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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
F1 Race Stars wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.
While F1 Race Stars does feature both male and female characters, the underlying thought here is that the drivers are all on equal footing regardless of gender. In addition, players are rewarded with cups (there are 30 total) for finishing and winning the races, and there are also a variety of achievements that are granted during the course of competition.
Positive Role Models
Positive or negative role models do not really factor into F1 Race Stars; however, players can set their own standards for racing and in that regard their actions are driving their own concept of being a role model. Players can either bang and bump other players into walls or obstacles or choose to drive clean, use power-ups to boost speed, and not hinder other racers.
Ease of Play
F1 Race Stars has the same basic control scheme as many other race games, thus making it easy to jump right in and play. The menus are easy to navigate and finding an online game to compete in does not present a problem. Top to bottom, this is a well-designed game in terms of allowing players to get in and play quickly.
Violence & Scariness
F1 Race Stars does allow players to use their vehicle to bang into other drivers, which in turn may require repairs, but all the violence is cartoonish and does not result in harm to the drivers or the vehicles beyond simply driving through the pit stop for repairs. The violence is more along the lines of mischief than it is violence. Players may see cartoonish plumes of smoke.
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Products & Purchases
The online component of F1 Race Stars asks players to register on the Codemasters website, but besides that, and some publisher tags in the game environments, the game is relatively clear of commercial product placement. There are items (like additional tracks) that can be purchased from within the game, but these are not necessary to enjoy what is in the game already.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that F1 Race Stars is an arcade-style race game that allows players to pick from one of 28 pre-designed characters, and then race on crazy obstacle-filled tracks in 11 world locations. There are 14 power-ups that can be snagged by driving through the icon, and the power-ups (which include items like bubbles to encase opponent's cars, teleportation, speed boosts, and area-of-effect pulses to damage other cars) can help or hinder drivers in their quest to win. The game also sports an online component with open chat, but this can be disabled. This is a game that is more enjoyable when competing with others either on the same machine or online.
Is It Any Good?
F1 Race Stars is certainly not unique, but it is bright, colorful, and entertaining. This is a game that is easy to jump into and play, offers a nice variety of tracks, and creates a light, fun, and challenging race experience. No one is ever seriously injured and the power-ups are both wacky and fun. Plus, F1 Race Stars looks good and plays well.
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.