Review: What Happened When We Tried Combat Karting
We got a new-found need for speed when we tried the brand new Combat Karts at TeamSport Newcastle
Located just a short drive from LN HQ, TeamSport Newcastle have just reopened their track with two newly refurbished, professionally designed circuits, one of which holds a one-of-a-kind experience, exclusive to Newcastle, that we were there to try.
We started by putting on racing overalls, before heading straight to a briefing. Through both a pre-recorded video and an in-person chat we got all the safety information, as well as some insider advice such as when to speed up and which corners to look out for. Once no one had any more questions it was time to head to the pit lane.
Having now put on a balaclava, helmet and gloves (top tip: leave a slight gap in your helmet visor to avoid it steaming up) we were allowed to get into our kart before a member of staff helped make sure the pedals were in the right place. Using the karts couldn’t be simpler with just an accelerator and brake pedal, helpfully coloured red and green to avoid confusion.
Each driver was asked to show they could safely stop the kart, before carrying out a couple of practise laps, and then the real fun began. In Combat Karts, racing meets gaming, as 10 drivers take to the track and compete for the podium by collecting and using boosts such as Power+, Turbo, Blast, Shield and Zap to make sure they cross the finish line first.
'Think Mario Kart with bombs being dropped
on the people directly behind, and shots being
fired at the person in first place making them
lose their lead on the very last lap'
You can collect boosts and bonuses on the way by driving over icons projected on the track and this allows you to interact with other drivers by slowing them down or giving you that extra speed. Played over a series of laps, the winning positions of racers change constantly and rapidly, adding to the excitement.
Admittedly, spending the race at the back we mainly experienced the boosts that allowed you to catch up, however speaking to other players we heard it got particularly messy at the front of the group. Think Mario Kart with bombs being dropped on the people directly behind, and shots being fired at the person in first place making them lose their lead on the very last lap.
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Newly refurbished, the track was especially slippy when we visited and there was more than once when the back end of karts were swinging out, or the race was paused to put people the right direction. However I think that almost added to the organised mayhem of it all. We went up to the larger track afterwards to record our best lap time, and skidding round the corners made it all the more enjoyable.
The fun didn’t stop there, as the site also offers mini Duckpin bowling and E-Darts, as well as Century Sim racing simulators to brush up on your driving skills. All that racing action really did build up an appetite, so next we headed upstairs. With a fully-licensed bar and a regularly updated menu including pizzas and light bites, you can refuel as you look out over the track, watching people’s lap times come up on the screen. This can be educational or entertaining depending who is on the track, but we can assure you that’s fun either way.