A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that TrackMania Turbo is a racing game that's appropriate for players of all ages. It takes place on over-the-top fantasy tracks, and players can create and share their own work, too. There are no characters to be found within the game (only cars), and the controls are extremely easy to pick up and play. Designing tracks may take a little time to pick up, but it's not difficult. There's no offensive content, and while cars may sometimes crash on (or off) the track, there's nothing graphic shown.
What's it about?
TRACKMANIA TURBO is an over-the-top arcade racing game. Instead of trying to offer a realistic and authentic driving simulation, this title is all about fantasy tracks -- there are more than 200 courses set over four environments -- with four types of gameplay experiences. Along with a campaign mode with five levels of difficulty, the game features indoor and outdoor tracks, solo and multiplayer matches (split-screen or online, cooperative or competitive), a built-in track editor, and more. Unlike the previous games in the series, TrackMania Turbo isn't about head-to-head racing to the finish line. Instead, your goal is to beat track times. In the single-player campaign, for example, you'll try to capture the gold by besting specific speed-run times, but you might have to settle for silver or bronze until you master your skills -- such as drifting around tight corners or speeding up at the optimal time to perform a vertical loop the loop. The PC version supports virtual reality headsets via 360-degree video recording and sharing.
Is it any good?
This is a really fun game -- and something you can feel good about your kids playing. Not only is there no inappropriate content to be concerned about but there are more than 200 tracks and track variations, as well as multiple modes. Also, like in past games in the series, there's an integrated track editor for you to make your own playable tracks and share them with other games (and yes, you can download other people's creations). But it's important to note this game isn't about competing against other drivers in a race to the finish line but, rather, is a "time trial" game that has you beat a specific time. This is an important distinction, making it different from past games in the series. It's still very fun, mind you, especially as the courses are downright crazy and challenging, but it's not the kind of racing game everyone will enjoy. The campaign mode challenges you to rack up as many medals as you can and progress in worldwide rankings, while the multiplayer modes on the same TV or online include a new and unique twist on co-op: The "Double Driver" option lets you team up with a friend to control the speed and direction of the same car.
And it wouldn't be a TrackMania game if there weren't a built-in track builder. Easy to use on a console controller, this toolbox lets gamers play, design, or easily generate randomly generated tracks that can be shared with others in the community. The mouse and keyboard might still be a better interface than a PS4 or Xbox One controller, but the developers make it work with analog sticks and buttons, with a comprehensive tutorial. While not for everyone, TrackMania Turbo is a fun, over-the-top racing game that has a lot going for it.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about creativity. What is it about games that let players create content that makes them so appealing? Are you interested in creating your own games?
Talk about racing. What do you like most about racing? Is it the speed, the challenge, or the skill required to race around a track?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions
Hobbies: building, sports
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, strategy
Creativity: making new creations, producing new content
Self-Direction: time management, work to achieve goals
Tech Skills: digital creation, using and applying technology
- Price: $39.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: UbiSoft
- Release date: March 31, 2016
- Genre: Racing
- Topics: Cars and trucks
- ESRB rating: E
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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.