Multiplayer Beach Buggy Racing is nearly perfect portable fun

With just about everybody gaming these days, whether it's on phone, tablet, or using a controller. Plenty of us play the same games as our friends, and compete across leaderboards. Integration with Google Play and Facebook makes it easier than ever to play against your friends, but the real fun is the rare occasion when you're all in the same room to do something together. Finding mobile games that support split screen multiplayer however, are few and far between. Beach Buggy Racing has allowed up to four players to compete for a little while now, but it's worth pointing out just how much fun this is with relatively little hardware.

Beach Buggy Racing is a go kart style racing game. You have multiple tracks, buggies, drivers, and track distances. The controls themselves are a little bit slower to react than you might want if you're familiar with this kind of game, but otherwise it's fun. In a pinch it works as a Mario Kart replacement if you don't have access to a Wii U.

Beach Buggy Racing options

While Beach Buggy Racing is a free to download and play game, somebody in your party will need to purchase the premium edition to access multiplayer. It clocks in at $4.99, and unlocks plenty of other features, but the important feature is the ability to split screen. It's actually pretty easy to set up, which is a relief. You want to play against your friends, not spend half the night getting things adjusted to be played.

You should have one player with a Chromecast or Android TV since you're all going to be watching the same screen. From there, each player just needs to open Beach Buggy Racing on the device of your choice. The person who purchased the game should be on the controller if you're using Android TV, since they're essentially hosting the game. Each mobile device needs to hit the 'remote control' button in the upper left hand corner to connect to your Google Cast system.

Beach Buggy Racing gameplay

When it comes to controls, you have one of two options from a phone. You can choose between steering by tilting your device, or by tapping on the screen. On the smaller screens, the tilting method seemed to work better. Primarily because you still need to tap to brake, access your driver's ability, or use in game items.

When you're playing split screen you do get a nifty screen on your device. It shows you break pedals, your current item, and your special ability along with MPH and RPM. You also have the ability to disconnect your mobile device, even if you are mid race, by hitting a button at the bottom of the screen. Again, this is why we suggest the tilting method — that way its much more difficult to accidentally hit the disconnect button.

Beach Buggy Racing mobile screen

In our testing, some phones weren't big fan of Beach Buggy Racing, and after selecting multiplayer the app would force close. Restarting the game would fix whatever the problem was, but there didn't seem to be any way to avoid this initial jank. Once you get everyone connected and playing it's a lot of fun, particularly when you are playing against your friends.

Beach Buggy Racing is a decently fun game by itself. When you're playing against your friends and trying to ruin their run in the process, it becomes far more enjoyable. Best of all you can play this anywhere you can stick a Chromecast in, so it's an experience you can bring with you wherever you want.

Jen is a staff writer who spends her time researching the products you didn't know you needed. She's also a fantasy novelist and has a serious Civ VI addiction. You can follow her on Twitter.

  • Every player require the premium app? Or just the hoster? Love how they setup multiplayer!
  • Whoever is hosting needs to buy it, but then other players can hop on without purchasing.
  • Hey Jen. Have you played this recently? I can't get it to work at all on Nvidia shield TV controller and phone controller.
  • This is a pretty decent game, but the "catch-up code" it uses to keep the computer racers competitive is blatantly obvious and frustrating. No matter how good I'm doing, I should never hit a computer car ahead of me with a weapon, see it wipe out, recover and maintain constant speed staying ahead of me. It happens all the time in this game and it's super frustrating.
  • Looks nice and I'd like to try it, but I have a couple of questions. The article mentions using Android TV or Chromecast, but I don't see anything about Chromecast support in the app description and the developer's website explicitly states that Chromecast is not supported: Can you confirm that chromecast is supported? I would love for it to be true. The other question may be harder to answer. If I bought the multiplayer through Google Play, could my kids join multiplayer from an Amazon Kindle? Would I be better off purchasing multiplayer through Amazon? In this case, I would assume multiplayer would work from a FireTV box or stick? [EDIT] Update: I found out that if I go through Amazon, the IAP for multiplayer is not necessary--all power-ups, cars, and split-screen multiplayer are available for free with Amazon Underground.
  • Update #2. Apparently, the Amazon Underground version is not considered compatible with the Fire TV stick or box and for one of those you need to use the non-underground version and pay the $4.99 upgrade. I don't see anything about a casting type functionality like was described in this article at least for the Fire TV version--when playing on my phone or on the FireTV it says I must have at least two gamepads connected to my device to play split screen.
  • I don't mind paying for host capability, but since all the other phone the house are IOS except for my wife's, and it's not likely she would play... I would like to chromecast games, but found the sync between the phone and the screen was a bit delayed. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Replace sync with latency Posted via the Android Central App
  • Well I bit the bullet and went for the full version for multi player. The deal breaker? You need an external gamepad to use multi player. I can do that on my HTC, but my buddies on iPhones can't. Oh well. At least it plays nice and is fun, even by yourself. Gameplay is very fluid. Posted via the Android Central App
  • It's very very funny