Home | News | Reviews | Previews | Hardware
Hot Wheels Turbo Racing
Score: 92%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: EA Games
Developer: Stormfront Studios
Media: CD/1
Players: 1 - 2
Genre: Racing/ Action/ Sports

Graphics & Sound:
The graphics are acceptable. They're definitely not on the Gran Turismo level, but they look pretty good. Many of the more popular collectible Hot Wheels cars are available to pick from, with many others included as Mystery Cars. There are a few different 'chase car' views, and a first-person view that puts you in the driver seat. The sound effects are not bad, although the background music is an excellent choice. Hot Wheels Turbo Racing features heavy hitting, furious beats, from bands such as Metallica, Mix Master Mike, and Primus... to name a few. Overall, Hot Wheels Turbo Racing has a pretty good presentation.

Gameplay:
Hot Wheels Turbo Racing offers a unique take on the genre. Instead of treating the cars strictly as toys, as the Micro Machines game does, Hot Wheels makes a marriage of toy cars and real cars. During most parts of the races, the Hot Wheels cars play realistically. When a powerup is encountered, however, the true 'toy' nature of the car shows itself. Another part of the game that departs from the otherwise realistic physics engine is during jumps. When your car jumps, you can use the controller to control the spin of your Hot Wheels car, allowing you to perform insane twists, turns, barrel rolls, and combinations of the same. It even allows you to switch directions in mid flight. While this is completely impossible, of course, it reminds me of some of the aerobatics I used to make my actual Hot Wheels cars perform, while firmly held between my infantile hands.

Another cool feature in Hot Wheels is the large number of playable cars, including the 'Mystery Cars.' You obtain these Mystery Cars by finding them (disguised, of course) in secret or hard to find areas of the tracks. The neat part of this is that it's not extremely hard to find and obtain one of them, but there are a lot of them to find. There are also a lot of secret passageways that act as shortcuts, as well as some hidden rooms scattered throughout the game. This makes Hot Wheels Turbo Racing more fun when playing a single player game.


Difficulty:
Hot Wheels Turbo Racing is very approachable. If you've ever played a racing game before, you'll have no problem. If not... you'll probably STILL have no problem. One tip on making it all easier - any time you get airborne, use your D-Pad to spin your car. The more stunts pulled off while airborne, the more nitros you'll earn. Then, use the nitros to get around the track even faster, and to make higher and longer jumps. When in the air, repeat this tip to earn more nitros. The more nitros you get, the faster, higher, and better you can jump. The better you jump, the more nitros you can earn. Itís a vicious cycle. Keep this up and you'll find it much easier to win races.

Game Mechanics:
In a very interesting move, Hot Wheels Turbo Racing manages to walk the line between realism and fun. The driving engine allows you to enjoy the challenges of racing cars, as well as the fun of performing physically impossible aerial stunts. This makes the game especially fun for anyone who has ever owned a Hot Wheels car. Also, the tracks are riddled with hidden shortcuts, providing variety and adding to the replay value of the game. There is nothing revolutionary about the game engine, but Hot Wheels Turbo Racing is a shining example of a good idea coupled with a nice design to make a really good game.

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

This site best viewed in Internet Explorer 6 or higher or Firefox.