Driller Engine Grand Prix (ドリラーエンジングランドプリー Dorirā Enjin Gurando Purī ), often abbreviated as DEGP or DriEn GP (ドリエンＧＰ DoriEn Jī Pī ), is a series of go-kart racing games developed by Drillimation Studios and published by Namco, based on the popular combat racing sport of Mario Kart. Starting with the first game in 1992, there are eight main series games with a ninth game currently in development, a feature-length film, and dozens of merchandise. The series is named after the game engine of the same name.
After a coin/token is inserted or the player swipes their game card, players choose a game mode and an engine size. Higher engine sizes make the CPU drivers more aggressive and faster. Players then choose a character from the Drillimation universe, all of which are separated into three weight groups: lightweight drivers have fast acceleration but a low top speed, middleweight drivers have equal stats, and heavyweight drivers have slow acceleration but a great top speed. After selecting characters, the player chooses a cup to compete in. Later cups are harder, but using a low engine speed can make it easier.
Players then compete in a grand prix known as the "Driller Engine Grand Prix", where the player must win with the most points. Driller Engine Grand Prix and Driller Engine Grand Prix 2 have 8 racers, while Driller Engine Grand Prix 3 and onwards have twelve racers. Players use a series of items to attack the karts in front or behind them, mushrooms provide speed boosts, shells are used as homing items, and bananas are used as hazards. Every race is timed, and the player must complete the lap without letting the timer reach zero. Whenever the player crosses a checkpoint or completes a lap, they will be awarded a time extension.
Players must get 3rd or better in Driller Engine Grand Prix and Driller Engine Grand Prix 2 or 5th or better in Driller Engine Grand Prix 3 and onwards to move on to the next course. If the player does not achieve the requirements, the game is over. However, an exception is made in the home console versions of Driller Engine Grand Prix 2x2 and onwards, where the player will just simply move on the next course with the option of quitting.
Released in 1992, Driller Engine Grand Prix started it all. Characters from Angry German Kid, Star Trigon, Lucky Star, and Mr. Driller were playable. The basic mechanics were introduced with four cups (Beginner Cup, Intermediate Cup, Advanced Cup, and Expert Cup) containing five courses each.
Released in 1996, the game transitioned into 3D and players can now gain short speed boosts from drifting (if they chose manual transmission). This was also the first Driller Engine Grand Prix game to have advertisement signs scattered throughout the courses, as Drillimation partnered with many companies to display their logos in the game. Characters from Angry Video Game Nerd also join the grand prix as heavyweight drivers.
Released in 2001, the series introduced four new lightweight drivers from the Crystal Island series, and the game now has the ability to play all twenty courses from the first game, and the game also adds a "Novice" cup to fit all retro courses in. The game also added some new voice clips, with Aya Hirano taking the role of Konata for the Japanese version.
Released in 2003, the game now had two characters per kart, with one driving and the other throwing. The game also introduces a tutorial mode for beginners, and all characters get their own karts and special items. The cups are also named after the series characters as well. This is also the first game to have guest characters, characters from the Super Mario, Crash Bandicoot, Jak and Daxter, Banjo-Kazooie, and Conker series appear on the home console versions.
|B. S. Man||Heavy||1||1|
- Cameo appearance only.
- Main Article: Driller Engine Grand Prix (film)
In 2004, Walt Disney Pictures purchased the rights to the franchise to adapt it into a feature-length film. The film was in production for over two years before being released in November 2006.
|The Drillimation Series by Drillimation Studios and Bandai Namco Holdings|
|Franchises||Angry German Kid • Angry Video Game Nerd • Chuhou Joutai • Driller Engine Grand Prix • HotShots Party1 • Killer Minecraft • Lucky Star • Mr. Driller • Patry1 • Star Trigon • Super Smash Keyboards • Touhou Project|
|Developers||Edret Games • Seymour Games • Team Shanghai Alice • Twilight Frontier|
|Former/Defunct||Amusement Software • Bladesteel Games • Storer Enterprises • Tenma Games|