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Cars: Radiator Springs Adventures
Review By: Jared Black
Developer: Awe Games
Publisher: THQ
Genre: Racing
ESRB: Everyone
# Of Players: 1
Online Play: No
Accessories:
  • Windows 98/ME/2000/XP or Mac OSX 10.3
  • P3 800MHz (Windows) or G4 1.4 GHz (Mac)
  • 256MB RAM
  • GeForce2, ATI 7500 or better (32MB VRAM)
  • 500MB disk space
  • DirectX 9 and above (Windows)
Buy Now: Buy Cars: Radiator Springs Adventures at Amazon.com!

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Given that the PC has always had a sizable userbase of younger gamers, it’s not surprising that THQ decided to create a PC/Mac compatible version of Cars aimed at the youngin’ in your household. While Cars: Radiator Springs Adventures doesn’t offer the free-roaming world found in its console brethren, it’s still an entertaining game that should appease most early elementary school children.

Cars

Like many PC games aimed at young children, Cars: RSA is basically a collection of mini-games based on the movie. There are two main gameplay modes: Legends Race and Activities. Legends Race is a series of 10 drag races against characters from the movie, although the player doesn’t do any of the steering, braking, or acceleration. Instead, the player must time mouse clicks with a circular meter to tell Lightning McQueen when to shift gears. Although insanely easy for someone older (I blew through all 10 races without losing once in about 15 minutes), I could see some of the final races giving younger children a challenge.

The meat of the game however lies in the Activities mode, which includes 10 different mini-games. These include:

Cars

As usual for a children’s game, none of these last more than a few minutes and are controlled entirely with the mouse (save for jumping with the space bar on Sarge’s obstacle course). Impressively, there’s still a good bit of variety here despite being limited almost entirely to the mouse. Drive-In and Out will test problem solving skills, Radiator Springs Curios will give young brains a good workout, and Speed Trap will train tykes for future FPS fragging. Although it’s disappointing that none of these allow you to actually race your car (the closest you get is moving the mouse to determine direction), they should still provide hours of entertainment.

Graphically, Cars: RSA is serviceable. Its simplicity is a plus, as with low minimum system requirements it’s accessible to most children even if they’re running their parents’ hand-me-down PC. The fact that it’s locked in at 800x600, with no windowed option, and has some jaggies to boot isn’t however. The sound is excellent though, with most of the voice actors pitching in, decent sound effects, and a fun pop soundtrack including kid-friendly hits like “Rock This Town” and “Free Ride.”

Bottom Line:

While there’s no actual racing involved where you’re in complete control, the variety of mini-games gives this considerable replay value. If you’re reading this you’re probably too old to play Cars: Radiator Springs Adventures, but younger fans of the movie will have a blast. 

Pros:Cons:Final Score:
  • Simple, solid gameplay is perfect for younger children.
  • Good soundtrack with plenty of voice acting.
  • Even ancient P3 machines can run it.
  • You’ll just have to play it on one resolution full-screen and like it!
  • Why couldn’t they have included some simplistic form of actual racing, just to keep older children entertained? Changing gears alone doesn’t exactly capture the thrill of a big race.
8.0
1

Posted: 2006-09-02 12:53:57 PST