Kart Attack appeared out the blue last week - it's a realistic-looking kart racer coming to Xbox Live Arcade, PSN and PC next year.
Coming from Blimey! Games - responsible for race sim series GTR - the racer promises full online modes, intelligent AI and a driving model that's "both easy to get to grips with and fun to play." No red shells, though.
Graphically, it looks incredible - especially for a XBLA/PSN title - which makes us wonder just how Blimey's going to manage to fit it onto Xbox Live Arcade.
We've managed to get a few questions (and exclusive screens) in with Blimey! Games recruit Suzy Wallace (who we kicked out of the office last month) who's helped explain what Kart Attack's all about...
What inspired you lot to tackle a "realistic" kart racer as opposed to a Mario Kart-style game?
Suzy Wallace: Well, Blimey! Games has a history based in the more serious side of racing games (GTR, GT Legends, GTR 2) so it seemed like a natural thing for us to build a go-kart game that has its foundations in real life rather than the world of short Italian plumbers.
But other than the accurate karts and realistic graphics, Kart Attack is a pure arcade title as we've taken a conscious decision to sacrifice most of the realism for fun gameplay mechanics.
In terms of handling and control, are you going for more of an arcade or simulation angle?
Wallace: As Kart Attack's aimed at the casual gamer, it's crucial that the driving model for the karts is both fun and easy to pick up.
We want it to be so that anyone can pick up a controller and be able to put up a decent challenge, but so that the art of sliding round an entire corner may take a bit of practice to perfect.
Where are the red shells and banana skins?
Wallace: I reckon those bast**d Goombas stole them.
And, presuming there are no power-ups, how does Kart Attack maintain the same fun factor as Mario Kart etc?
Wallace: The great thing about go-karts is that, even in real life, they're an absolute blast to drive. Pretty much anyone can hop into one and have tons of fun, even without much practice.
So getting the driving model just right so that the karts are enjoyable to drive is a key priority for us.
On top of that, there'll be opportunities to upgrade your kart, a boost option, a bunch of memorable circuits and the AI will each feature their own distinct personalities.
Plus with the title being available on XBLA, PSN and PC, there will be plenty of opportunities for you to hook up with your friends and race each other online.
It looks fantastic - how on earth are you going to keep download sizes reasonable?
Wallace: Luckily, we have a fantastic new engine which we've built ourselves from the ground up which looks amazing and runs efficiently which has enabled us to sandwich the files into the space required.
But even so, it requires plenty of optimisation and compression to fit everything in.
The amount of karts, characters and tracks will be less than if the title had been developed for the mass market, but we still think we've got a great selection in there whilst keeping the game under the 150MB Xbox Live Arcade limit.
When's it out then? PSN, PC or XBL first?
Wallace:The plans are for a Summer 2008 release, but it will be released when it's done. We're currently in discussions with various different publishers, but the plans at the moment are to aim for a simultaneous release on all platforms.