Format: PS2

4 005209 076579
Age Restrictions: U
14 July 2006

Race to the finish line as you live all the fun and excitement of the Walt Disney Pictures presentation of a Pixar Animation Studios film,
Cars. Play as all your favourite characters as you help Lightning McQueen capture the coveted Piston Cup Championship. The game is a story-based racing adventure game that relives all of the key moments of the movie. It features more than 10 playable characters from the film and an open world environment with more than 50 races...

Cars is based on the latest Disney/Pixar animated movie and is aimed at the younger gamer. While there's plenty of content to keep older gamers interested, most adult will find this a little too simplistic. Kids will have a blast though.

There is so much variety in this game that kids will spend ages exploring the various mini games. Highlights, for me, included tipping the tractors, the speedway races (a little like Destruction Derby - without the destruction); and generally exploring the vast landscapes and opening new bizarre missions and playable characters (including Luigi, Sally Carrera and Mater). There are mini-races, mini-missions and quests that can be completed across the duration of the game (like finding the missing postcards that are scattered all around the main landscape). For the most part though you play as Lightning McQueen as you race to unlock your skills and compete in the Piston Cup Championship.

The level of difficulty is just hard enough for the majority of kids to have a few stabs at each race - although older players will probably sail though them without any problem and instead be more interested in exploring the open world environment. And that's the beauty of this game - THQ have tried, and succeeded, to make this work on various levels.

The only real problem is the way the camera can shift erratically - and in some of the mini-games it will freeze at a strange angle that makes completing that section a lot more difficult.

On the whole Cars is a lot of fun. Young fans of the movie will be most impressed with this offering - especially as they get to interact with all their favourite characters - which are just as big, colourful and funny as they are in the movie. While I really can't recommend this to anyone over the age of 12 (there's probably not quite enough here to keep them playing longer than a week), for it's target market, this is one of the best kids games I've seen in a long time.

Nick Smithson

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