Wacky Races: Crash & Dash

 
Too-violent kart-racer crashes and burns.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Dick Dastardly and Muttley are the bad boys of the game, setting traps for unwitting racers.

Violence & scariness

Very light: Using Wacky Power, you attack enemy cars so they break down.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this game will frustrate the kids. It's far too hard to steer and stay on course. Sometimes, you won't even see your race car because it goes behind a hill.

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What's it about?

In WACKY RACES: CRASH & DASH, your goal is to beat all other strange and egotistic racers to complete six circuit rallies. Just like in the old cartoon show, you'll meet a zany cast of drivers like Penelope Pitstop who have special powers on the tracks.

Strangely, you play the game not by steering with the Wii remote a la Excite Truck. Instead you have to hook up the Wii nunchuck. You steer with the control stick (not cool) and speed up by shaking the Wiimote (really cool). The powerups can be creative, like hair dryers that boost speed or dragons that shoot flames from a car. But it's all for nothing.

Those looking forward to a game that has all the energy of the TV show will be greatly disappointed. What you get is a racing game that should never have been released. That's because you don't drive from a third or first person perspective. You drive looking at the screen that's 2D and flat. You get the idea that the game makers are paying homage to the TV show, which also was 2D and flat. But the perspective in the game is so bad, that you have no feeling for the road or for going off it. Then add to this horrible steering controls, and those cool power ups seem utterly useless.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Furthermore, the video cutscenes stop the race right in the middle to show Dick Dastardly and Muttley as they plan a trap for you. You'll then use the Wiimote to get out of the trap by, say, placing screws in the right places in a puzzle. This interruption is so annoying, it's like cutting to a commercial when Tiger Woods is about to hit a putt. What an utter debacle. The game makers had a good idea with powerups and a good franchise with Wacky Races; but, just like a tire rolling on a nail, it all went flat when it came to game play and design.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about where this game went wrong, and can compare it to superior efforts like Mario Kart for the Wii. When kids aren't talking about their frustration, parents might mention how cool the Wacky Races TV show was when they were kids.

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS
Price:$39.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Eidos Interactive
Release date:June 17, 2008
Genre:Racing
ESRB rating:E for Everyone (Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii)

This review of Wacky Races: Crash & Dash was written by

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Quality

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  • 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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