A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Fosters friendly competition between two players in the console editions and up to four players in the Nintendo DS version.
Products & Purchases
This game is inspired by Disney/Pixar's popular Cars movie, and features locations and characters seen in the film. It comes with a brochure from Mattel advertising dozens of toy cars that suggest kids "collect the whole gang." In-game advertising is present, but restricted to fictional brands, such as Lightyear Tires.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is a kid's racing game based on the Disney/Pixar film Cars and that it feels quite commercial. Dozens of locations and characters from the film are featured in the game, and there is even a pamphlet from Mattel stuffed in the packaging that advertises toy cars from the movie. The game itself is polished and very accessible to kids, providing simple controls, plenty of guidance, and customizable skill levels. Kids of elementary school age ought to be able to play without encountering many problems.
Is It Any Good?
There's little not to like about Mater-National Championship. On the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 it approaches the same level of quality in animation that Pixar presented in the movie. Car models are loaded with details and lifelike reflections. They also emote in remarkably believable ways thanks to their wonderfully expressive eyes and mouths. But, most importantly, they're fun to drive. The controls are simple and responsive, and the (mostly) wide open courses are a pleasure to cruise through.
There's not much of a story in the main mode, but that matters little; you're provided a basic reason for each race and that's enough to motivate you to press your thumbs to the metal. Earning prizes such as new cars, paintjobs, and artwork when you're doing well is just the icing on the cake. Beware, though, that in order to unlock everything in the game you'll likely need to revisit a lot of events. Cars: Mater-National Championship is relatively easy to play and finish, but beating the game to perfection will take both skill and dedication.
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Our Editors Recommend
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