An animated feature about racing lends itself to easy game adaptation, but THQ takes full advantage of the setting in its "Cars" tie-in. The film's cast members lend their voices to the game and graphics and animation are in keeping with the movie. Accessible for younger players, it offers enough solid gameplay to draw in parents as well.

An animated feature about racing lends itself to easy game adaptation, but THQ takes full advantage of the setting in its “Cars” tie-in. The film’s cast members lend their voices to the game — yes, that’s Paul Newman and Owen Wilson you hear — and graphics and animation are in keeping with the movie. While it can’t compare with Pixar’s technical wizardry, it captures the “Cars” universe deftly. Accessible for younger players, it offers enough solid gameplay to draw in parents as well.

Vidgame takes up where the movie left off, with players taking the wheel as hot-shot racer Lightning McQueen (Wilson) in the rural desert town of Radiator Springs. Players are free to cruise around the town and surrounding area as well as interact with fellow anthropomorphic autos from the film.

Story mode comes in full-sized and compact, with the latter version designed for younger auds. Controls are simple: acceleration, brake and boost mostly being as much strategy as is needed.

Unlike other movie tie-ins, the game does not use any clips to push the story along, although they are available as bonus features.

And while racing game connoisseurs may yearn for more challenge, there is still plenty here to get younger fans’ motors running.

Cars: The Videogame

Production

A THQ presentation of a game developed by Rainbow Studios for PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox and GameCube. Rated E. Reviewed on Xbox.
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