Explosive racing game encourages aggressive driving.
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What parents need to know

Positive messages

Players are encouraged to drive aggressively and very recklessly to win races. They're also given the ability to initiate events that will cause other racers to crash. What's more, the consequences of these crashes are not depicted authentically; drivers are never shown injured and cars simply respawn, good as new.

Positive role models

There are no characters, which means the actions of the the player as a driver (and other players as drivers) are the game's only behavioral cues, and will vary accordingly.

Ease of play

The controls are pretty standard for an arcade racing title. The driving isn't realistic, so players can speed down tracks with little penalty. The game starts with players practicing on a race track and learning the different moves before advancing to real events.


Players must drive aggressively to fill a meter that unleashes Power Plays, such as an explosion that knocks down a building or blows up a vehicle to cause opponents to crash. In the Air Attack modes, players dodge and deflect missiles fired by an attack helicopter, while Survival mode requires players to dodge explosive canisters dumped by a truck. The wrecks are intense, and highlighted with slow-motion effects.

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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
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Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Split/Second is an arcade racing title in which aggressive driving is the key to victory. Players can use Power Plays to detonate buildings, vehicles, and other structures to force opponents to wreck. The crashes are particularly intense, but don't reveal any graphic visuals showing drivers. However, this may also lead to younger players taking away a false impression of the seriousness of high speed collisions. The game is playable online, a feature Common Sense Media does not recommend to children under the age of 12.

What's it about?

SPLIT/SECOND is an intense racing title set inside a reality television show. Players work through a \"season,\" which consists of a series of episodes each filled with multiple events that include straightforward races, elimination bouts, and time trials. The key twist is that players use their environment to cause spectacular crashes. Once players build up a meter via aggressive driving they can initiate Power Plays which can blow up giant buildings or take out part of a bridge and cause other players to wreck. Outside of season mode players can participate in individual events and battle other drivers online.

Is it any good?


The game uses a simple approach for arcade racing, but it proves to be exhiliarating and thrilling. Generating blasts that wreck multiple cars and push you to the front of the pack is quite gratifying, as is dodging huge blasts en route to victory. The driving controls are pretty easy to pick up as well.

Also, there's a sense of unpredictability to each race. Just because you're in last place early doesn't mean you can't execute a major Power Play and hop right back in front. The game features a solid variety of unique, fun modes that make this a great avenue for satisfying your inner thrill-seeker.

Online interaction: Online matches include open voice chat. Common Sense Media does not recommend open voice communications for players under 12 years of age.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how this game compares to other racing titles. Do you prefer games that employ arcade style racing as opposed to a more authentic style?

  • Families can also discuss the consequences of high-speed racing, and how most racing games fail to depict them with accuracy. Do you think there might be a way for game makers to create a fun racing game with realistic accidents? Do you think this would benefit younger players?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows
Available online?Available online
Developer:Disney Interactive
Release date:May 18, 2010
Topics:Cars and trucks
ESRB rating:E10+ for Violence

This review of Split/Second was written by

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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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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 10 years old November 21, 2010

Its not exactly peacful, but its not the most violent game out today.

Its really cool, like need for speed meets call of duty. The only thing thats bad about this game is it has really bad driving in it. The slow-mo crashes are pretty much the only thing parents wont like, but its better than playing God of War. Commonsense just made a big fuss about it because it shows unsafe driving. Its E-10 for a reason, Bret Molina.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written byILOVEGAMES272 December 6, 2011


If you know right from wrong, you can get this game. This games doesn't encourage aggressive driving because people become professional racers when they grow up. Sure it's dangerous but it's not illegal if you do it in the streets. This is the funnest racing game I've ever played. I own it and you should too!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 12 years old January 3, 2011

Very good.

This game is pretty fun. I don't think this game should be 13+ up. I think Common Sense is to protective. The violence is mild.


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