Disney Infinity: Cars
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know Disney Infinity: Cars is an action driving game that comes with real toys that get magically ported into a virtual world. It's an add-on for Disney Infinity, the base game, which is required to play. Additional Cars figurines, including Francesco and Mater, are sold separately for $13 each. That's in addition to the dozens of other figures and play sets available to enhance the main game. It's not cheap. Families should know, too, that the Cars play set is quite distinct from others in that combat plays a relatively small role. Cars are outfitted with weapons for some races but are pretty peaceful otherwise. That leaves players to engage in less violent activities like towing, collecting, and helping other cars.
What's it about?
One of two additional play sets available at launch for Disney Infinity, the $35 DISNEY INFINITY: CARS, comes with two new figures -- Holly Shiftwell and Lightning McQueen -- that can be used for its story or within the base game's Toy Box mode. The big difference with these characters is that they move on four wheels rather than two legs. They can go really fast and can even jump, but they don't turn very well (though you can instantly spin them around with a tap of a button). The missions in the sandbox-like story mode are fit for the game's protagonists; tow vehicles here, race cars there, go in search of collectibles hovering above jumps. Players also will unlock plenty of new items suitable for car characters that can be used in the base game's Toy Box mode.
Is it any good?
The Cars play set for Disney Infinity stands out from every other set simply because the characters are cars. Rather than running and leaping around using the joysticks and action buttons, players use the triggers to hit the gas and zoom forward or throw it into reverse and back up. It ends up feeling more like an open-world racing game, with a focus on speed and forward movement and less on puzzles and carefully exploring every nook and cranny of the world map. This likely will make some kids (those who love vehicles) even more excited to play but may leave others who enjoy the more methodical pace of the other play sets cold.
It also brings a new element to the Toy Store (as well as the Toy Box mode) via several distinctive unlockable items, including things like roads and jumps, a wrecking ball, and additional side characters taken from the Cars universe. Again, it probably won't be to all tastes, but the legions of kids who love the Cars films will probably have a great time.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the impact of violence in games. Do you think cars shooting other cars qualifies as violence? What are some of the defining characteristics of violence, and why are these things generally inappropriate for consumption by younger players?
Families also can discuss consumerism. Has your family created a budget for this game? How much money do you think you should spend on additional characters and play sets? Do you think you should buy them with your money, or should your parents spend theirs?