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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that there is little to worry about with this racing game. The story mode has two difficulty levels: a shorter game for younger kids, and a more-challenging game for older kids. The movie's youngest fans will have trouble operating the controls; the game is really only operable for players 7 and up. The PC version is available only at Target.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
There is some story in CARS, but the core activity is racing and driving cars: Kids put the pedal to the metal in more than 25 races on a variety surfaces. In story mode, players drive and race their way around Radiator Springs and the vast Ornament Valley -- powersliding, jumping, and even driving backward along the way. During pit stops, players race through a variety of Mini games, painting their vehicles or sneaking into the fields with Mater (voiced by Larry the Cable Guy) to do \"Tractor Tipping,\" for example. As kids make their way through the story, they unlock content that can thereafter be played separately in the arcade and vs. modes.
Is it any good?
Fans of Disney/Pixar's animated Cars will enjoy this video game of the same name. It's set right after the movie's plot, and kids are sure to delight in recognizing the characters and voices (Owen Wilson, Paul Newman, Bonnie Hunt, and the rest of the cast reprise their roles). Kid testers spun out occasionally, but in general they thought the race controls were on the money. The two modes (a shorter game for younger kids, and a more-challenging game for older kids) make this a nice choice for families.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about which of the 10 playable characters they like to be. Does this game look like the movie? What's your favorite race, and what's your favorite Mini game? Parents of older kids may want to discuss the appeal of movie-based video games and how these games promote the movie.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.