ModNation Racers: Road Trip

Common Sense Media says

Reasonably fun cartoon racer with light weapons use.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

This is a cute kart racing game, where opponents race around the track and can use light weapons to impede opponents' performances. There isn't anything inappropriate here, but there is comic mischief like firing small rocks at drivers and freezing them, and so on.

Positive role models

As with most racing games, you don't learn much about the driver's personality, character, or motivation -- therefore it's difficult to assess whether the person is a good role model or not. In the game, however, you must not only race to the finish line but also use light, cartoon-like weapons to cause other drivers to crash or slow down.

Ease of play

The game is very simple to play, initially, with easy controls to master. The second half of the campaign, however, gets harder to play with smarter artificial intelligence (A.I.).


It's a comical kart racing game that lets gamers pick up power-ups, which are mostly weapons, and use them on enemies. These could be projectiles, shock blasts, or items that can affect the track, like ice, which causes a spin-out when driven over. You can also make a rival racer blow up in a cartoon-like fashion. These effects are all mischievous and often silly, and no one gets hurt.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Minor safety and privacy issues. The game lets you create and share cars and tracks with other players over the Internet. There is no online multiplayer, however, and no way to chat with others through the PlayStation Vita. But the online access requires a free PlayStation Network (PSN) account.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know ModNation Racers: Road Trip  is a cartoon racing game with light weapons used to distract and deter other drivers. You can shoot pellets that cause damage, create explosions, or make other riders slip and crash. There is no serious violence as no one is injured by the shenanigans.

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What's it about?

As with ModNation Racers for the PlayStation 3, MODNATION RACERS: ROAD TRIP is a kart racing game that challenges you to reach the finish line through speed, savvy driving, and by using various weapons to cause opponents to wipe out, spin into a dizzy, or blow up in a cartoon-like fashion. You can play through all the courses provided or log onto the PlayStation Network to download more than 500,000 user-created tracks already available -- and compatible -- from the other ModNation Racers game. Players can also use their fingertips on the PlayStation Vita's 5-inch display to create a track and share it with others online. Additionally, the game offers a career mode for those who want to progress through increasingly challenging courses.

Is it any good?


ModNation Racers: Road Trip is both good and not so good. On one hand, ModNation Racers: Road Trip is cute, accessible, and fun to play. The various karts and weapons add variety, not to mention the (literally) hundreds of thousands of unique tracks to download, created by other players. And you can create and share your own creations, as well. But, on the other hand, the game suffers from a poor frame rate -- especially when there's a lot of action on screen at the same time -- plus there's long load time between tracks. Given the PSVita's processing power, this is disappointing. The lack of an online multiplayer mode is also a letdown as it would be fun to race against human players in other cities. While it could've been better, there's still a lot of value given the sheer number of tracks available.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether gamers like the idea of creating and sharing content in games like this or the LittleBigPlanet series. Or should game designers do their job and we should simply enjoy their professional creations? Or is the blurring of the line between game player and game designer an exciting one?

  • How do you like playing games on the PS Vita?

Game details

Platforms:PlayStation Vita
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Sony Computer Entertainment
Release date:February 15, 2012
Topics:Cars and trucks
ESRB rating:E for Mild Cartoon Violence (PlayStation Vita)

This review of ModNation Racers: Road Trip was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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