Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
Do you need help restoring Radiator Springs to its former glory? Are some of those races giving you trouble? Then check out our Cars: Fast as Lightning player's guide!
Disney Pixar's Cars isn't a favorite franchise amongst most adult fans of animation, but there's no denying the pull it has for kids. They love the candy-red sleekness of main protagonist Lightning McQueen. They love the exciting races. They even love the hillbilly antics of Mater the tow-truck, a character proven to poison adults with decent taste.
In other words, Gameloft could stuff Cars: Fast as Lightning full of any old junk, and kids would still snatch it up (and beg their parents to make in-app purchases on their behalf). But it isn't junk. It's polished, well put-together, and full of unique voice clips. The gameplay might be too simplistic for older players, but younger fans will go nuts.
Cars: Fast as Lightning combines town-building and racing. Players take up residence in good ol' Radiator Springs, which is about to host a massive racing competition. Thing is, Radiator Springs is still a bit run-down. Some tune-ups are definitely necessary - for the town itself, as well as its denizens.
Players progress through chapters, unlocking new characters and items as they go. They race against (and as) several established Cars characters including the arrogant Chick Hicks, fanatic Lightning-worshipper Darrell Cartrip, and the, uh, "mellow" Volkswagen bus Fillmore.
Races are simple one-button affairs. Players swipe the screen when prompted to perform tricks on specialized sections of track that can be purchased with enough hard currency (gems) or earned with in-game currency (coins).
When not on the track, Cars enthusiasts can build up Radiator Springs with buildings, scenery, and services. They can also upgrade their racing posse, which admittedly takes quite a bit of time unless the process is sped up using gems.
Thankfully, Cars: Fast as Lightning is pretty fair with its free-to-play mechanics. Energy is only spent for races, and there's lots of it (extra energy stacks even after the energy bar is full). Coins are not too difficult to earn in-game, and can be acquired through practice races as well as buildings. Some of the cooler stunt tracks are only purchasable with hard currency, however.
Though its races are strictly kids' stuff, Cars: Fast as Lightning successfully pays tribute to the film and its fans fans. Younger players will love the varied gameplay, voice acting, and cartoon-accurate graphics. On the flipside, parents will love the fact Mater's quips are restricted to small voice bites. This game earns its checkered flag.