Pico Rally

App review by
Paul Semel, Common Sense Media
Pico Rally App Poster Image
Simple, fun all-ages arcade-style racing game.

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A lot or a little?

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

Ease of Play

The game uses very simple touch controls, and while it gets tougher as you progress, it does so slowly.

Violence & Scariness

While there are car crashes, there's no blood or gore, and you never see the driver being injured or killed.

Sexy Stuff

Ads pop up frequently, though usually when you're navigating the menus. Players can spend real world money to buy an ad-free version of the game, and are asked every time you skip an ad if they'd like to do so.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Pico Rally is an arcade racing game for iOS devices. While the cars do crash, the driver's never shown being injured or killed, so there's no blood or gore. Similarly, while you can race against other people online, there's no communication between players. The game does have occasional ads pop up, usually when you go to a menu, and players can spend real-world money to buy the ad-free version of the game, which the app asks you to do every time you skip an ad. 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?

PICO RALLY doesn't have a story. Instead, it's just a series of races in which players have to drive multiple laps around tracks that are often twisty. The game also boasts simple touch controls, and is played from an aerial perspective, which actually makes it feel kind of like a video game version of a slot racing track. Of course, the main point of the races is to come in first ahead of your competition, but that's easier said than done when racers are willing to bump and crash into you to keep you from the checkered flag.

Is it any good?

While fans of realistic or even semi-realistic racing game won't appreciate this arcade game, fans of slot car racing will feel right at home...virtually speaking. In Pico Rally, you engage in a series of multi-lap races around twisty tracks. Except that because this has an aerial point of view and super simple controls with only one button for the gas, and no others (i.e. no brakes, no shift, not even a radio), this arcade racer plays more like slot racing than, say Mario Kart or Gran Turismo. Which isn't to say it's shallow, because it has a ton of courses, and some seem to have been made by slot track masters who really like figure eights and sharp turns.

That said, not every track is a winner. There are a bunch where you can just hold down the gas to win, though most require you to let up sometimes so you can take a turn smoothly. It also doesn't tell you where you are in the standings during a race, which can be an issue when your race has people other than your competition on the track. It would also help if this had a mini-map so you could see where you are on the track during a race, though since most of the races were short, and only a couple laps, this isn't as big of an issue as the lack of standings or the more simplistic tracks. In the end, Pico Rally won't replace deeper racing games for your speed fix, but if you need something simply fun, this gets the checkered flag.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about automotive safety. In Pico Rally, you drive fast and crash often, but your driver is never shown getting hurt or killed, so do you think this sends the right message about driving really fast and recklessly? Is this just a simplistic arcade game that doesn't need to include these messages about safety?

  • In Pico Rally, ads pop up from time to time, but give you no reward for watching them, so why do you think the designers made this decision? Was it just so you'd buy the ad-free version? Does it seem right to reward them for this behavior?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPad
  • Price: free with ads and microtransactions
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: July 2, 2020
  • Category: Racing Games
  • Topics: Cars and Trucks
  • Size: 32.70 MB
  • Publisher: Raketspel AB
  • Version: 1.4
  • Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 8.0 or later
  • Last updated: October 20, 2020

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