Video Game: Beetle Adventure Racing

Beetle Adventure Racing! (known as HSV Adventure Racing! to Australians) is a Racing Game for the Nintendo 64, developed by Paradigm Entertainment and released by Electronic Arts in 1999 to coincide with the release of the Volkswagen New Beetle. It's also way more fun than it has any right to be.

Beetle Adventure Racing! is different from most racing games in that all of the available cars are New Beetles (though some have a spin on them, such as the police car Beetle). There are only six tracks available, but the game makes up for that by adding lots of additional paths and shortcuts, which often feature interesting and funny things, such as a crashed spaceship or Jurassic Park. The game also features long draw distances, which emphasizes the beauty of the courses. You can spend hours just exploring all the nooks and crannies of the levels.

The actual courses support only one- and two-player races, but there's also a Beetle Battle mode that allows up to four players to compete to get the most ladybug tokens, as they destroy one another along the way.

This series provides examples of:

  • Benevolent Architecture: As one of the main features of the game is alternate tracks, there are plenty of ramps and non-blocked off streets for you to take, even if it's not in your best interest to do so.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: The chapel, house, and dungeon areas of Wicked Woods are all haunted.
  • Bleak Level: After five bright and fun courses (even Metro Madness, which is set at night, is pretty bright), Wicked Woods is definitely this.
  • Build Like an Egyptian: Sunset Sands. A giant desert wouldn't be complete without pyramids and tombs.
  • Cave Behind the Falls: One of the shortcuts in the Mount Mayhem stage.
  • Damage-Proof Vehicle: Jumping off high ledges, running into buildings, driving through the desert, none of it means anything to your car, except when do something that causes you to explode (as noted above).
  • Dummied Out: Interestingly, it appears that this game was going to be an entry in the Need for Speed series on the N64 based on text strings in a debug menu found in the game, but got changed to only VW New Beetles somewhere along the line.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Your car has two modes: perfectly fine and exploded. There's no in-between.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: The only explanation for the T-Rex on Inferno Isle.
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows: The alien Beetle and parts of Wicked Woods.
  • Excited Game Title!: It's Beetle Adventure Racing! That exclamation point is important.
  • Fantastic Nature Reserve: The dinosaur habitat on Inferno Isle.
  • Green Hill Zone: Coventry Cove.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: An alternate path in Wicked Woods.
  • In-Vehicle Invulnerability: Double subverted. You can run into all kinds of things and be no worse for the wear...unless you run head-on into something at a fast enough speed or flip over, in which case you EXPLODE...except that you just reappear on the track like nothing happened.
  • Jungle Japes: Half of the Inferno Isle course.
  • Lava Adds Awesome: Again, the volcano portion of Inferno Isle.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The other half of the Inferno Isle track, as you drive through an active volcano.
  • The Lost Woods: The final course, Wicked Woods.
  • Pirate: A very well hidden part of Inferno Isle.
  • Product Placement: What do you expect? It's called Beetle Adventure Racing for a reason.
  • Shifting Sand Land: The Sunset Sands track.
  • Shout-Out: The "Inferno Isle" course features a certain grey-walled area filled with dinosaurs on one of its paths (as mentioned in the description).
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Mount Mayhem.
  • The Theme Park Version: Pretty much all the courses, but Coventry Cove especially: It's a small English hamlet that also happens to be next to a decaying castle and Stonehenge (which is on an island for some reason).
  • Vehicular Combat: Battle Mode.