Crash Team Racing is a multiplayer cart game based on Naughty Dog's Crash Bandicoot character, and draws from the lore of that universe as well as from Crash's friends and enemies for his racing rivals.
Unlike many cart racers game, the game features an open-world hub that links to all the courses. The player can drive around this area to reach different parts of the game.
The game was released for the original PlayStation in 1999 and was later made available for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable as part of the "PSone Classics" series on the PlayStation Network store.
Crash Team Racing opens with a cutscene showing each of the characters in the world of Crash Bandicoot enjoying what they are up to when suddenly they are teleported away. They are all shocked to see themselves gathered in one area, friend and foe alike. Before they have a chance to start attacking each other, a giant screen lights up in front of them, an alien by the name of Nitros Oxide declares that he wants to race the best driver in this world and that if he, Nitros Oxide, wins he will turn the world into a giant parking lot. He says that he doesn't know who the best racer in the land is so he wants everyone to race against each other and he will challenge the winner. Once the player collects of all the Time Relics, CTR Tokens and Crystals, Oxide admits defeat and returns to his home planet.
Adventure mode is the single-player story mode of the game. At the beginning the player chooses one character from the roster and enters an open-world environment. From here the player can access races through warp zones similar to those seen in Crash Bandicoot 3. After the player has finished first in a race they can either go and play unlocked levels or complete Time Trial races or CTR races. Time Trial has the player attempt three laps round the track in a short specific time, the only way to achieve these is to master the quickest paths and smash time crates which stop the counter. In CTR races the player has to collect CTR tokens scattered around the level whilst still completing the race in first place. Finally the other way to get CTR tokens in through challenges in Adventure, the player must speed around the battle levels and collect crystals under a certain time limit. Completing races continues the plot of the game and unlocks more races and environments. After a set amount of races have been completed Boss Races become available from famous bosses in the Crash franchise. Once beaten the Bosses open new environments for the player with new warp zones and challenges. While the player does not need to complete Time Trials and CTR token races they are used to unlock additional characters later in the game.
The following are the boss racers the player will encounter in the Adventure Mode;
The game is spilt up into different five different areas where races are unlocked and played:
Crash Cove, Roo's Tubes, Mystery Caves and Sewer Speedway.
Coco Park, Tiger Temple, Papu's Pyramid and Dingo Canyon.
Blizzard Bluff, Dragon Mines, Polar Pass and Tiny Arena.
N. Gin Labs, Cortex Castle, Hot Air Skyway and Oxide Station.
Slide Coliseum, Turbo Track and bonus races.
As well as racing tracks, battle tracks are also available. These tracks are unlocked by completing cup races. They are utilized in multiplayer where up to 4 people can fight each other in a battle mode.
Skull Rock, Rocky Road, Nitro Court, Rampage Ruins, Basement Level, Parking Lot and The North bowl are the battle tracks available.
Crash Team Racing features fifteen characters, eight of which are unlocked from the start and are available in Adventure mode. These are:
The following are unlockable characters:
- Ripper Roo - Unlocked by winning the Red Gem Cup in Adventure.
- Papu Papu - Unlocked by winning the Green Gem Cup in Adventure.
- Komodo Joe - Unlocked by winning the Blue Gem Cup in Adventure.
- Pinstripe - Unlocked by winning the Yellow Gem Cup in Adventure.
- Dr. Nefarious Tropy - Unlocked by beating all his ghosts in Time Trial.
- Penta Penguin - Unlocked by secret code. At the main menu hold L1 and R1 then press: Down, Right, Triangle, Down, Left, Triangle, Up.
- Fake Crash - Unlocked by winning the Purple Gem Cup in Adventure.
Power-ups can be collected by smashing into crates. Crates marked with a question mark will give the player character a random power-up and spring box crates will give them wumpa fruit.
Wumpa Fruit - When 10 wumpa fruit are collected two things will happen. The player will get an increase in their top speed and it will modify any power-ups to make them stronger e.g. A TNT crate will become a Nitro crate. The player can collect wumpa fruit by smashing spring box crates and also pick up loose wumpa fruit scattered around the track. If the player has wumpa fruit and are hit by an enemy racer or if they fall off the track the number of wumpa fruit they have will decrease.
Uka Uka/Aku Aku - The Voodoo mask provides three different effects to the player for a limited time. A mask will spin around the player and they will receive a noticeable increase in speed, invulnerability to other racer's power ups and the player can also hit other racers to cause them to spin out. When upgraded by wumpa fruit the power up lasts longer. Good characters will receive the Aku Aku mask and bad characters will get the Uka Uka mask, there is no gameplay difference between the masks.
Green and Red Bottles - Green bottles can be dropped behind the player or can be fired forward. If a racer hits a green bottle they will spin out. When upgraded by wumpa fruit a red bottle is obtained instead. The red bottle has a similar effect to the green bottle but it also forms a raincloud over the player that hits it. The player is slowed down and also loses the ability to hop. Red and green bottles can also be used to deflect incoming attacks.
Homing Missiles - Homing missiles will lock on to the nearest racer in front when fired. They will follow racers until they hit their target but can be avoided by obstructing their path with track terrain or using a TNT/Nitro crate to destroy them. When upgraded by wumpa fruit they cause racers to spin out for longer. A triple version of this power up is also available where the racer gets three rockets instead of one from a single pick-up.
TNT and Nitro Crates - A TNT crate can be dropped behind the player's cart to obstruct other racers. If a racer hits a TNT crate it will land on their head and countdown. The racer has three seconds to shake the TNT off before it explodes by hopping up and down. If caught in the TNT blast radius racers will spin out. When upgraded by wumpa fruit a TNT crate becomes a Nitro crate. Nitro crates have the same effect except they lack the delay and explode on contact. TNT/Nitro crates can be used to block incoming attacks.
Bowling Balls - Bowling balls can be fired forwards or backwards. They travel in a straight line and explode on contact with either racers or terrain. They cause racers to spin out when hit and they can also be detonated by pressing circle again after they have been released. When upgraded by wumpa fruit they cause the racer to spin out for longer. A triple power up is also available where the racer gets three bowling balls instead of one.
Warp Orb - Once it has been fired, a warp orb will travel the course ahead of the player's cart and make anyone in the vicinity spin out. When upgraded by wumpa fruit, it lasts longer.
Green and Blue Shields - Green shields when activated will protect the player's cart from a single attack or will eventually fade away if they are not hit. The player can also fire the shield ahead of them like a bowling ball. When upgraded by wumpa fruit the shield turns blue and will last longer.
Timer - When activated it will slow down all other racers to crawling speed for a short time. When upgraded by wumpa fruit the power up lasts longer.
Turbo - A turbo will give the player a prolonged burst of speed like the boost gained from power sliding. When upgraded by wumpa fruit the boost lasts for longer.
As well as the turbo gained from the power up turbo, boost can also be gained from a few different techniques:
Turbo Start - At the beginning of each race it is possible to gain a boost right from the go by timing acceleration with the lights. If the acceleration is timed to the half-way point between the last red light and the green it will result in an instant boost.
Power-sliding Turbos - Pressing and holding the R1 button around a corner will make the player perform a powerslide. When the smoke from the exhaust turns black the player can activate a small turbo by pressing the L1 button. They can do three boosts in one powerslide at a time. This technique is essential to getting the best times on tracks.
Jump Turbos - Jump turbos are performed by hopping off the top of a ramp, hump or ridge and then landing. The boost kicks in once the player lands. The longer they are in the air the more boost they get when they land. Jumping and landing on flat ground is not enough to enact the jump boost.
Spyro 2 Demo
On the main menu screen, if the player types in the cheat code, "Hold L1 R1 and press Down, Circle, Triangle, Triangle, Right" they will unlock a Spyro the Dragon 2: Gateway to Glimmer demo. Both CTR and Spyro 2 were published by Sony Computer Entertainment. This would be continued in other Crash Bandicoot and Spyro games, where demos where offered for cheat codes. This was stopped when Sony dropped both games.