is sort of a follow-up to the movie. You play as Lightning McQueen who has returned to Radiator Springs for the first-ever Mater-National race. Unlike the last Cars
game, which was more of a pure racing game, Mater-National
combines open-ended world maps with more straightforward racing. The structure isn't much different from Test Drive Unlimited
. Events and mini-games are scattered throughout Radiator Springs which you must complete to earn flags which play into the game's tiered ranking system. By earning enough flags, you'll unlock new challenges, eventually leading up to an invitation to the Mater-National Championship
. You aren't required to complete all of the challenges to get to the race, which is great since it opens the game up for younger players who may not like certain events or find them too difficult.
In addition to normal races, Mater-National includes a number of race types. Relay races are similar to normal races, except you change vehicles every lap. You'll also compete in Fuel Frenzy and Rhythmic Rumble events. In Fuel Frenzy games, your goal is to complete as many laps as you can without running out of gas. The trick is to plan you path around the track so that you'll reach the gas canisters that litter the track. The idea behind Rhythmic Rumble is based on something like Dance Dance Revolution; you match buttons presses as they scroll across the bottom of the screen. The concept is okay, the icons come from opposite sides of the screen, which makes it hard to get an idea of what button presses are coming up next.
Despite numerous races and mini-games, Mater-National does get a bit repetitive. The game world is rather small and though there are more than enough places to visit, you'll probably see them all within the first hour of gameplay. On the plus side, there is plenty to unlock, including new paint jobs, artwork and other extras.