It would appear that the folk at Nintendo have contracted racing- game fever; first they gave us Mario Kart 64, then Top Gear Rally and Lamborghini, and now there's yet another in Diddy Kong Racing.

Billed as an adventure/racing game, DKR strives to mesh the two genres together to create a new experience. The result? Mario Kart with knobs on.

The adventure side of things involves exploring a scaled-down Marioesque environment with the aim of finding balloons. Having collected a sufficient quantity of them, you are granted access to a series of tracks on which you race against seven opponents. For every race you win you are given a balloon, and the more you get, the more interesting the courses on which you can race. If you win all four races in a particular world, its leader will then challenge you to a race. To begin with you have to compete in a car, but on the more advanced courses you have a hovercraft and a plane at your disposal. If all that sounds too complicated there's always the multiplayer option.

This isn't a game which will immediately grab you. The graphics and all- round presentation are up to Nintendo's usual high standard, but the courses seem too short and it feels too much like Mario Kart. However, the more you play it, the more you'll like it, until, after half an hour or so, you won't be able to put the controller down. There are tons of features to discover but it retains an addictive simplicity.

Another winner from Nintendo.

On release, pounds 49.99