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Racing Minigame

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But now they must depart
In a sequence I call, "Super Mako Kart!"

It's hard to say exactly the whys, whens, or wherefores, but somewhere along the line, racing mini-games became one of the most common forms of Unexpected Gameplay Change.

Racing mini-games generally come in three flavors:

  • The World Is Your Grand Prix: Whoever or whatever challenged the player character to race makes it from Point A to Point B on whatever map you're already on. Sometimes it's in the Hub Level, but it can occur within a level or dungeon, as well. While your character may be on foot, they may also have a vehicle—either part of their usual arsenal, or provided for them—in order to provide them extra speed. Since most maps tend to be somewhat... larger than your standard race course, the game will frequently provide some sort of "marker" to keep you on course, usually with penalties if you stray too far. The markers can range from a simple line on the ground to actually making the player lose if they don't pass through every ring.
  • This Course One Way Only: Unlike the above, this actually does take place on its own map, designated for the race. However, such course is usually one way only. Your goal is simply to get to the end, through whatever means you have at your disposal. Because they're designed explicitly for the race, the maps for these particular mini-games are frequently more elaborate, and feature more devious twists and turns.
  • I Can't Believe It's Not Mario Kart!: The most elaborate of the three options, this is when a racing mini-game actually takes pains to resemble a sort of tiny Wacky Racing game in its own right. In addition to having designated "race" maps, they often feature proper laps, and even, sometimes, power ups. (They'll usually throw in a Nitro Boost, at the very least.)


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    Action Adventure 
  • Beyond Good & Evil has several races—one of them, you have to participate in for plot purposes (to find a secret exit on the track). In addition to in-track speed boosters, you can also bring in your own items from outside to aid you.
    • Quest for the Toa has the Great Ussal Race, Ignalu Lava Surfing, and Ngalawa Boat Racing.
    • Maze of Shadows has the Tunnel Flight Challenge, involving Matau with a Nui-Rama or the Red Serpent.
  • Bully has both bicycle races and kart races.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has the on-foot race against the Marathon Man (Unwinnable by Design), the horse race against Ingo, and an on-foot one with (not against, as the objective is simply reaching to the goal quickly enough) Dampe's ghost.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask has one per region except Ikana Canyon (which instead features a chase sequence against Captain Keeta). Notably, Link can take advantage of one of his physical forms in each: Deku Scrub in the race with (not against) the Butler in Deku Palace, Goron in the spring race in Snowhead, human with Epona in the horsetrack race in Milk Road, and Zora in the Waterfall Rapids ring race. Downplayed with the Doggy Racetrack in Romani Ranch, as it's the dogs which participate in the race and Link can only bet which one is going to win (he can get reliable hints about the winner by using the Mask of Truth).
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess has the Yeti race in Snowpeak. It's necessary to win against both Yeto and Yeta separately to claim the Piece of Heart.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks has the Whip Race (located in a hidden area northeast of Whittleton), where Link has to clear an obstacle course with the help of his whip in a time limit. A standard run rewards him with a Bomb Bag upgrade, while beating a certain record will net him a (full) Heart Container.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds has the Hyrule Hotfoot (sponsored by the Racing Bros.), in which Link has to perform a run session from the northeast area of Lake Hylia to a grassy area behind Rosso's house (located near the entrance to Death Mountain). In the first trial, Link will have 75 seconds to complete the race, while in the second he will only have 65. It is recommended to use the dash ability of the Pegasus Boots. Link will be disqualified if he uses Irene's broom to warp between areas in Hyrule, but he can use the trick in Lorule.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild:
      • In Gerudo Desert, there are Sand Seals used for easy navigation across the sandy wasteland. Southeast of Gerudo Town, there's a contest where Link can race through a course with a Sand Seal; if he manages to pass through all the designated arches under a certain time limit, he'll win the race and unlock one of the Ancient Shrines.
      • There's a man in Hyrule Ridge who can challenge Link in a race on foot towards a hill. Link will be disqualified if he uses a horse or the Master Cycle, so it's recommended to use a food or drink that restores (or, if possible, even extends) the stamina meter in order to reduce the instances of stopping to wait until it refills.
  • LEGO Island features races as a variety of its missions, spawning obstacles that make your path very difficult, if not impossible for many routes around the island.
  • Naruto games:
    • Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 2 has a minigame where you can race against Might Guy by hitting Square and Circle alternately as fast as you can until you get RSI. This is unfortunately required for 100% Completion.
    • Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 3 also had a racing minigame where you were racing Sakura to the top of a tree, though this time you move forward automatically and only have to worry about dodging obstacles.
  • In Ōkami:
    • You can choose to battle two "postmen" in a race involving chasing the postman, attempting to tackle him before he runs out of eyeshot. In later races, spined balls are thrown at you in an attempt to slow you down.
    • Near the end of the game, it's possible to challenge Kai in a race through the first half of the Yoshpet forest. Defeating her nets Amaterasu a Stray Bead.
  • Shantae forces you to race against Rottytops to convince her to tell you the location of the next stone of power. It's very unforgiving.
  • The sixth minigame in Dexter's Laboratory: Mandark's Lab? is "Soap Box Derby". It's a kart racer based off of the episode "Mock 5".

    Action Game 
  • Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven has a single level in which the player must cover for a racecar driver the Don has bet on. It's That One Level due to the frailty (as in, tip over and you die, no exceptions) and unstable nature (as in, turn around a corner or hit a slight bump at anything but low speed and you will likely tip over) of the car and the difficulty in traversing the track safely while staying ahead of the racers, but, luckily, there's a secret area that allows you to skip the lap and finish it with ease.
  • No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle: One of the retro-styled side jobs has Travis deliver a pizza (from a chain unrelated to the shady Pizza Butt brand, named Pizza Suplex) while he drives his Schpeltiger II at full speed across a high-traffic avenue, Mach Rider style. He has to avoid the vehicles as well as the oil stains in the road. He can also grab the nitro bottles to boost his motorbike's speed. The minigame is divided into four levels.
  • No More Heroes III: There are two high-speed pursuit missions, each divided into three levels. The objective in both missions (and all their levels) is to chase and destroy a criminal driver across a tight, high-traffic highway. Travis, who is driving his Demzamtiger, has to deal with the purple-colored cars (driven by the criminal's gang) to earn extra seconds to the mission's time limit, and also avoid clashing against the walls so his vehicle's HP doesn't deplete (as well as any of the civilians' vehicles to avoid losing speed abruptly). The criminal's white car has a Life Meter, so Travis has to clash against it enough times to destroy it and the driver.
  • Top Hunter: Roddy & Cathy have bonus stages which have the two titular characters racing each other, either on skateboards or improvised surfboards, avoiding obstacles and collecting bonuses along the way.

    Beat 'em Up 
  • Fantastic Four has an entirely optional racing game in-between levels that doesn't add any points to the players' health. They could simply put down their controller and wait for the timer to run out, the following stage will still continue as if nothing happened.
  • Slaps and Beans have a short stage set on a race rally, where Terence and Bud, on the trail of the mysterious Mr. Tango and learning Tango will be present in the rally to congratulate the winners, then pulls a Mugged for Disguise on two real racers and partakes in the rally - cue the sole racing stage in a game that's otherwise full of fistfights.

    Adventure Game 
  • Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People: Episode 1: Homestar Ruiner features the Tri-annual Race to the End of the Race, done against the clock rather than specifically racing someone. You have to do it twice, first disguised as Homestar, where you proceed to make him look really bad, and then again after "cheating up" the track in order to make it easier for the decidedly un-athletic Strong Bad.

    Eastern RPG 
  • Chrono Trigger has Johnny, that cool transforms-into-a-vehicle cyborg in the future. You have to beat him in a race in the main quest.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy VII has the chocobo races at the Gold Saucer. You have to win one as part of the main storyline, but after that it opens up as a way to make MGP and win useful items.
    • Final Fantasy XII has a race against Rikken, Raz and Eliza in The Port at Balfonheim. You only have to race him once (and that's only if you want him to tell you about a mark to be hunted - you don't even have to win), but the more races you win, the more prizes you get. You can get a total of 100 prizes, after which Rikken will finally admit that you are the fastest in Ivalice. Most of the prizes are utterly useless, but some of the later ones give you loot to make new stuff at the Bazaar. Just like the Naruto example above, you run by hitting Square and Circle rapidly.
    • Final Fantasy IX has a race where you race Hippaul as Vivi near the start of the game, when playing as Vivi (though if you miss it, you can go back and do it as Eiko later, when you get free access to Alexandria). It's another one where you mash Square and Circle to run. It's completely unnecessary, though participating in it will trigger an extra Mognet letter (describing an "amazing sprinter"), and if you win 80 times or more, the letter will name Vivi as the "amazing sprinter" (otherwise it will say the sprinter's name is Hippaul).
    • Final Fantasy X features the Chocobo race; those goddamn butterflies.
  • In Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, one of the minigames in the Disney Town world is a Mario Kart-ish racing game. It's generally disliked because The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard and the first race course must be completed when playing Terra in order to clear that world.
  • The Pokémon Dream World has Sky Race. Guide Pelipper through the course, picking up water energy symbols and avoiding clouds and electric energy, which slow you down.
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon has Dragon Kart, which is very much inspired by Mario Kart. Ichiban and competitors race through the sectioned-off roads of Ijincho in minituraized karts, using pickups like rocket launchers and machine guns to get ahead of the pack.

    Fighting Game 
  • Mortal Kombat: Armageddon features a minigame called "Motor Kombat." It's separate from the rest of the game, which is probably a good thing — although it's a surprisingly elaborate Kart clone.

    First Person Shooter 
  • Ashes: Afterglow has not just one, but two unrelated ones, in the same Hub Level no less.
    • In Prosperity, there is a beast racing ring Scav can compete in. Winning first prize nets him a crowbar with a golden finish.
    • The nuclear site has a functioning arcade machine. Playing it to the end nets you a collectible.note 
  • Halo: The "Maw" Warthog run in Halo: Combat Evolved, and the final escape in Halo 3. Some of the games also have multiplayer races, and Halo 5: Guardians has a hidden "Halo Kart" Easter Egg on the level "Evacuation" when playing 4-player co-op.

  • A non-video game example, but Freeway Fighter have a couple of racing stages you can partake. The first have you trying to win a can of petrol against your opponent's Ferrari (which seems redundant, since you'll be wasting petrol for the race anyway) while the second instance you're racing for the rights to pass a valley by a trio of punks who claims they "own the place" (lose the race, or refuse, and you'll be dragged into a Vehicular Combat scenario).

  • Guild Wars has Rollerbeetle Racing, a Mario Kart-style affair where the players are transformed into the titular beetles and race against each other, using various power-ups along the way. It's only available during three festival events.
  • Guild Wars 2:
    • There is one during the Bazaar of Four Winds. The movement buffs from the race were also used to move around the associated festival ground.
    • With the launch of Path of Fire, a full mount system was added to the game along with races. A race was also added to each of the holiday events, partially to promote the vanity skins being sold by the in-game store.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic has the occasional swoop racing event. You have different goals during the race depending on which team you race for: doing stunts for the crowd, blowing things up, or just going really fast.
  • World of Warcraft has two race routes on Darkmoon Island. Each route is littered with traps, power-ups, and hostile sentries. To increase replayability, there are four different mounts that can be used for the race, each with its own unique set of powers.

    Party Game 
  • Go Vacation: every piece of Gear you can use to explore the overworld has a racing minigame associated with it. This means you can race everything from horses to AT Vs to snow tubes!
  • The Mario Party games have featured several of these over their run. There is even one that is a Shout-Out to Mario Kart in 9.
    • Mario Party:
      • The minigame Slot Car Derby has all characters race through slot cars in a sky-high toy racetrack. The goal is to be the first to finish four laps around the track, but if you go too fast for too long, you'll spin out.
      • The minigame Piranha Pursuit is a unique 1-vs.-3 variant where one player has to flee from a hungry Piranha Plant while riding a skateboard in an obstacle course; the other three players, suspended atop a moving cloud, pour rain onto the Plant (by stomping the cloud) to give it a boost so it can reach its target before the goal line. The more water the Plant receives, the more it'll grow.
      • The minigame Bobsled Run is a 2-vs.-2 sliding race that takes place in an underground icy course. The teams have to reach the goal by driving a sled vehicle. Some parts of the borders are unprotected, so if a team falls down they'll be disqualified (but in that case, the other team still has to reach the goal; if they fall as well, the minigame ends in a draw and nobody wins).
      • In the minigame Desert Dash, two teams race in a straight course while avoiding the stomps of a Thwomp. In each team, one of the players has to move a step by tilting the contro, stick to the left, while the other does by tilting it to the right (and as they do so, they must take turns, so mutual timing is key to reach the goal quickly).
    • Mario Party 2:
      • Slot Car Derby makes a return from the first game, and is played the same way (the players drive slot cars in a toy-made racetrack). The minigame now comes in three variations, each being longer than the last: The first has a bean-shaped layout, the second has a C-shaped form, and the third has a cloverleaf-styled shape.
      • The minigame Sky Pilots has two teams of players race against each other in the skies by driving planes. In each team, one player moves the stick up and down to flap the wings, while the other moves it left and right to steer the plane. They must avoid the cannonballs shot from certain spots, as they can stun them (which makes them lose a lot of precious time). Passing through the rainbow-colored rings will boost their speed. The duo that makes it into the goal first wins.
      • Played with in the minigame Day at the Races. Each player has to choose a mook and root for it, as the race is performed by mooks and not by the main characters. Each mook has a strength and a weakness, but ultimately the race is a gamble.
      • After purchasing all minigames from Woody (which is only possible after clearing Mini-Game Coaster), he will offer you a secret single-player minigame called Driver's Ed. In it, the player has to drive in a training road delimited by transit cones, and burst the bubbles in the order signaled by the numbers written in them; they must complete the lap in under 1 minute. The minigame has five courses in total.
    • Mario Party 3:
      • The minigame Water Whirled has the characters drive motorboats to race across an enclosed water racetrack. Each player has to keep an eye on their speed as well as their coordination, as going either too slow or too fast will mess with their control. It's required for a player to complete five laps to win.
      • The minigame Ridiculous Relay has one player flying across the skies while dodging Bullet Bills and flying Galoombas (they can steer their glider with the Control Stick). The other three characters traverse a river in relay form, as each of them sails a third of the river's length: The first player rows a boat shaped like a Koopa Shell, the second operates a Skeeter-shaped legged tank, and the third drives a motorboat shaped like a Bullet Bill (the control scheme varies in all three cases). If the solo player reaches their goal first, they win; if the third player of the opposing trio reaches first, then the whole trio wins.
      • The minigame Thwomp Pull has one player race against the other three in a snowy racetrack. The solo player is using a sled that is being moved by three Thwomps, and has to press the correct button in each step to make one of the Thwomps move forward (each Thwomp moves with a specific button, but only the button shown on screen can be pressed, so only one Thwomp can move at a time). The other three characters are using a much wider sled that also moves with the help of three Thwomps, but each player is responsible for pressing their designated button when the moment requires it to make their Thwomp move forward, so the trio has to employ good coordination and reflexes to avoid falling behind the solo player.
      • The minigame Rockin' Raceway takes place in a wooden hippodrome. Characters are riding rocking horses whose speed can be increased with orange carrot panels, but will slow down with blue ones (the panels' color will swap periodically). The first player to complete half a lap wins.
      • The minigame Motor Rooter has two dueling characters race against each other in the interior of a pipe. They're driving hovercrafts shaped like Koopa Shells, and along the way they can find dash panels that increase their speed, but also Amps whose electric barriers briefly stun them (thus slowing them down). The first character to reach the goal wins; but if nobody reaches there after 60 seconds, then it will end in a draw.
    • Mario Party 4:
      • In the minigame Mario Medley, the four players have to race three laps in a swimming pool, and each lap requires performing a different type of stroke that requires a specific button input: Breaststroke in the first lap (by tapping A and B simultaneously), Backstroke in the second (by alternating between L and R), and Crawl in the third (by alternating between A and B). Players must keep an eye on their stamina meters, or else they'll get tired and lose a lot of speed. Whoever completes all laps first wins; but if no one completes the race after five minutes, the minigame ends in a draw.
      • The minigame Mario Speedwagons has all players participate in a drag race. Each character has to drive their own top-speed dragster and attempt to be the first to reach the goal and win the minigame. The race is short, but it's important for a player to keep an eye on the gear numbers, as they indicate the exact moments when the car's gears have to be shifted as speed is accumulated, for which timing is important (and the required amount is quite strict too).
      • The minigame Right Oar Left? has two teams of players race in the river of a dark tunnel while riding a Dorrie-shaped boat (which equipped with a lamp in the front to see what's ahead). They move by using paddles, with each player in a duo moving those of a specific side, so coordination is key. They must also avoid stalagmites and the fire breath of Bowser Statues, as being hit will make them waste time. The first team to reach the goal wins, but if neither manages to get there after five minutes, the minigame ends in a draw.
    • Mario Party 5:
      • The minigame Later, Skater has all characters skate within a ring-shaped ice course. Whoever completes five laps first wins.
      • The minigame Curvy Curbs has one player drive a cart through a narrow road in a toy-made racetrack, while the other three players are jointly driving three smaller carts tied like train wagons. If a cart hits the road's border, it'll be stunned for a brief while, which becomes a big problem for the trio as they must exercise a lot of coordination to stand a chance againt the solo player (who only has to worry about their own movements). Whoever get(s) into the goal first win(s).
      • The minigame Submarathon has two pairs of characters driving each a Cheep Cheep-shaped submarine. In each team, one character drives the submarine but eventually gets fatigued, so they give the helm to the other character and recovers while resting, and eventually viceversa. The pair that makes it to the goal first wins.
    • Mario Party 6:
      • The minigame Gondola Glide has two teams of characters ride gondola lifts across a cableway that goes through various biomes. In each section, they have to repeatedly tap a specific button: A in the spring landscapes, and B in the autumn ones. The first duo to reach the goal (which takes place in a winter area) wins, but if neither of them manages to get there after five minutes, the minigame ends in a tie.
      • The minigame Tricky Tires has all four characters drive six-wheeled vehicles across a temple filled with several obstacles (Thwomps that attempt to crush the drivers, Whomps that attempt to obstruct the way, pillars in front of lava pits, and rotating toll booth bars). Each driver has to coordinate the movement of the left tires (with the Control Stick) and the right ones (with the C Stick) to properly drive. The character who reaches the goal first wins.
      • The minigame Rocky Road is a special case. Here, two teams of characters are helping a driver (a Shy Guy) reach a destination; the problem is that the road (which goes through the edge of a hill facing a coast) is filled with boulders, so when they approach one or more the driver has to stop and the escorting duo has to destroy the obstruction with punches and kicks (friendly fire applies here, so if one player hits the other they'll stun them and waste precious time). With the boulders(s) demolished, the two characters hop on the car and the driver resumes the trip until the next boulder(s) approach, repeating the process. The duo that manages to help their driver reach the destination first wins.
      • The minigame Throw Me A Bone has all characters ride Chain Chomps in a rocky desert, and the objective for each player is to guide their Chain Chomp to the goal by throwing bones at the floor. There are many tall rocks and pillars along the way, and clashing into one will stun both the Chomp and the player temporarily, making them waste precious time. Whoever reaches the goal first wins.
      • The minigame Full Tilt has two dueling characters race through a mechanical course that tilts periodically (hence the minigame's Punny Name). If a player falls down, Lakitu will put them back to the course but time will be wasted (luckily, the bridge at the middle acts as a checkpoint). Whoever makes it to the goal first wins.
    • Mario Party Advance:
      • The minigame Chomp Walker has a solo player ride a Chain Chomp across a grassland racetrack. Along the way, there are bones which can keep the Chomp distracted and thus have to be avoided, as well as steaks that give it a boost of energy so it moves rapidly forward. Each time the player and the Chomp pass by a checkpoint, extra time is added to the limit, so they can go as far as possible and set a new record. In Shroom City mode, the player has to take the Chomp to a specific goal line under a time limit.
      • The minigame Sled Slide has a solo player drive a sled to race through a slippery course. Since they aren't racing against anyone, the challenge consists of performing three laps as quickly as possible to achieve a record. In Shroom City mode, the player must perform a lap in 30 seconds to win.
    • Mario Party 7:
      • The minigame Fun Run has all four players race in a regal tower's spiral racetrack that goes gradually downward. Along the way, they have to dodge Spiny Shells, trapdoors and punching walls; being stunned by a Spiny Shell or falling down due to a trapdoor or a punching wall will make them waste time. Whoever reaches the goal first wins. Interestingly, the time of day transitions gradually as each player progresses, culminating with the night showing the moon in its waxing gibbous phase.
      • The minigame Kart Wheeled has all characters race in an infinity-shaped racetrack while driving karts. The objective is to complete five laps, and whoever does so first wins (the key for each player is to avoid clashing against other players or the borders, or else their speed will decrease as a result). If five minutes pass and no one manages to complete the five laps by then, the minigame ends in a tie.
      • There's a Duel minigame named Camp Ukiki. In it, the two dueling characters have to race through an obstacle course located in a jungle. There are no harmful hazards, but the setpieces present require efficiency to be tackled properly. Whoever reaches the goal first wins.
      • The minigame Buzzstormer has two teams of characters race against each other in a plain filled with tall dandelions while riding bumblebee-shaped planes. In each team, the two players have to coordinate their movements to avoid clashing against the dandelions' stems, as that would incapacitate their vehicle and make them waste time. The first team to reach the goal at the end wins.
      • The DK minigame A Bridge Too Short has a solo character race against Donkey Kong across a course with pairs of bridges. In each pair, one bridge is safe to cross while the other breaks when someone starts to walk onto it, forcing them to choose the other and waste time. The playe must win the race to win a prize.
      • The minigame Synch-row-nicity has four teams of players racing across a sea by driving gondolas. In each team, one character has to move the left oar while the other has to move the right one. They must coordinate their oar swings to move the vehicle forward, and the better the rhythm and timing the faster it'll move. The first duo to reach the goal wins.
    • Mario Party 8:
      • The minigame Rowed To Victory is a special case that doesn't involve a traditional racetrack. Two pairs of characters are placed within a wide circular lake in the forest whose goal lies at the very center. Each pair is driving a rowboat, and have to synchronize their oar swings to move forward to the center whule avoiding debris like stray tree branches and rocks. The team to reach the center first wins.
      • The minigame Kartastrophe has all players drive go-karts to race across a simply circuit similar to those of Mario Kart. Whoever completes two laps first wins.
      • Moped Mayhem is an unlockable minigame that can only be played in the Extras Zone. Players drive mopeds around a track for three laps alongside 29 other racers, with the objective of placing as high as possible.
      • The minigame Cosmic Slalom has two dueling characters drive hovercrafts to race across a large tube installed in a space station. There are electric fences along the way that have to be avoided, as they temporarily incapacitate whoever touches them, wasting time. Whoever reaches the goal first wins.
    • Mario Party DS:
      • The minigame Domino Effect has all characters hop between planks positioned next to each other in a row. A specific button has to be pressed to jump onto each next plank, and pressing another button will make the player hesitate and waste time. Shortly after the minigame begins, the first plank will fall down, making the ones next to it fall one by one in a domino pattern (hence the minigame's name); a player who gets caught by this will fall down and be disqualified. Whoever eaches the goal line first wins; if all players get caught by the domino fall or reach the goal line at the same time, the minigame ends in a tie.
      • The minigame Pedal Pushers has all characters driving go-karts across a toy racetrack. Each player has to rapidly press the pedals in an alternating sequence (the left pedal is controlled with the D pad and the right one with the lettered buttons) to drive quickly, but has to reduce the rhythm when driving over icy layers to avoid losing balance and getting stunned for a brief period. Whoever completes the lap first wins, but if five minutes pass without anyone managing to do that or if two players in Duel mode get there at the same time, the minigame ends in a tie.
      • The minigame Twist and Route has all players driving windup cars across a wooden floor. Each player has to twist the windup keys with the stylus in the touch screen to make their car move forward, and then steer it with the D pad or the A and B buttons. Along the way, they'll find obstacles like notepads, clock plates, nails, pens, cogs, etc. Whoever reaches the goal line first wins; but if five minutes pass and no one gets there, or if two characters do so at the same time in Duel mode, the minigame ends in a tie.
      • In the minigame Raft Riots, the players are driving motorized rafts to race through an aquatic circuit with orange buoys that serve as obstacles. There are multi-colored rafts that boost a driver's speed. The first player to complete a lap wins; but if five minutes pass and no one manages to complete the race, or everyone finishes at the same time, the minigame ends in a tie.
      • In the minigame Soil Toil, two teams of characters are each driving a dual-driver car to race through an area with mud patches where onions and carrots are being harvested. Each driver has to spin their side's front wheel (done with the stylus in the touch screen) to advance, though balance is important so the car doesn't merely steer into a side. The first team to reach the goal line wins.
    • Mario Party 9:
      • Speeding Bullets places the players in rideable Bullet Bills with no brakes. The players must race to the end of a course while avoiding obstacles such as Warp Pipes and Piranha Plants.
      • Snow Go places the players in snowmobiles and challenges them to be the first to complete five laps around a small oval track. Additionally, two Mr. Blizzards in the middle of the course will throw snowballs that freeze any players they hit, and they will need to shake the Wii Remote in order to escape. Additionally, halfway around the track is a patch of thick snow that can only be avoided by using a ramp to jump over it.
    • Mario Party: Island Tour:
      • The minigame No-Traction Action has the players drive karts in an oval racetrack whose floor is not only slippery, but becomes even harder to deal with due to the poor mobility and control of the karts themselves. The first character to complete three laps wins.
      • The minigame Paddle Skedaddle has the characters drive canoes to travel across a creek that in turn flows across a mountain, then a desert, then a grassland and finally a beach (where the creek leads to). The first player to cross the goal line wins.
      • In the minigame Quickest Cricket, the characters are riding grasshopper-shaped vehicles that move around with leaps, like the insects they're modeled after. When the minigame starts, the characters have to hop forward to reach the goal while avoiding rocks, Piranha Plants and Wigglers. The first character to finish the race wins.
    • Mario Party 10:
      • Rapid River Race places the players in hoverboats and challenges them to reach the end of a course before anyone else. The players can increase their speed by pressing the accelerate button, but cannot slow down on their own. As they speed through the course, they have to switch between three different lanes to avoid Urchins that will bring them to a stop if they hit them.
      • In Ice Slide, You Slide, players run down any icy racetrack toward a finish line. The racers have to jump over rolling snowballs and slide under Flipruses to avoid losing speed as they dash toward the finish line.
    • Mario Party: Star Rush:
      • In Corkscrew Climb, four players run around a spiral path on the outside of a tower in a single file line. The catch is that Amps appear throughout the path, and the players closer to the front of the line will have less time to react to their appearances. If a player gets hit by an Amp, they will fall off the tower before reappearing at the back of the line. Once the players reach the top of the tower, placements are decided by the order in which they reach the top.
      • Blowboat Battle challenges the players to guide a small toy sailboat to the end of a course before anyone else. Players blow into the 3DS microphone to use an air pump to blow wind that pushes their boat forward, and they use the Circle Pad to change the wind's direction to steer around floating beach balls and toy Cheep Cheeps that get in their way.
      • In Jump to Conclusion, players race to be the first to jump to the top of a 45-step staircase. They can jump either one or two steps at a time, but there are Piranha Creepers that inhabit certain steps that will stun any players that jump on them.
      • Dodge Fuzzy, Get Dizzy places each player atop a lift powered by a screw, and they must use the touch screen to spin the screw to raise the lift to the top as fast as possible, while avoiding Fuzzies that get in the way.
      • The boss minigame Bowser's Space Race has players pilot hover scooters carrying a bomb, and they race down a series of tracks to reach Bowser to toss the bomb at him to damage him and score points, all the while dodging a variety of attacks he sends their way. The players want to get to the end of the track as fast as they can, as the first person to reach the end will have a chance to grab a Mega Mushroom that lets their bomb do more damage and score more points.
    • Mario Party: The Top 100: This being one of the most recurring types of minigames in the series, The Top 100 brings back several of them. Thanks to this, the game features a dedicated mode called Racing Pack, which consists entirely of minigames where the objective is to be the first player to reach a goal.
    • Super Mario Party:
      • In Trike Harder, four players ride small tricycles and have to pedal their way to the finish line, which is only a short distance in front of them. To pedal their trikes forward, players have to make pedaling motions with their Joy-Con.
      • In Barreling Along, each player stands atop a barrel, and must be the first to roll the barrel to the finish line at the end of the course. Players hold their Joy-Con sideways, and tilt forward to roll forward, and tilt to the sides to steer. The course includes obstacles that slow down the racers, such as water puddles and thick grass, but there are also speed boosters that can be run over.
      • In Rowboat Uprising, two teams of two players, along with all of their respective allies board a raft and must row to the finish line ahead before the rival team. Each player can only paddle on one side of the raft, so they must coordinate with their teammates to steer the boat around obstacles, such as buoys and a mechanical Cheep Cheep.
    • Mario Party Superstars: Several racing-based minigames from across the Mario Party series make a return in this game: Piranha's Pursuit (1), Bobsled Run (1), Handcar Havoc (1), Slot Car Derby (2), Sky Pilots (2), Rockin' Raceway (3), Vine With Me (3), Motor Rooter (3), Trace Race (4), Later Skater (5), Tube It Or Lose It (5), Rocky Road (6), and Rapid River Race (10). There are other minigames that technically count as races as well, but they operate under other tropes or concepts.
  • WarioWare:
    • WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$: The VS. minigame Hurdle pits Orbulon and Dr. Crygor in an athletic race against each other. One player controls the former by jumping with L, while the other controls the latter by jumping with R (the two characters run automatically). Besides fences that have to be jumped on (as clashing against one will make the affected character fall down and waste time), there are also puddles of mud that slow down the running speed, though tapping the player-designated button rapidly will make their character escape from it more quickly. The first player to win three races is the champion.
    • WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Party Game$!: One of the multiplayer sub-games is the Paper Plane minigame from the GBA version reimagined as a 4-player racing game. Each player controls a plane, and has to steer around walls to reach the goal before anyone else. Crashing into walls does not eliminate the player, but does stop them in their tracks temporarily as their plane reassembles.

    Platform Game 
  • Banjo-Kazooie:
    • The original game has you racing Boggy the polar bear throughout his world on a sled, and later, with Kazooie's Sprint Shoes.
    • Banjo-Tooie features a bundle of races through two characters; Canary Mary and Mr. Fit. The former appears in Glitter Gulch Mine and Cloud Cuckooland with races that take place within the levels but strictly on rails, the latter also in the floating level with a pair of short A-to-B races.
  • Blender Bros has several varieties, all called Cosmo Speeder sections. While the game is normally a 2D platformer, it becomes a Super Mario Kart-esque racer in certain levels, where you must race against the clock to collect keys to disarm a time bomb. You can also access a multiplayer game where you race against other players in the Minigame Zone.
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day has one in the Uga Buga chapter, where Conker has to pursue three cavemen and kill them to retrieve his stolen money. This part is also available as a more traditional racing game in multiplayer.
  • Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped has the motorcycle races, where reaching first is required to win the Crystals that help Crash advance through the game (except in the secret level Area 51, where reaching first place instead rewards him with a Gem). There's also the level Rings of Power, an aerial race whose disputed prize is a Gem.
  • Donkey Kong:
    • Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest:
      • "Screech's Sprint" has Squawks race against Screech through a field of bramble to get to the Flying Krock.
      • In the Game Boy Advance version, you can play a racing game with Expresso at Cranky's Cabin, using feathers collected throughout the game to boost his stats.
    • Several examples in Donkey Kong 64:
      • The large tree in Fungi Forest contains races for Lanky and Diddy in this fashion, with Lanky racing a rabbit and Diddy an owl. Aside from their "Barrel" power-ups, they simply go around the glade.
      • Tiny has two races against a toy car, in a cart just like his. She gets Nitro Boosts and missiles to use against him, and they go for several laps.
      • Both Lanky and Tiny also have a race each against a beetle, which requires you to collect coins as well as beat him to the end. Also, the courses he has are really perilous.
      • The eponymous Donkey Kong races against a seal in a motorboat race in Gloomy Galleom.
  • Epic Mickey has a time attack in the Mean Street where you have to follow the light from Point A to Point B within the time limit to get a one of the collectable items
  • Ginger Beyond The Crystal: Ginger can accept racing challenges from characters, and must race to collect a series of blue lights in a specific order before time runs out.
  • A Hat in Time features a race in Mafia Town against a balloon-owning Mafia goon. Hat Kid herself has to race him on a firework, and Pass Through the Rings to get a Nitro Boost. As the race is a shout-out to the particularly unforgiving Diddy Kong Racing, it's extremely challenging.
  • Jak and Daxter has this throughout the series, not counting Jak X: Combat Racing, which is a Racing Game in and of itself. Particularly, Jak II: Renegade has a race around Haven City against Errol, as well as three consecutive races at the racetrack (the last of which is also against Errol, as well as other generic racers). All four are plot-required.
  • Lilo & Stitch 2: Hämsterviel Havoc has a few Mode 7-styled levels where Stitch must drive the X-Buggy from point A to point B against the clock while fending off UGF Troopers.
  • Monsters, Inc.: Scream Team: After receiving all bronze medals in a world, the player can challenge Randall in a footrace where they must reach the finish line first while collecting a certain amount of tokens.
  • The 2007 game based in the animated version of Mr. Bean has a racing minigame which puts you driving the titular Mini Cooper MkI against Irma who she drives her Reliant Robin.
  • To earn the Levitation power in Psychonauts, you must win a race including speed boosts, unusual obstacles and hidden alternate paths.
  • The early Ratchet & Clank games featured a variety of these:
    • Ratchet & Clank (2002) has two hoverboard races, both of which are necessary to advance the plot. Ratchet & Clank (2016), being a re-imagining of the first game, includes them as well.
    • Going Commando has two types of races: Hoverbike races, which are a mix of standard racing and combat, and spaceship races, where you must fly through a set of rings while maintaining first place. Only one hoverbike race is plot-important, as the rest are simply there to give extra bolts and one additional item, while the spaceship races are entirely optional giving platinum bolts to players who complete them.
    • Deadlocked brings back hoverbike races and introduces 'Puma' races as challenge missions, however both types involve only racing through rings and not getting first place unlike previous entries.
    • Size Matters has skyboard races, which function almost identically to hoverboard races. Two races are necessary to advance the plot, with additional races available that give the player extra bolts.
    • Additionally, both Up Your Arsenal and A Crack in Time were planned to have racing minigames that ultimately ended up being scrapped.
  • The first, second, and fourth levels of the SNES Rocketeer game are airplane races.
  • Rocket: Robot on Wheels has lots of vehicles, but surprisingly, only one race in which you race the Dune Dog, the standard "kart" vehicle, against a corn car.
  • Scaler features a race taking place in Desollem and featuring Scaler's Krock form. In addition to having a couple of races versus an AI opponent, there are also a couple of time trials, and a couple of 'destroy X-amount of cocoons' challenges.
  • Sly Cooper:
    • Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus has the racing missions which are known for their high difficulty, broken controls, and the constant nagging notion that Sly and his friends are thieves who steal everything else.
    • Sly 2: Band of Thieves has a few (three) chase scenes which involve Sly chasing after Neyla (usually so he can prove his ability to keep up with her so she'll share information with him).
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Twinkle Park Circuit in the first Sonic Adventure.
    • All of Tails' stages in the first Sonic Adventure. Most of them take place in the same areas as other characters' stages, but with differences (such as aerial speed boost rings for Tails to fly through). Speed Highway branches off in its own direction.
    • Sonic Adventure 2 Battle has two racing levels and an unlockable multiplayer racing game.
    • Both Sonic Adventure games have Chao races, where you can raise your own Chao in the Chao Garden and have it compete in races. The animals and fruits you give your Chao will increase its stats.
    • All of the Special Stages in Sonic Rush Adventure involve Sonic racing Johnny on a jet ski. Collecting rings and performing tricks will fill up Sonic's boost gauge, which he will need to use to stay ahead of Johnny, as well as push away floating mines. Johnny cannot be hurt himself, but can damage Sonic by dropping bombs and firing missiles in addition to using his own boost gauge. Upgrading the jet ski is a necessity in order to obtain the final two Chaos Emeralds.
    • Sonic Colors Ultimate has Rival Rush, which involves Sonic racing Metal Sonic to the goal ring. To access these races, you'll need to collect enough red rings in the stage's acts. Winning these races will earn Sonic a hefty amount of coins and access to certain items in the Options Satellite.
  • Spyro: Year of the Dragon has a few examples as well:
    • Every speedway in the game has a racing minigame where you have to race the speedway's inhabitants for a dragon egg.
    • Both Lost Fleet and the final level Super Bonus Round have you racing on the skateboard/snowboard. Lost Fleet puts you against rhynocs and later Hunter while the Super Bonus Round has you race against the "Sasquatch Six" which are a team of yetis on snow-discs.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario 64 has you race against a big penguin in a precarious slide. There's also Koopa the Quick, who challenges you in a foot race.
    • Super Mario Sunshine has Il Piantissimo, a strange man in a Pianta costume, who occasionally challenges Mario to a race within the stage.
    • Super Mario Galaxy has two races against a Boo, one against a group of penguins, and four against Cosmic Mario.
    • Super Mario Galaxy 2 has two levels (aka, the Fluzzard flying levels). In both levels, the first mission is just to reach the end, the second is to beat the AI opponents to the end of the course.
    • One of the Mystery House levels in Super Mario 3D World (Mystery House Mad Dash) consists of getting stars through various consecutive obstacle races.
    • Super Mario Odyssey:
      • The game has the Bound Bowl Grand Prix, celebrated in the Snow Kingdom. Since only Shiverians are allowed to participate, Mario has to possess one of them with the help of Cappy in order to play.
      • The Koopa Freerunning challenges, where Mario has to compete in each kingdom against a group of Koopa Troopas in a race. In each kingdom, the challenge has two versions: The normal version which is available as soon as the story missions are complete, and a harder rematch available after the game is cleared for the first time.
    • In Something Else, Luigi has to beat the green apple vine in a race to get the secret exit of Vile Vine. If he loses, the door to the secret exit is eaten by the vine, but the regular exit can be accessed.
  • One of the minigames in Tiny Toon Adventures: Babs' Big Break is a racing mini-game, where your character can choose to race against Bookworm (slowest), Sweetie (moderate), or Little Beeper (fastest). tapping the A and B buttons simultaneously repeatedly makes your character run. Outracing the opponent will earn you a bonus.
  • In the Toy Story 2 Licensed Game, the first two levels have missions where Buzz races RC. The first is in the garage of Andy's House, and the second is in the garden of Andy's Neighborhood.note  The same game also has a race against a UFO in Al's Space Land, where Buzz rides across zip lines. All three of these races reward Buzz with a Pizza Planet Token if he wins.
  • Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 2: Bush Rescue has a surprisingly fleshed-out kart mode. While you can participate in the races in-game for some prizes, a fully multiplayer version of the kart mini-game—with lots of racers, several tracks, and items—it available from the title screen from the get-go.
  • Wario: Master of Disguise has an A-to-B race against Carpaccio. He is aware that he stands no chance at beating Wario in a physical battle, and instead challenges him to a race. Though he starts out walking at a mockingly slow pace, Wario's path is rigged with all sorts of obstacles to hinder him, and Carpaccio will begin to sprint at a surprisingly fast speed once the end is near. Even after you realize you need to think like Wario to win (as in, cheat), it's quite difficult.
  • Yoshi's Crafted World has "Solar Zoom", which involves Yoshi riding a solar-powered car, and racing against Shy Guys in their own race cars. The car gains speed in sunlight and loses speed in the shadows, and running to the left or the right sides the solar panels changes lanes.

    Racing Game 
  • A different genre of racing minigame within a racing game: F-Zero GX has three missions in Story Mode; Goroh the Vengeful Samurai, Rescue Jody, and Black Shadow's Trap.

    Real Time Strategy 
  • Brütal Legend has several sidequests where you race against Fletus the ugly demon in your Druid Plow.
  • Warcraft III has a custom map that comes with a racing minigame.

    Simulation Game 
  • In Roots Of Pacha, you can participate in races once you get your mount. As you race from start to finish, you have to avoid the obstacles while using your Sprint ability wisely — sprinting gives you a massive speed boost, but it can't be used on rough terrain while you're more likely to crash while using it, stopping you for a few seconds.
  • The swoop bike chase in Shadows of the Empire, and the Skyhopper bonus mission in Rogue Squadron.

    Third Person Shooter 
  • Jet Force Gemini has two racing minigames: The first is in Mizar's Palace, and to participate in it Juno or Vela has to transform into a Drone insect; reaching first place nets one of the 12 ship parts necessary to reach the final level. The second minigame is a Game Within a Game available in Ichor, playable through an arcade found in the game room of a discoteque (once again, the character has to transform into a Drone insect), and it's optional; if the Floyd mission in Ichor is beaten with a Gold or Expert medal, a chip will be earned and installed within the arcade to play a harder version of the racing minigame; completing both versions will make them available for multiplayer, while breaking their respective records unlocks the multiplayer-exclusive Greenwood Village racetrack (from Diddy Kong Racing).

    Western RPG 

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • The second PSX The Dukes of Hazzard game has a racing mission.
  • Grand Theft Auto:
    • One with multiple vehicles. One in The Ballad of Gay Tony requires you to parachute from a helicopter to a boat, race the boat, then switch to a car for the last leg of the race.
    • Grand Theft Auto 2: A mission for the SRS Scientists involves racing a remote-controlled full-size car on a course on their compound, which is otherwise inaccessible.
  • The Simpsons Hit & Run has several races on every level, of three types: time trial in the part of the level you're on (hosted by Milhouse), small part of the map you're on with several laps (hosted by Nelson), and A-to-B (hosted by Ralph).note  Completing all the races in each level grants you an extra vehicle, and if you find all the collectible cards from a specific level, you unlock a bonus top-down view race based on the level, like old 2D games, complete with MIDI soundtrack, which is playable from the main menu.