Cars 3: Driven to Win

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Cars 3: Driven to Win Game Poster Image
Movie-based racer adds weapons, takes checkered flag of fun.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Your goal is to win races by driving the fastest, sometimes using weapons to slow down rival drivers. Highlights rivalry between Lightning McQueen, Jackson Storm.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Players can race as favorite Cars characters, such as Lightning McQueen, Cruz Ramirez, Mater, even Lightning’s rival, Jackson Storm. Not enough learned about these characters to determine whether they’re good role models or not.

Ease of Play

Simple controls, easy to learn.

Violence

Drivers will sometimes use weapons to take out rival racers, including missiles, machine guns, laser fire, land mines, cartoon violence is over-the-top.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

Timed with release of Disney/Pixar’s feature film, Cars 3, highlights 20 of franchise’s characters (cars), familiar locations (like Radiator Springs, Florida International Speedway), similar movie storyline.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Cars 3: Driven to Win is an arcade racing game that lets players drive as their favorite cars from the film franchise. The game also includes using weapons in two of its modes to take out rival racers, including machine guns, missiles, mines, and lasers. But this violence is cartoonish and not bloody or gory at all. The game is based on Disney/Pixar’s Cars franchise, and is a clear tie-in to the recently released movie.

User Reviews

Adult Written byBryant Almonte-Alday August 5, 2017

The greatest game I have ever played! Which is less violent than "Cars 2: The Video Game."

I enjoyed myself winning, staying in the zone, and earning 1st position. Of course, it has some gun violence, but it is not too scary or bloody. Some of them s... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bymemeboi2018 October 19, 2017

Great Racing Game 4 Kids

I think this game is great for kids. It is just mario cart but for xbox 360. My 5 year old brother and my 11 year old brother play this game all the time. They... Continue reading

What's it about?

CARS 3: DRIVEN TO WIN lets fans of the movie franchise climb behind the wheel of their favorite cars and compete in several races against rivals. Inspired by Cars 3, this game lets you play as more than 20 customizable characters -- including Lightning McQueen and Cruz Ramirez -- as they prepare for a rematch against rival racer Jackson Storm. The game features more than 20 different tracks (including familiar locations from the film, including Radiator Springs and Florida International Speedway), and includes multiple game modes. Drive over power-ups to unlock special movies, earn a high-score not just by being first to the finish line but by performing stunts like barrel rolls and two-wheel driving), and in some modes, use weapons like machine guns and missiles to take out competitors.

Is it any good?

Unlike other games based on movies that are usually bad marketing vehicles, this racer is a fun, surprisingly good game. It doesn’t have all the features one might expect from a racer today, but it’s nearly there. The game boils down to three core gameplay elements -- racing cars, performing stunts, and unleashing kart racing-style weapons -- plus there’s a lot of selection in the characters you can play as, all of whom are customizable. And there’s a lot of breadth in the type of game you want to play, too, with a half-dozen modes to choose from, between the straightforward “Race” and “Best Lap Challenge” to the tricked-out “Stunt Showcase” and “Playground” to the weapon-centric “Takedown” and my favorite mode, “Battle Race.”

In Battle Race, you’ll find longer races to play against a friend or family member beside you, with unlockable cars, levels and Trophies (think Mario Kart, but wrapped in a Cars 3 skin). You’ll level up XP points, use nitro boosts at the right time, drift around corners, and more. Too bad the game doesn’t offer online multiplayer matches, but perhaps the target audience of kids won’t notice this omission. Same goes for the story, which isn’t worth getting into here, but your overall goal is to become a Hall of Fame Driver. Visually speaking, the developer did a great job capturing the look and feel of each of the familiar cars from the films, with highly-detailed car models, multiple tracks, and smart-looking effects including lighting, shadows, and explosions. The voice-acting is hit and miss, but younger gamers probably won’t even notice. Between its multiple modes, tight controls, and great graphics, Cars fanatics will no doubt want to climb behind the wheel of Cars 3: Driven to Win.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence in the game. Do all the guns and explosives seem appropriate in a game based on an animated family film? Does the fact that the characters are cars lessen the impact of the violence?

  • Talk about marketing to kids. Is this game made to appeal to fans of the franchise, or is this a shameless marketing move that coincides with the Cars 3 feature film?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love racing

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