In this shopping cart riding game, just getting in the cart is a nightmarish challenge

And once the cart starts moving, things don't get any easier.

Dirt 4 has just arrived, and it's got me in a racing mood. It's currently full price, though, and since I'm also in a Don't Really Want To Spend Money mood, I took a quick look to see what other new racing games might be on the market. Browsing Steam's new racing releases, my eye fell upon a game called Cart Racer, which is tagged with the words 'Action, Racing, Nudity, Casual.' I'm unfamiliar with the Nude Racing genre, but I do like Action—especially of the Casual variety—and it's was priced at under a dollar. Sold!

I quickly found that Cart Racer, while the 'Cart' part of the title is accurate, isn't really a racing game. There's no timer, and no opponents. Your biggest adversary is the shopping cart you're supposed to be riding in, and the not-great controls, and the physics, and the fact that the moment you touch anything you become a floppy deceased ragdoll. I found that just jumping into the cart to start riding was about the toughest part of the game.

It's on my 23rd attempt that I finally make it successfully into the shopping cart, and begin to roll downhill, at which point I realize I don't know what the goal of riding in the cart actually is, since for so long I have been simply trying to land in the cart itself. I careen down the street, at which point I get a healthy taste of the physics on display.

After a few more failed attempts to get into the cart again, I manage another trip down the hill, figuring I'm supposed to be speeding into the alleyway next to the building, but when I finally make it (several attempts later) there's nothing really back there (the rear of the building isn't even skinned). It takes a while, but I finally spot the small yellow circle at the bottom of the hill that I'm actually supposed to be aiming for.

Once I manage to steer safely into the finish zone, a barricade and ramp appear at the bottom of the hill. Ah-ha! This isn't a racing game, but it's got jumps. I leap into the cart (well, I miss once again before making it) and head for the ramp to prepare a sick jump.

I'm on my 44th attempt since beginning the game when I finally manage to hit the ramp, then sail face-first into the 3rd floor window, which shatters. While my floppy body doesn't make it inside, I glimpse a topless woman (of course) awaiting my arrival on a bed (of course) before I drop to the ground in a tangle of dead limbs.

So, I'm supposed to launch myself into the bedroom. I spend the next several minutes intermittently failing to jump into the cart, missing the ramp, hitting the ramp but missing the window, hitting the window but not going through it, and even making it through the window but either falling short of the topless woman's bed or sailing clean over it, neither of which count as a success.

I do pull off one sweet trick (during attempt 87) where I manage to smash into the window, then fall back to street level where I land perfectly in my shopping cart again. I'm dead, but darned if I don't look cool, provided any witnesses didn't also see the first 86 things I did.

Eventually (on attempt 154!) I make it through the window and plop close enough to the bed where the topless woman decides I've adequately proven my devotion to her. Hooray.

The next challenge is to launch off an even taller ramp onto the roof and into the open door of a helicopter (presumably being operated by a topless pilot). This happens during attempt 194—which is noteworthy, since I had mentally set my limit at 200 tries before I would close the game and delete it forever. Alas, I am transported to a new 'map', a snow-covered mountain, where I instantly forget how to jump into the cart all over again.

After (eventually) making it down the mountain, I then have to begin flying off jumps in an attempt to slam my shattered body into a waving (not topless) Santa Claus perched on top of a boulder, which is about where I decide I've maybe had enough of Cart Racer, finally calling it quits around attempt 250.

Cart Racer cost me 84 cents on Steam, which isn't a bad deal, though it's worth pointing out that spending 84 cents on anything isn't a bad deal. It's also worth pointing out that you can't turn Cart Racer's music down or even off, and it doesn't save your progress, so it's not exactly a good deal, either.