Hotwheels Racing Circuit

Game review by
Carolyn Koh, Common Sense Media
Hotwheels Racing Circuit Game Poster Image
Simple racing and collections game can get pricey.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

With leader boards in various statistics, there is an incentive for kids to be the best of the best.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Since this is a car racing game without chat, there really aren't any role models.

Ease of Play

Kids see the track head-on so controls are simple arrow key movements. A "speedometer" shows kids that they are accelerating by holding down the "up" arrow key.

Violence & Scariness

Cars can crash and players can shoot rockets at each other, but there is no death or destruction, just cartoon representations of crashes.

Language

There is a little bit of "trash talk" in the automatic messages at the end of a race which might be "Beat That!" or "Eat my dust!"

Consumerism

Hotwheels is a Mattel branded line of toy cars and accessories. Special retail packages of the toy cars will have codes for kids to get a similar car online.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Hotwheels Racing Circuit is an online multiplayer, browser-based game that allows kids to race against the computer or other players, but does not allow chat. Accounts are verified with an email and have to be activated, but no other information is gathered unless parents decide to buy a subscription account for their kids. Parents also need to know that software must be downloaded and installed for the game to work and that older machines may have compatibility issues. 

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What's it about?

In HOTWHEELS RACING CIRCUIT, an online, mulitplayer, bowser-based game, there are two tracks and several racing games that are free to play. Kids can also customize their own car for free. Other customization requires credits which are earned by racing. Each race requires 8 players and if there aren’t enough kids online at the time, the computer will fill up the rest of the slots. There are also 8 trophies for every race, so kids will always win something in each race they participate in.

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Is it any good?

Like many car games, Hotwheels Racing Circuit is about collecting cars and making your cars look cool. If kids are already Hotwheels fans, this may be a way to extend their hobby. The subscription commitment is for a year and costs $29.99, which is expensive when compared to the 99 cents cost of most physical hotwheel cars. However the graphics are really good, which helps to make these toy cars come alive. This game is best played on new, faster computers and kids with slow machines, may get frustrated. They may have to pop open a new window and the browser may have to be minimized in order to play the game.

Online interaction: Kids can look at each others profiles and garages but there is no actual interaction as there isn't any text chat.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about setting computer time limits. How many races do you want to play today?

  • Families can also talk about collecting as a hobby and the differences between collecting physical toys and virtual ones.

Game details

  • Platforms: Mac, Windows
  • Price: Free / $29.99 yearly
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: Mattel
  • Release date: October 1, 2010
  • Genre: Racing
  • ESRB rating: NR for Not Rated

For kids who love racing and online games

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