Legally Distinct Not-Bloodborne Kart Out Now, Looks Incredible

Legally Distinct Not-Bloodborne Kart Out Now, Looks Incredible

We may never get a sequel to Bloodborne or a PC port, but we do have the next best thing: a PSX-style kart racer inspired by it. Nightmare Kart, which has raced down a long and winding road to get to this point, is finally available and it’s entirely free.

Beginning as Bloodborne Kart some years ago, Nightmare Kart faced some setbacks earlier this year when, just as it was about to launch, Sony finally intervened in its development. After developer Lilith Walther received demands from Sony that she scrub the game of any Bloodborne branding (not like Sony’s doing anything with it), she spent several months tweaking it before debuting it once again under its new moniker.

Now that it’s out on, with Steam to follow pretty soon after, Bloodborne fans can rejoice with this legally distinct kart racer that appears to blow the wheels off the wagon. I’ve been keeping up with the development of the game, which began as an April Fools Joke, out of the corner of my eye, and it has grown in ways I couldn’t have imagined. It is not only replete with characters, vehicles, and tracks, but also features split-screen multiplayer.

The thing that’s really blowing my mind, though, is the fact that Nightmare Kart also appears to have boss fights in the vein of its chief inspiration! The kick-ass launch trailer begins as a boss named Father Gregory falls off their vehicle, grabs a gatling gun, and unloads on the player as they circle them. The fully featured campaign apparently has multiple boss fights, and I’m excited to figure out which encounters from one of my favorite games ever made the leap.

Nightmare Kart might be the tonal opposite of Bloodborne, but it couldn’t feel more like a celebration of the beloved title. Walthers, a prolific fan of the game, has already done this once before with her award-winning PSX “demake” of Bloodborne, and her adoration once again comes through in spades. I simply love how faithfully areas like the Astral Clocktower appear to be recreated here, and it goes without saying that the way Nightmare Kart has successfully repurposed much of Bloodborne’s existing UI to make sense for a racing game is a stroke of genius. Everything from “Final Lap” appearing in Bloodborne’s font to the way many of the game’s consumable items appear as pickups is inspired.

Fan games don’t often survive development, and if they do, it’s rare that these litigating corporations let them breathe for long, making Nightmare Kart’s release a small miracle. If you’re picking it up like I am, do throw Walthers and her team a few bucks for making it all possible. Nightmare Kart is technically free, but on platforms like Itch you can still opt to pay the creators, and labors of love like this deserve the support.

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