Cars 2 World Grand Prix Read and Race

App review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
Cars 2 World Grand Prix Read and Race App Poster Image
Not a standout book app, but racing game adds interest.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

You can turn pages by either swiping or (in Young Reader Mode) tapping an arrow. Interactive sound effect hotspots are highlighted with a flashing circle. The racing game has three difficulty levels, but getting the hang of the tilt steering can take some time, especially for younger kids.

Violence & Scariness

There are multiple points in the story where cars crash during races; these are depicted with still illustrations that don't show much damage, though. You can smash into other cars during the racing game section, too. You will hear a crunch sound when cars hit obstacles, but not when they hit other cars. Sparks will fly when two cars hit, but you won't ever see a full-on crash.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

The book/game is based on the Cars 2 movie. There's also a spot within the app where you can enter an email address to receive news about other Disney apps.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Cars 2 World Grand Prix Read and Race is a combination read-along storybook and racing game. The book part retells the plot to the Cars 2 movie, focusing on the racing element of that story, with only a brief mention of the secret agent plotline. Several car crashes are described in the story. Between chapters, kids can enter a virtual garage and customize a team of race cars. Any of those cars can then be used in a racing game at the end of the story. There are two tracks, and steering is performed through tilting the device (a skill that can take some getting used to). Note that the story can be skipped altogether and kids can go straight to the races if they want.

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Is it any good?

As an interactive storybook, CARS 2 WORLD GRAND PRIX READ AND RACE is kind of flat. There are several pages that only introduce you to characters from the film. And the only interactive elements on the story pages are sound effects (revving engines, screeching tires, etc.). The racing game element works a lot better, but would also feel somewhat anemic on its own. You get five cars to customize -- which is very nice -- but only two courses to race on (although those two tracks are both cleverly designed and look great). It's the combination of the book and game elements that make this app most interesting, and which will probably make most kids want to try it. If it were a little more fleshed out on both sides, though, it would feel like a much better purchase.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Price: $6.99
  • Release date: June 20, 2011
  • Category: Books
  • Size: 156.00 MB
  • Publisher: Disney
  • Version: 1.0
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 4.0 or later

For kids who love racing

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