A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that while there is a bit of fantasy violence, it's only of a cartoon nature. Players will whack others to make them crash so that they can get ahead. This game can be played online, a feature that Common Sense Media does not recommend for anyone under the age of 12 unless supervised.
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What's it about?
Nintendo got it right again: EXCITEBOTS: TRICK RACING is indeed exciting, teeth clenchingly, eye-poppingly fun. This new racing game fof the Nintendo Wii takes you through about 50 races from locales around the world as you climb up the ranks from the B-grade bush leagues to a coveted Platinum Cup. The twist? You are controlling zany robotic vehicles that look like animals and far-out insects.
You use the Wiimote or the Wii Wheel to steer through mountains, lakes, and ponds against five other bots. You have turbo boosts and can even do tricks while in the air. If you hook onto a bar and move the Wiimote in a circular motion 10 times to spin your bot like a gymnast on the parallel bars, you can then push it forward to fly through the air like Superman. Sometimes you'll even be able to amble with alacrity on two feet like a human. You'll earn star points as you play, (50 if you come in first) to spend on making your bot cooler looking and more powerful.
Is it any good?
If you liked Mario Kart Wii, you'll enjoy this trick-filled, kooky racing that lets you speed like Sonic through beautifully rendered locales like Kilamanjaro, Egypt, Mexico and more. Each two- or three-minute race (which also can be taken online) affords you thrills galore and the occasional secret route to explore. If you want to be mischievous, you can press the 'A' button to stun your opponents with various items like a hammer, chomping teeth, or a firecracker. Oddly, there's sandwich-making and card-playing as you race, too.
It's not the most innovative game in the world as it's a lot like Mario Kart Wii. And you'll wish steering would be a lot more accurate. You'll also wish the full track would appear on your radar on the left side of the screen instead of only a small portion of it. And you'll wish there was more story for these cute Disney-esque characters to indulge in. Yet with its online capabilities, its booster rocket speed, and the circus-like stunts, there's a lot of replayability in the generally magical Excitebots: Trick Racing.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.