Parents' Guide to

Carmageddon: Max Damage

By Paul Semel, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Bloody, gory racing game runs flat on all of its tires.

Game PlayStation 4, Xbox One 2016
Carmageddon: Max Damage Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 2+

Good for kids

Great for kids

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Easy to play/use
age 15+

Goofy, humorous violence and gore.

For the uninitiated, Carmageddon is an old racing title from an age of gaming where "You can run people over and things blow up ... IN 3D!!!" was enough to sell a game. The fans got together and Kickstarted a new version of the game. I'm a Carmageddon fan from the late 90s and early 00s, so I like this game. Kids today or adults unfamiliar with Carmageddon probably won't because it's slow and clunky - what I see as charm, they will probably see as a poorly made game. So that's probably a reason to not buy it for your teenage child. As for the gore aspect of this game, yes it's there, and yes, it's very silly. This game's tongue is so firmly in its cheek it's threatening to come tearing out of its face. Naughty words are sewn euphemistically in to racing lingo - if you smash another racer in to submission "You Wrecked 'em!" (say it quickly a few times) comes up, aerial acrobatics bonuses are accompanied by an assurance you've performed a "Cunning Stunt!". Yes, old ladies with Zimmerframes will come barrelling over your bonnet in a bloody mess, but there's also a type of pick-up that ensures they will be dancing the tango as they do so, or spontaneously explode, or come flying towards your stationary car at 50mph to the accompaniment of a comedy vacuum cleaner noise. Everything about this game is silly - all the other cars look like they were turned down for a role in Mad Max for being too ostentatious. I've voted this one as a 15 because you could reasonably be disturbed by the glee your twelve-year-old takes in powersliding through a drive-thru strip club full of dancing girls, cows and penguins. That said, the gore never feels like anything other than red pixels and I could completely understand a parent giving it to a younger child if they were particularly interested. Chances are though, they won't be - I'd say this one is aimed fairly firmly at the full-gown adults who played the original one when they were kids.

This title has:

Too much violence

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3):
Kids say (1):

While its gory, violent mechanics and ribald sensibilities make this arcade-style racing game bad for kids, it's actually the game's clunky controls and dull tracks that make it bad for everyone. Though you can win events by finishing in first place, you're also encouraged to destroy the competition (literally) and to run over any idiot bystanders who, for some reason, thought it would be cool to walk around in the middle of a race. But even if you're not offended by this obvious rip-off of the movie Death Race 2000, you'll still hate this for being so fundamentally flawed. While the tracks are so wide they undermine any challenge the game might've had, the game's sluggish and clunky controls ironically make it difficult to take the way-too-easy corners. Just making a simple turn is frustrating, and trying to do anything complex, such as making a jump or running over that guy who looked at you funny, is so difficult that you might as well not bother. You also have to contend with competitors who don't seem concerned with winning but are content just to make your life difficult, as well as ugly, dated visuals that make this look cheap. This, quite simply, is one terrible game.

Game Details

  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Available online?: Available online
  • Publisher: Stainless Games
  • Release date: July 8, 2016
  • Genre: Racing
  • Topics: Cars and Trucks
  • ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, Violence
  • Last updated: January 13, 2022

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