A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
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
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 & Scariness
Drivers will sometimes use weapons to take out rival racers, including missiles, machine guns, laser fire, land mines, cartoon violence is over-the-top.
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Products & Purchases
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.
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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.