A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
This game focuses exclusively on kart racing and does not provide players with a cohesive background storyline. As a result, there is little in the way of positive messages, and in fact there is a sense of unsportsmanlike content with the variety of weapons players can use against their opponents. While these weapons are largely tame in nature, they are a focal point of the game.
Positive Role Models
This game features heroic characters from several Dreamworks movies including Shrek, How to Train Your Dragon, and Monsters vs. Aliens. These characters are well known for being positive role models, though their altruistic and heroic characteristics that were so prominent in their respective movies does not really translate in this game.
Ease of Play
The controls in this game are very intuitive and user-friendly. There are no nuances or advanced control mechanics to learn. The challenge comes in playing through each track enough times to know when to turn, maneuver around obstacles, and speed through faster than the other racers.
Violence & Scariness
Fitting in with the zany, cartoon nature of this game, there are numerous "weapons" that players can equip during races. These weapons include projectiles that cause opponents to spin out, electrical blasts, and other items that result in brief explosions. The worst effect any of these weapons have is to slow down opponents or make them immobile for a short period of time.
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Products & Purchases
This game features characters from a variety of Dreamworks animated movies, all of which have been widely commercialized in the form of toys, games, and all sorts of other products.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Dreamworks Super Star Kartz is a casual racing game featuring characters from such popular Dreamworks films as Madagascar, Shrek, and How to Train Your Dragon. Players zoom through winding race tracks based on locations from the various animated movies in the hopes of being the first to cross the finish line. A large factor in winning a race depends on players using various power-ups, or "weapons," to gain an edge on their opponents. These weapons include explosions, bursts of electricity, and other zany obstacles, but these actions never result in anything more than making an opponent immobile for a few seconds.
Is It Any Good?
On its face, Dreamworks Super Star Kartz is nothing more than a kart racing game that meets all the requisite components of the genre. That is, there are several characters to choose from; the race tracks are vibrant, colorful, and full of twists and turns; and there is a selection of power-ups and weapons to add a soupcon of strategy and loads of zaniness to the experience. In addition, there is a Battle Mode that takes away the racing element and instead focuses exclusively on the power-ups to see who has the best offensive and defensive strategies. It is the same formula that has been seen time and time again and there is nothing here to differentiate itself from any other themed kart-racing titles. Because of the heavily branded Dreamworks content, fans of movies like Shrek and Madagascar will find something to enjoy here, but it is best looked at as a piece of Dreamworks merchandise and not a stellar game in its own right.
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.