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Highway Heat

App review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Highway Heat App Poster Image
Ad overkill empties this racer's gas tank of fun.

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A lot or a little?

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

Ease of Play

Users don't get much of a written explanation, but figuring out how to play isn't too hard.

Violence

Cars can ram into barriers and explode; one of the goals is to evade police vehicles by having them crash.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

Ads are shown frequently on various screens and in between rounds. Players are offered a VIP membership, which gives them special vehicles, the ability to continue playing after crashing two times, twice the cash earned while playing, and no forced ads, for $7.99 a week. Users can also pay $2.99 to remove the ads.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Highway Heat is a racing game for iOS and Android devices. The game focuses on fast driving and escaping police officers. Players will frequently see ads during play, including lengthy on-screen ads between rounds. The app also offers a VIP membership, which includes special vehicles, in-app currency earning bonuses, and other abilities -- and removes ads basic users are forced to watch for $7.99 a week. The app doesn't show people getting hurt in crashes but also doesn't reinforce safe driving practices. Players are encouraged to outrun police and erratically steer high and low to avoid hitting things. There also isn't much direction offered when they start playing, so they may not understand certain aspects of the game. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared, and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

Players drag their finger up and down to direct their car around obstacles in HIGHWAY HEAT. If they can make it past enough structures, they'll complete the round and move onto the next one. The police are in pursuit, although going airborne seems to sometimes make them crash. Players are awarded money after each round for that, along with the distance they drove and stars they rode through. They can buy new vehicles with their earnings. Players can also sign up for a VIP membership, which offers additional playing advantages, for $7.99 a week.

Is it any good?

This racing game crashes as soon as you hit the gas pedal thanks to its lack of instructions, accelerated speeds, and heavy reliance on advertising unless you pay to have them removed. Highway Heat seems to have a misleading description about what you're trying to do from the start by claiming that the process of moving your car forward draws the next stretch of road to drive on. Actually, you're driving in the sky, and no new road appears when you swipe across the screen -- which is too bad, because that might be helpful. Regardless, the action moves fast, and players don't have a lot of time to contemplate decisions. As a result, they may find they run into obstacles -- literally -- and then the round ends. They can watch an ad to keep going, or try again to make it through the course from the beginning. Levels get more difficult as the game progresses, but as gamers get the hang of directing their car up and down, their ability to avoid things should improve, too.

The app would benefit from clearer instructions, because players don't get much information about which actions earn money or what they can eventually spend it on when they start playing -- and they'll need to play for awhile to earn the $25,000-and-up that's needed to purchase most of the vehicles. But the abundance of ads is the real issue. They appear often, are lengthy, and may require you to click an x on two screens to get back to the game, which slows down the playing experience considerably. Because the rounds move so quickly, the ad breaks feel particularly cumbersome and slow -- which may cause some gamers to hit the breaks on playing, unless they want to shell out $2.99 to remove them.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can discuss advertising in games. Does the constant number of ads in Highway Heat make you want to spend money to avoid seeing these promos? Do you wonder if more designers will include larger numbers of ads to annoy users into paying to avoid them?

  • What kinds of things can you do in Highway Heat that would be too dangerous to do in real life?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Subscription price: A VIP membership, which gives kids special vehicles, the ability to continue playing after crashing two times, twice the cash earned while playing, and no forced ads, for $7.99 a week.
  • Release date: June 12, 2019
  • Category: Adventure Games
  • Topics: Cars and Trucks
  • Size: 170.00 MB
  • Publisher: Bite Size Games
  • Version: 1.7.5
  • Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 9.0 or later or Android 4.1 and up.

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love racing

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