A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a kart racing game starring NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers. The game contains plenty of NASCAR references and in-jokes that will appeal to die-hard fans of the sport, but parents should be aware of relentless corporate branding that permeates every level of the game from the in-game billboards to the menu screens.
What's it about?
Unlike EA's main NASCAR franchise, which takes a life-like and serious approach to the sport, NASCAR KART RACING is a playful alternative that fuses the NASCAR brand with a more freewheeling kart-racing style of gameplay. Players compete with power-ups and fun courses such as the Cactus Pass dirt track and the Belt Way Battle street race, which go beyond the ovals of Talladega to include jumps, twists, obstacles, and plenty of turning right as well as left.
Is it any good?
When held up to Mario Kart franchise, the golden standard of kart racing, Nascar Kart Racing falls a little short, but it's still a solid racing game that introduces a unique emphasis on teamwork. When you select a racer (one of 12 Sprint Cup drivers, with 12 more characters unlockable) you'll be automatically paired with a teammate. During the race, whenever you're close to your teammate, your boost meter charges to enable extra bursts of speed. Smart teammates will use this technique to "slingshot" past each other and zip to the front of the pack.
Unfortunately, the game suffers from intrusive and relentless corporate advertising. Ads are par for the course in NASCAR, but in NASCAR Kart Racing ads aren't just limited to the drivers' cars and firesuits, but to trackside billboards and even the game menus (the restart screen is "sponsored" by Coke Zero, for example). Even a power-up meant to distract by temporarily blocking your view of the track acts by flashing a giant logo of the sponsor of the attacking driver across the screen. The in-game dialogue is peppered with references to "NASCAR (R)" and the "Sprint Cup (TM)," too. Players willing to put up with this, however, will find an entertaining and laid back racing game that captures the spirit of NASCAR.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about which driver and teammate combo they would select as their "dream team" in the game. In what ways do NASCAR teammates like Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson cooperate on the track? Do you think the presence of ads in the game makes it more realistic, or less enjoyable?
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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.