Banjo Pilot Game Review

Banjo Pilot is a kart racing game featuring characters Banjo and Kazooie. Initially developed as Diddy Kong Pilot – a handheld sequel to Diddy Kong Racing series – after Microsoft purchased Rare in 2002 it lost the Donkey Kong license and became known as Banjo-Kazooie Pilot.


Rareware’s Banjo-Kazooie series stars Banjo as an unassuming brown Malayan sun bear who prefers sleeping over adventures, but is frequently drawn into mischief by his mischievous sidekick, Kazooie. Capable of playing banjo as well as swimming and dancing, he features in Banjo Pilot for the first time outside Nintendo console since their introduction via Diddy Kong Racing handheld game.

This kart racer gives players the option of controlling one of eight characters from Banjo-Kazooie series along with their aircrafts. Each racer can attack other racers using bullets but are unable to cause damage directly. Racer can collect power-ups that will increase their odds of victory.

Banjo-Pilot for Game Boy Advance was first released in 2005, initially as a sequel to Diddy Kong Racing but eventually altered to feature characters from Rareware’s Banjo-Kazooie franchise after Microsoft bought Rareware. Being unique on its platform due to limited graphics capabilities of GBA allows it to add its own flair. This fourth in the series also features new-looking characters due to limitations of graphics capabilities on GBA.

Banjo-Pilot stands out from its counterparts by not featuring any sort of narrative or plot; racers simply compete against one another to try and win a championship title. Players can unlock various characters to use in these races as they unlock special items such as Cheato for increased speed if desired.

Kazooie, the red crested breegull who stays in Banjo’s backpack and provides him with most of his attacks and skills, is often quite pessimistic and insults many of Banjo’s acquaintances and friends; she can have short tempers that don’t tolerate criticism well and creates offensive nicknames for almost everyone she encounters as revenge on their enemies – she even has the ability to shoot and fart fire eggs! Despite being often pessimistic towards Banjo she is always loyal friend; ready to lend him support when necessary.


Banjo gets his own racing game with Banjo Pilot, originally called Diddy Kong Pilot. This kart-style racing game where players race planes instead of carts features more than eight characters from Banjo-Kazooie such as Banjo himself along with Mumbo Jumbo, Humba Wumba, Guntilda Klungo and Jolly Roger – plus musical notes that increase Cheato Pages earned after finishing races! Players compete to win races and accumulate Musical Notes that increase Cheato Pages earned after finishing each race completed successfully!

As with most racing games of this type, this one offers a wide variety of tracks and races to keep players interested. Additionally, players can unlock special track types by beating certain Grand Prix cups – some even feature battle tracks wherein the first player to empty an opponent’s health bar wins!

Other special tracks feature tracks with zippers that the player can fly through for a temporary speed boost. As more Cheato Pages are collected, more zippers become active; their type affects how much power is gained – for instance a Purple Glowbos will activate three zippers which provide significant speed boost.

The game’s soundtrack features over two dozen songs from Banjo-Kazooie world. Of particular note is a remixed techno rendition of Mad Monster Mansion level theme from Banjo-Kazooie called Mad Monster Mansion Theme that features synth drum beat. Also present is a remix of Lord Woo Fak Fak from Jolly Roger Lagoon who’s fight theme combines orchestral sound effects with techno beat percussion; used when showing off aerial attacks and Smash Attacks by Lord Woo Fak Fak Fak himself!

Banjo Pilot may not be one of the premier racing titles, but it still packs enough content to keep most gamers occupied for some time. Those looking for deeper gameplay should look elsewhere; much of what made Diddy Kong Racing and RC Pro-Am so enjoyable racing games is either absent or underplayed here; nonetheless it still offers ample flying fun.


Weapons are an integral component of kart racers, so the weapons found in Banjo Pilot play an essential part of gameplay. Unfortunately, however, they do not match those found in other titles. Although there are a few standard ones such as red shells that fire forward and Ice ‘Eggs’ that place cubes of ice behind you as well as Mumbo Skulls which act as the game’s version of blue shells; none truly live up to their potential in Banjo Pilot.

Egg Firing (also known as Breegull Blaster) allows players to take an edge in their races. Banjo and Kazooie crouch down, then use their mouths to launch an egg at an angled trajectory from Banjo’s mouths – similar to other projectile moves used throughout the series, this move can flinch opponents or even cause them to stop completely! This move can even stall them out completely if used effectively!

Gold Feathers provide short speed boosts, and running shoes help slow the player’s descent speed. Also available are Egg Bombs which resemble Mario’s Starman in appearance and can be dropped on objects around the track to cause explosions with devastating force, damaging nearby opponents but easily avoided by keeping an eye out or speeding up.

Though Banjo Pilot utilizes the standard mode 7 engine used by every other GBA kart racing game, Rare’s graphics designers make excellent use of the technology. Their colorful tracks and use of sprite objects help beautify each track while weapon pick-ups may sometimes become visible only upon approaching close proximity – which could potentially make for some pop up issues with weapon pickups that might make them hard to spot at first.


Banjo-Pilot follows a similar format to Nintendo’s Mario Kart series, only this time players control planes instead of karts. Players can collect power-ups during races akin to Mario Kart by collecting Mystery Honeycombs that appear all around the track or by pressing X during an active race and collecting power-ups through pressing Y Button during races (Y Button is available through pressing X button during active races as well). These power-ups may include Bomb Eggs which hurl explosive bombs at nearby opponents while Fire Eggs may home in on one opponent and cause them to crash as soon as possible!

Banjo-Pilot follows a fairly standard GBA game mechanic when it comes to its controls: A is used to steer, while Y activates boost zippers which increase speed in an upward direction. R displays an Egg List which allows the player to switch between different eggs set for Kazooie to fire; B fires from in-built aircraft guns if the player has them equipped – these weapons may be good at hitting opponents during races but are generally weak weapons overall.

The game also offers various items which can be found and utilized during races, including musical notes which can be collected by flying over them and add up towards earning Cheato Pages after finishing each race. Furthermore, players can collect Bombs Away Signs which will clear all weapons off their map screen.

Diddy Kong Pilot was first announced at E3 2001 under its original title of Diddy Kong Pilot by Rare and Nintendo as an official sequel to their handheld kart racing games, however due to company politics following Rare’s acquisition by Microsoft, its name changed into Banjo-Pilot with all Nintendo characters removed from its roster.

Banjo-Pilot may play like an inferior copy of Mario Kart, but that doesn’t make it any less fun and engaging! There’s plenty of variety among its tracks and this game makes great use of GBA’s Mode 7 engine to produce some pretty stunning visuals in harder Challenge Cups.