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First started in late 2007, Kasey's Mobile Game Review (then just a regular feature of Kasey's Korner) started as a simul-post between here and IGN. Later I realized there's no reason to post it twice, when I can use the traffic on my own site. so, here we are, in 2010, and the mobile game industry has grown a bit. What do you think?

Mobile Game Review of "Cars! Radiator Springs 500" mobile

Cars Road Trip - Lightning McQueenImage by kurros via FlickrThe Cars! (Disney animation) franchise inspired yet another game, and this one got ported to mobile. Is it any good? Sort of. Its main draw: a course editor.

While it's "called" a "500", implying you race 500 miles, in truth the race is divided into 15 different sub-races, each going several laps around a particular course about the town of Radiator Springs. Each is different, and there are certain minigames thrown in to help alleviate the stress of racing. Add powerups and you have a pretty nifty racing games for kids.

As always, you are Lightning McQueen, and you are out to win the race against all comers... And they are from all over... Rally Champion from Sweden, Drifting champ Koji from Japan, Fast sports cars from Europe, and more. Each of those cars have special abilities. Some can accelerate THROUGH puddles and drift, some are not slowed by mud puddles... McQueen can drive backwards if he spins out. It's cute.

The courses are littered with powerups and obstacles. Powerups are stuff like nitro boost and "wrenches" (collect 3 and you can upgrade your acceleration or top speed by one level). Hitting puddles or oil slicks and you can spin out. Mud puddles slow you down. Cones and barriers slow you down too... But speed pads are like free nitro boosts. There are also occasional jump ramps which also act like speed pads. On long races you'll need to pit, and when you pit, you need to do a memorization... Five items are shown, each would be large or small. After a few seconds, you need to "recreate" the pattern. Success (or failure) will determine your pit time.

Race itself is on a semi-3D. Cars themselves are bitmaps, though the course is... well, what I call two-and-a-half-D. It's 2D trying to look like 3D, and for the most part it is successful, and you'd be too busy racing to really notice. However, there are no elevations (i.e. no up and down, just FLAT) and not much roadside scenery like trees and such to give more sensation of speed.

It's a bit of fun to play, but perhaps a bit too easy, as I finish all 15 races and the minigames (where McQueen learns tricks like accelerate OUT of a oil slick, jump barriers, and so on) and finished first in all 15 races. There doesn't seem to be any higher difficulty level for added challenges.

All in all, Radiator Springs 500 is a kid's racing game that would quickly bore an adult. It's arcadish, and kid-friendly, and that's best thing I can say about it.

Overall rating: 6.5 out of 10
Pros: Proper use of Cars! characters, easy arcadish controls
Cons: Could have better graphics, arcadish race not for all

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