heeling into the garden or even landing on the fence itself. The Retirment Village is filled with beautifully structured and colourful houses, and comfortable parks. Boxes and debris can get moved around, and will stay where they land, as do fire hydrants when broken (water continually powers skywards) and traffic cones (when scattered). Fences and buildings generally suffer none or little damage when smashed into, rather like the OAPs themselves, battered but never broken.

There is a rider for (almost) everyone: These can be found when you start a the race for the first time and also in the OPEN WORLD folder where you can locate the Tutorial and the possibility of Exploration (riding round the empty village getting used to the controls) buttons: The Residents are:-
Professor Percival Chase III
Jeremiah "the Hawk" Brenneman
"Iron Horse" Hank Hudson
"Marvellous" Martha Goldberg
Wilbur "Softball" Williams
Lucy "Legs" Hernandez
Rudolf "the Red Horn" Hoffman
and To Be Unlocked - Mr Grim Reaper

Surviving races will gain you cash which you can spend at the garage to update your Mobility Scooter, just like in most games which require the player's onscreen personna to be propelled round a track (of sorts).  Don’t let your milky tea get cold, simply download Coffin Dodgers now for everyone who buys the early access version will also receive all the updates throughout the Early Access process, as well as the chance to feedback to the team and input into the game. The game is designed and marketed by the Milky Tea Studio team of Liverpool, and although I haven't managed as yet to locate any names for them I would (almost, I am saying "almost") lay money down that the OAP character names are close to being amongst their design, marketing and PR members.

Although this is addictive, it isn't a game you want to continually play, but it is a game you are likely to play every time you have 10-15 minutes spare and need some fun in your life or to simply blow off some steam being silly.

THE ELDERLY LET OFF STEAM AS THEY FIGHT BACK IN NEW GAME:  Coffin Dodgers now available via Early Access on Steam

Liverpool, UK 2nd March 2015 – UK Indie developer, Milky Tea Studio, are excited to announce that their brand new game Coffin Dodgers, is now available for PC via Steam’s Early Access – http://store.steampowered.com/app/320540.
This darkly comedic karting game will be updated with new features and improvements over the next 2-3 months before the team announce a full release in the coming months.

Coffin Dodgers sees you taking on the role of saving one of seven quirky retirement village residents, each racing for their soul in "pimped up" mobility scooters against none other than the Grim Reaper himself. Our old heroes are armed with a variety of homemade weapons and gadgets to take on anything the Grim Reaper and his Zombie army may throw at them. Players must battle it out over a 13 race Championship, where only the most skilled racer will survive. Your rank against other competitors will ensure you progress to the next stage; however finish bottom of the pile and the Reaper gets to take your soul.

Early Access Game Features:

Coffin Dodgers is a humorous, dark and very addictive game. For more information about Coffin Dodgers  and for further information about Milky Tea and the team, check out their website .

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015