A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Although racing is intensely competitive, there's a strong focus on teamwork and communication, with players working together to paint track in ways that will help boost their teammates.
Positive Role Models
Fairly diverse roster of drivers to choose from, with a variety of personality quirks, but none of them stand out over the course of the story.
Ease of Play
Controls are intuitive and responsive, making races fast and fluid. In certain modes, contributing to your team's performance means more than trying to cross the finish line first.
Violence & Scariness
Cars bump against and push each other, with certain abilities causing opponents to spin out. No blood, gore, or injuries shown.
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Occasional innuendo, such as "having the stones" to compete, and occasional use of "damn."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
References to characters drinking, but nothing shown.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Trailblazers is a downloadable sci-fi-themed racing game for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch consoles, as well as Windows, Mac, and Linux-based computers. While there's a solo campaign, the game has a heavy focus on working together with other racers as a team. In some cases, just helping your team get the win can be just as rewarding as actually being the first across the finish line. The game is easy to pick up and play for all skill levels and is about as violent as a round of bumper cars. That said, there's a little innuendo, "damn" is used occasionally in the dialogue, and there are some references to drinking. But otherwise, there's no inappropriate content.
Is It Any Good?
When it comes to racing games, it can be hard to find something that genuinely feels original, but this racer feels like a classic with a new can of paint. Actually,Trailblazers does something completely different with that paint ... mainly by letting players spill it out all over the track. The result is a team-based experience that's fast and fun, with a little more thought involved than just putting the pedal to the metal. The painting mechanic opens up all kinds of unique team strategies. Players can use the speed-boosted paint trails to slingshot around one another, giving an opportunity to trade places and keep their team's accelerated racing going. Or one player can hang back and keep painting over the opposing team's work, keeping them from earning a boost streak. In 3v3 matches, there are even more ways to combine these and other strategies, making winning a race feel like a genuine team effort.
Trailblazers is also a great-looking game. It's got a colorful, cartoonish style with a retro sci-fi design. It has sharp details and runs smoothly even when you're flying down the track at breakneck speed. As good as it looks, though, the rest of the presentation is a bit lacking. The single-player story mode gets players used to the different tracks with certain goals to accomplish, but ultimately, it feels like an extended tutorial or watered-down challenge mode. Players have certain objectives to reach in each race, but these are mainly practice for the competitive races. While the dialogue is full of cheesy one-liners, these do little to flesh out the drivers' personalities. Mind you, just the addition of a Story mode is more than most arcade racers offer, and it doesn't detract from the overall fun. In fact, even with the Story mode's flaws,Trailblazers winds up having plenty of horsepower to pass a lot of the competition and take the checkered flag.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.