Bird Kart

Bird Kart is a game by Team Zenden for the Nintendo 64, released on 9 December 2021. It’s a demo for a driving game where you play as a bird against other players in go-karts. This game was made for the 2021 64brew Game jam. It is also referred to as just “Game” in most places.

You can download the ROM from the download page for this homebrew game by using the password drivinbirb or see the source code on Github and download from Drive.

Bird Kart style and gameplay

The gameplay in Bird Kart is fairly straightforward. It’s a racing game where you play as a bird in a car against four other birdies. The course is circular, but there is not lap counter or timer so you can’t really tell who is winning.

You can accelerate brake and turn your car. You even get a nice little reverse-view when moving in reverse, which is nice. Some of the curves in the track are pretty tight so you can’t just keep pressing the A button all day without running into some walls.

This is an unfinished game, having only one stage and no end condition so it could be considered more of a tech/engine demo than anything else.

‘Control’ theme

The ideas for the theme are not apparent in the submitted version of the game, but they did have some ambitious ideas.

We didn’t really know how to interpret it at first, as “control” is very broad. We started prototyping and came up with and idea about controlling and hacking doors to escape monsters but we unfortunately realised that it was too ambitious, so we scrapped that and returned to an idea we had for another project we scrapped for DS.

The “control” aspect we aimed for this game was that you’d complete small warioware-esque minigames during the course to boost your player. Miluaces had a humorous idea prior to this that involved the players being drunk, making it hard to control. You’d have to play through the minigames to essentially sober up. We wish we had time to o through with that!


Bird Kart was made by Team Zenden, which consists of:

  • Zest – Game engineer
  • Squiddy – Game engineer
  • Miluaces – Artist

Conclusion and review

Being unfinished, it’s hard to make an accurate judgement on Bird Kart. The game works, you can play it and it does play pretty well for a game that’s incomplete. Even though there’s no target, I still had some fun riding through the game and completing laps, it was kind of relaxing. Also seeing the AI struggle with going around the barrier when they exit the track is pretty funny.

I like the idea that Team Zenden had with the game – to make little minigames that you could play to boost your kart. I suppose it would be like with Mario Kart, except that instead of just driving into an item block, you play a microgame.

That said, it’s a shame that Bord Kart was never completed, the concept is solid and what they did end up building is pretty solid for what they ended up with. I just hope that they end up fleshing it out a bit to give the game a bit more of a sense of purpose.

Articles across the web

Bird Kart is a homebrew game for the Nintendo 64 by Team Zenden where you drive around a race kart in your little bird-mobile.
Article published on N64 Squid


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