A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
This game is a straightforward "demolition derby"-style racing game – with a variety of vehicles to choose from (even silly ones) -- to compete with in no-holds-barred racing competitions. There aren't any positi9ve or negative messages in the gameplay.
Positive Role Models
Drivers are nameless, faceless racers that don't have any motivation other than to destroy the cars of their competitors.
Ease of Play
WreckFest is fairly easy to learn, with simple controls and a tutorial mode to get you going. Depending on the mode, the difficulty ramps up the more you play. The customization options are also easy to understand.
Violence & Scariness
This is an over-the-top racing game that places an emphasis on destroying rival vehicles, whether it's smashing them to pieces, causing a spin- or skid-out, and performing dramatic takedowns to render the vehicles immobile. While not realistic (and without blood or gore), drivers can fly out of vehicles and land on the track, and can be driven over with no penalty (but no reward either). One of the song lyrics makes reference to violent threats.
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Products & Purchases
The billboards and other signs in the game are for fictitious brands, but some of the vehicles are licensed, such as a Honda racer.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
One of the songs make a reference to narcotics.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that WreckFest is a "demolition derby"-style racing game for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PCs. There's no actual plot to the gameplay; instead, players compete in no-holds-barred racing events to destroy their competition's vehicles. Whether playing solo or online, players can choose from a variety of vehicles – including over-the-top ones like Lawnmowers and school buses – and are encouraged to make it first to the finish line (in circuit modes), as well as inflict as much damage and destruction possible. Drivers' bodies may eject from the vehicles, with "rag-doll" physics, and may fall on the track and be driven over, although no blood or gore is shown. Some lyrics make reference to drugs and violence, but otherwise, there's no inappropriate content. While billboards advertise fictional products, some cars are real licensed machines from manufacturers such as Honda.
Is It Any Good?
If it's an over-the-top destruction derby-style racer you're after, this is refreshingly different, fusing destruction with deep customization, physics, and modes to indulge in. It might take a few events around a track in Wreckfest to fully appreciate the attention to detail, here, including the tight and responsive handling of your vehicles (which really do feel different depending on which ride you're in). You'll also pick up on how damage affects your vehicle's handling, learning the nuances of the dirt and paved tracks, and straddling the balance between making it to the finish line before others (in circuit racing) and causing a tactical collision (or better yet, a multi-car pileup) to give you an edge. And yes, there are straightforward Destruction Derby and Dirt Showdown modes, which is a large and often messy area to smash up rival vehicles before they can do the same to you. As you likely know, the last person whose vehicle can be driven wins the match.
While not the sharpest or most striking game graphically, Wreckfest looks great and runs smoothly with elements that compliment the gameplay (including good music and sound effects). The multiplayer and career modes should help keep this game enjoyable over a long period of time, but it might feel repetitive playing the single player races over and over. While you might not have heard about Wreckfest, this $40 gem is worth picking up for driving fans, kart racing lovers, and others who might enjoy an unadulterated smash-em-up racer.
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.