Anyone who's familiar with more than one MonsSeries has probably noticed at least one primary thing about them: Overwhelmingly, they tend to be combat-oriented. Sure, there's the occasional PetInterface among them, but even then, outside of the friendly virtual-pet interface, monsters like to fight each other. Someone at {{Koei}} must have looked at this, and thought, "Well, why do monsters have to do bodily harm to each other to be fun? How about monsters who engage in some ''healthy'' competition, like, say... racing?"

As [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin you might've gleaned from the title]], the NintendoDS game ''VideoGame/MonsterRacers'' is exactly that. A monster-raising game where, instead of fighting each other, monsters engage in friendly races with one another. The game combines the monster-catching and stat-building of the {{Mons}} genre with two-dimensional, {{Platformer}}-style races. Not only does it buck the turn-based RPG trend, it also does away with convention by being set in the real world (well, [[LikeRealityUnlessNoted "real"]]). The presence of strange monsters is explained ([[HandWave sort of]]) by the fact that, a few years ago, a random, star-shaped island appeared in the Pacific Ocean, and shortly after it appeared, monsters that love racing each other started appearing on all the continents.

One thing that isn't unfamiliar, however: You play as a young boy or girl on a quest to become the world's greatest [[TitleDrop monster racer]]. That quest will take you not only to Star Island, but all around the world, from the Australian Outback to Mt. Fuji and beyond. On your quest, you'll take on the Star Seven--the greatest racers from each continent--and maybe a few villains as well. Good luck with that!

Not to be confused with ''VideoGame/MonsterRancher'', which is a simulation series.
----
!!'''This game contains examples of:'''

* AccidentalMisnaming: Bruce just can't get Misaki's name right. She eventually suspects he's doing it just to mess with her. [[spoiler: When he does finally get it right, he has no idea why she's so shocked. Or is he?]]]
* AerithAndBob: Unavoidable, given the international nature of the cast. The main group of kids includes Misaki, Gen, and ''Zoltan,'' with enemies Rosalita and Don Jung. Oddly, the Star Seven all have very Western names, including Japanese Edwin... except for Tatanya.
* AllDesertsHaveCacti: All of them, even if they're in India. All deserts have oases too, it seems.
* AllTheWorldsAreAStage: The Sweden Cup, one of the very last tournaments you can unlock, has ''every single terrain type'' in it. Good luck with that!
* AlwaysCheckBehindTheChair: And look for the telltale sparkle on the ground that indicates Star Crystals are there.
* AmericanKirbyIsHardcore: Actually inverted for once: The Japanese boxart has a rather fierce looking picture of [[InfinityPlusOneSword Furion]], while the American boxart focuses on the very cheerful protagonists.
* AnimeHair: Edwin, which may be invoked in that he's the Asian Star Seven member. Moses too, to a lesser extent.
* BaitAndSwitchBoss: Done ''three times'' for the final boss: At first, from a storyline perspective, it seems obvious that it's [[spoiler: Elder Aku,]] and indeed, said does appear to you after you beat the gauntlet of [[spoiler: {{Recurring Boss}}es he set up for you]]... but then the camera pans away to reveal the TrueFinalBoss... [[spoiler: Professor Olaf! Except that the professor just bungled in there]], and the real final boss is actually [[spoiler: Misaki! Surprise!]]
** Played with some more in the post-game content, [[spoiler: when it turns out the two fake bosses actually are even harder bosses.]]
* BlindIdiotTranslation: The Spanish translation is a bit bad, but in a funny way at least.
* BoxingKangaroo: Jabberoo, one of the Oceanic monsters.
* ButThouMust: If you don't want to take Misaki on as your assistant, your PC's dialogue option is thoughtful, polite, and appropriate as a rejection. You think she's having any of that? Of ''course'' not.
* ChildProdigy: [[spoiler: Tatyana.]]
* ChristmasMode: SchroedingersPlayerCharacter will appear in a certain house on specific days, and give you presents.
* CreditsMedley
* DarkSkinnedBlonde: Moses. Given that he has AnimeHair to the extreme, it's probably bleached.
* DifficultySpike: Australia and Asia are fairly simple locations to get through, but Eurasia suddenly bumps the difficulty both with the addition of [[SlippySlideyIceWorld snow and ice]], and opponent AI that stops playing around.
* DudeWheresMyRespect: Averted. As you go through the game and win tournaments, your fame builds, and you actually start to build up a fanbase. People do indeed treat you better because of it.
* ElementalPowers: Done in a different fashion from most, in that a monster's elemental powers factor in what surfaces they're best at running over. So fire-type monsters can run on lava without taking damage, and water-type ones can swim at full speed.
* EscapeRope: There's the regular Rope Ladder, which returns you to the map screen, and there's the Warp Ladder, which immediately takes you home. There's really no difference between them, though, since there's really no reason you ''can't'' go straight home from the world map.
* EstrogenBrigadeBait: Reinhart. Full stop.
* EverythingsBetterWithPlatypi: Paraduks, one of the Australian monsters, is an [[ShownTheirWork electric]] platypus.
* FirstTown: Star City.
* FissionMailed: If you lose during a tournament, it will tell you that you were kicked out of the tournament... [[AllJustADream only for your assistant to shake you awake and tell you to snap out of it; there's a tournament to go to.]]
* FluffyTamer: The Monsterium lady, who loves even the scariest-looking monsters.
* FrictionlessIce: Every area [[SlippySlideyIceWorld with snow]] in it has some of this ice. The North Pole is made up almost ''entirely'' of sliding ice puzzles like this.
* GlobalCurrency: Since the game is set in, y'know, ''our'' world, the game attempts to avert this: The only place to spend money is on Star Island, and in the different fields, you can only ever get VendorTrash from other racers or in treasure chests. This, of course, all breaks down in the races, since ''every single racetrack,'' no matter where it's located, is littered with Star Island's currency, Uni.
* GoldfishPoopGang: Rosalita and her companion Dong Jun, who will ''never leave you alone.'' Ever.
* GoombaStomp: Jumping on your opponents will damage them and temporarily slow them down.
* GreenHillZone: Star Field, the NoobCave.
* HeroicMime: Your character's text boxes never display anything but [[VisibleSilence "..."]], but that doesn't stop them from [[SilentSnarker having a lot to say.]]
* HitboxDissonance: Some of the Turbo skills have a larger area of effect than you might guess just from the sprite.
* HopelessBossFight: Your first fight against Reinhart. What did you expect when you challenged the World Champion near the very start of your career, anyway? ([[spoiler: He is technically beatable if you level grind like mad, but after a moment of shock, he [[HeadsIWinTailsYouLose summarily ignores your victory and leaves while pretending nothing happened.]]]])
* HotSkittyOnWailordAction: Any monster can breed with any other monster, regardless of just about anything else. Perhaps {{justified|Trope}}, as the process appears to be MadScience-driven.
--> "I want to start breeding monsters, but Daddy say's I'm not allowed to play God until I'm at least thirteen."
* HyperactiveMetabolism: Er, [[ZigZaggedTrope sort of.]] You do feed your monster crackers in order to heal them. However, monsters' health isn't measured by actual ''health,'' but rather Will, or determination to race. So although you feed them to "heal" them, you're really just helping them stay motivated.
* IconicItem: All monsters have a PowerGem on them that serves as one.
* InexplicablyIdenticalIndividuals: The Monsterium lady, who's either a case of this or OffscreenTeleportation. [[MST3KMantra She explicitly tells you not to think too much about how she does it.]]
* InfinityPlusOneElement: In a way, the Hover ability. It grants immunity to all terrain types, though it doesn't provide any bonuses the way the regular ElementalPowers do.
* LandDownunder:
** Oceania is your first, non-Star Island destination. It features monsters based on Aussie wildlife, and you can visit landmarks like Ayers Rock, TheOtherRainforest, and the Great Barrier Reef.
** Special mention must be made of Bruce, a man so Australian he sweats Fosters and bleeds Vegimite. Most of his dialogue is nigh-on incomprehensible.
* LethalLavaLand: Star Caves, which is actually one of the earlier dungeons. The lava courses can be quite tricky unless you choose Phoechick as your starting mon, since fire types are difficult to come by early on. There's also ones in Russia and Mt. Etna.
* MadScientist: Monster breeder Franz. He appears to be quite personable, though.
* MascotMook: Furion, in addition to featuring prominently on the box art, is also the signature monster of current [[ToBeAMaster Master]] Reinhart. However, it's actually an OlympusMon, and one of the very last you're likely to catch.
* [[AnimalWrongsGroup Monster Wrongs Group]]: [[spoiler: You get kidnapped by a group of them in Africa, but they let you go when they find out you're nice to monsters.]] Moses is similarly serious about the treatment of monsters, but he's much more laid-back. He won't challenge you until you've proven your kindness to monsters to him, however.
* MotherRussiaMakesYouStrong: Implicit with a number of the Eurasian monsters, many of whom have high Power.
* NextSundayAD: Monster racing has been around for ten years, but aside from a little MadScience here and there and the ease with which you can travel the world, not much is different.
* NoobCave: Star Fields serves as one.
* NitroBoost: They're littered around the courses. The Great Barrier Reef also has special wave-shaped ones.
* OlympusMons: Each continent has its own legendary monster, which becomes available in the PlayableEpilogue. They're all based on legendary mythical beings from that continent's history (except North America's, which is based on TyrannosaurusRex), and it's implied that they were the inspiration for those beings.
* TheOtherRainforest: You go on a rescue mission there.
* PaletteSwap: This is a power ''you as the player'' actually have. You can give your monsters "Monster Orbs," which allow them to change color. The more orbs you give them, the more dramatically you can change their colors. It also helps unlock new skills, as a bonus.
** And let's not forget ''Exotic'' monsters! Exotic monsters are essentially this game's version of Shinies- they literally are palette swaps, they're significantly harder to find (and harder to befriend, too), and using Monster Orbs, while increasing their loyalty, doesn't change their palette. They also get a significantly cooler encounter theme.
* PlayableEpilogue: Wondered about those strange altars scattered across the globe, in all the various dungeons you visited? Of course you did! Once you beat the game, a whole new story arc opens up where you can explore them all to meet the game's OlympusMons.
* PostFinalBoss: [[spoiler: Misaki.]] The previous boss fight is against three of the toughest racers in the game all at once, on a battlefield filled with ups, downs, and [[LethalLavaLand lava]], and their monsters have absolutely ''brutal'' skills and turbos. By comparison, even though [[spoiler: Misaki]] has a legendary monster, the battlefield is relatively mundane, and has an easy-to-run-on surface. You also only have to race one person at a time.
* PowerCrystal: All of the monsters have one or more on their body somewhere.
* PreExistingEncounters: You can also use an item to freeze them in place and avoid battle, but some of them don't move anyway.
* PunnyName: The game ''overfloweth'' with them. The traveling billionaire Phil T. Rich, for example...
* RareCandy: The Gumdrops, which, as a bonus, are literally candy.
* RecurringBoss: [[spoiler: You must rematch all of the Star Seven in a row before facing the final boss.]]
* TheRival: Zoltan, whose [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast name alone]] clues you in to his attitude.
* RPGElements: Monsters have stats, skills, and levels, and your gain EXP from races, but races aren't like RPG fights at all.
* SchroedingersPlayerCharacter: There's a house in the FirstTown which is sporadically inhabited by whichever PC you didn't choose. It's implied that they're from an alternate dimension, and risking a lot to come and see you. Why make such a dangerous trip across dimensions? [[ChristmasMode Giving you stuff on holidays, apparently.]]
* SecretTestOfCharacter: [[spoiler: The ''whole game'' is one. Misaki and her grandfather were trying to find people worthy of looking after the monsters and ensure they never fall into bad hands.]]
* SequentialBoss: [[spoiler: Before facing the final boss, you must [[RecurringBoss rematch each of the Star Seven.]] You do get breaks in-between to save, but trying to leave or losing means you have to start all over again.]]
* ShinySense: Star Crystals on the ground have a telltale sparkle.
* SilentSnarker: The PC has a very expressive range of facial expressions, despite never saying anything. They get a lot of mileage out of the "exasperated" one.
* SlippySlideyIceWorld: Eurasia, natch.
* StageMom: Tatyana's parents, who constantly insist that she's their "hope for the future" and pressure her into doing well. [[spoiler: Sure, their daughter is the Star Seven of Eurasia, but she's happy to lose to you because it means a lot of the pressure is off her.]]
* {{Spoonerism}}: Professor Olaf, who's constantly wixing his mords around.
* TagAlongKid: Misaki, who [[ButThouMust forcibly attaches herself to you]] about five minutes into the game, and will ''not'' be removed.
* VendorTrash: As a substitute for GlobalCurrency, you can find bronze, silver, and gold ingots scattered around the world. Their only use is to be exchanged for money you can actually spend, and [[GlobalCurrency avert the question]] as to why everyone in the world is using the same currency now.
* VisibleSilence: Your PC is fond of it. Later lampshaded: "Don't you dot dot dot me!"
* WackyRacing: It's racing... BUT WITH MONSTERS!
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: Edwin's hair is green. Maybe it's because he's the Asian Star Seven and is trying to invoke the AnimeHair trope?