Face Racers: Photo Finish

Game review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Face Racers: Photo Finish Game Poster Image
Put your face in the race, and zip your way to a win.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Much like other racing games, this game encourages players to use power ups and weapons to win against other players.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The characters in the game don't have a set behavior, so it's entirely dependent on who is playing. The power ups are random, so you don't have much control over what you use against other players.

Ease of Play

Controls are straight-forward and you also have the option of using the device's gyroscope. The motion-based controls work well for steering, but less so for accelerating and braking. The game has multiple difficulty levels making it accessible for players with varying ages and skills.

Violence & Scariness

The game includes weapons to use against other players including missiles and mines. No one is injured -- the weapons simply cause the cars to spin around.

Language
Consumerism

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Face Racers: Photo Finish is a racing kart game that involves cartoon figures and cartoon violence. There is nothing extreme, but using the power-ups (including missiles and mines) is necessary for winning the game. This game is playable online, but doesn't offer chat options. Nintendo warns parents not to allow kids under age 7 to use the 3D portion of the game, as the 3D effects could damage developing eyes. Parents can turn off the 3D effects under the device's parental controls.

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What's it about?

FACE RACERS: PHOTO FINISH is a 3D racing kart game with 20 tracks that span a variety of environments. Players can take their own pictures and map them to the driver's face. They can also customize their race cars. The game has four main race types: Championship Tour, which brings players through four tracks; Quick Race, where players choose just one track to race; Battle, where players knock each other out in an elimination game; and Time Trial, where you'll speed through a track on your own to get the fastest time possible. Each of the games has plenty of options, including the number of racers, the number of laps, the difficulty level, and whether you'll do a normal or elimination race. Power ups include several different missiles, a mine, a helper that speeds you ahead, a shield, and one that makes the other racers slow down temporarily. There is also the \"In-Your-Face Taunt\" that uses your face to temporarily \"blind\" other players. The game can be played with others through local WiFi or online.

Is it any good?

Face Racers: Photo Finish is a fairly standard racing game with the added fun of seeing your own face in the driver's seat. With responsive controls and plenty of difficulty levels, it's easy enough for newer players, but challenging enough for those with more experience. Kids will enjoy customizing their characters, not only with their own photos, but with hair styles and accessories. Players can use the gyroscope, Circle Pad, or +Control Pad to steer, allowing kids to choose the method that is most comfortable. There are 20 tracks to unlock, each with a different terrain. The power-ups could be a bit more interesting, but overall this is a fun and likeable game that can be enjoyed by a wide range of ages and skills.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about being a good sport in a game. Are the power-ups in racing games fair gaming? What about in real life?

  • What do you do to manage your family's media consumption?

Game details

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