Hot Wheels Stunt Track Driver CD-ROM can be summed up in a single word: simple. Everything in the game is designed to appeal to the intended 5-year old and up age group. Although the game lacks varying levels of difficulty or the ability to race against human opponents, the lack of those features does not hurt playability, as the excellent graphics and sound effects will keep kids glued to the computer for hours. Gameplay is designed so as to eliminate the need for adult supervision with simple game screens and menu options displayed in such a way that children who can't read yet will be able to navigate with little difficulty.
The Hot Wheels vehicles are meticulously designed to resemble their real world counterparts and each has strengths and weaknesses that may affect your selection when beginning play. For instance, one car might perform excellent stunts but is very slow, while another may have great speed but very little acceleration. Your choice of vehicle greatly affects how it handles the corners, loops and straight-aways you'll encounter on the included tracks.
Only four tracks are available at the start of the game but the number increases when you finish them with fast enough times. Like the cars, every track is unique and will appeal to children, being set in common household areas such as a living room, attic, greenhouse or bedroom. You steer, accelerate and decelerate through these areas with the mouse or arrow keys while attempting to dodge items like a cat's tail or a barking dog.
Although only a limited number of tracks come with the game, you can design your own from a set of pre-made parts -- simply point-and-click on the pieces to place them together in a new arrangement. The track pieces consist of jumps, corners, straight-aways, loops and tunnels, just to name a few, and the overall process is intuitive and easy to use. Once completed, tracks can be tested immediately and saved for later use or tweaking.
Graphics are well done and control of the vehicles is simplified dramatically to accommodate young hands. For instance, if a child simply presses the up arrow, the car will maneuver around the track, although it'll veer off a few times and be much slower than if the user was trying to handle corners correctly. This simple approach to control doesn't allow children to gain access to the new tracks but does permit even the youngest to enjoy the game.
The game will undoubtedly appeal to young fans of Hot Wheels vehicles with its superb entertainment value and amazing graphics. The simplistic gameplay is easy for kids of all ages and allows the very young to join the action as well. The ability to create their own tracks will keep kids coming back and extend game life considerably.
Graphics: The graphics are nicely done and should appeal to the target age group.
Sound: The music corresponds well with the style of gameplay but an option to turn it off after the repetition sets in would have been welcome.
Enjoyment: Young children will find the game to be a great deal of fun but older kids may find it too easy.
Replay Value: The ability to design custom tracks is very appealing and will have children returning to the game often.
People who downloaded Hot Wheels: Stunt Track Driver have also downloaded:
Hot Wheels: Stunt Track Driver 2, Hot Wheels: Stunt Track Challenge, Monster Truck Madness 2, Lego Racers, Driver (a.k.a. Driver: You Are the Wheelman), Lego Racers 2, Monster Truck Madness, LEGO Stunt Rally
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