A Review of Pixar’s Cars Video Game for the PC – Radiator Springs Adventure

Disney Pixar’s hit film Cars, like other blockbuster summer films, is not just a movie. It’s the beginning of a long list of licensed toys, t-shirts, and other products featuring the characters from the movie. My daughter recently received the Pixar Cars video game, Radiator Springs Adventures, as a gift from her grandmother.

Apparently there are two different Cars video games on the market, one is where Lightning McQueen races in the Piston Cup Series and the other is an activity game featuring the characters and the town of Radiator Springs. We have the Radiator Springs Adventure version. The Cars video game is packaged with Mater and Lightning McQueen on the cover and is marketed to children ages 4 and up. Cars Radiator Springs Adventure is rated E for everyone. With ten games on the CD-Rom, the Cars video game promises non-stop action and many challenges.

Installing the Cars video game proved to be more challenging than any game on the disc. First, we tried installing it on Grandma’s Dell computer running Windows XP. The install wizard started but could never complete the installation. It would close with an error box. Grandma is not the most technical of computer users so she sent the Cars video game to our house.

I first tried installing the disc on my daughter’s VAIO laptop. It installed just fine but whenever I clicked the Cars icon, a blank box opened then shut itself right away followed by an obscure error message.

Okay, time to read the readme file. It turns out the Cars video game has some known issues with various video cards. Not wanting to hassle with figuring out my daughter’s system and trying to update the drivers, I decided to load the game on my desktop computer. If my computer wouldn’t run the video game, I’d either try troubleshooting the laptop or try to return the game. At last, when I clicked on the Cars video game icon, the lovable Pixar characters filled my screen.

The next challenge involved my mouse. I have a wireless optical mouse that tends to be finicky most of the time. When navigating the Cars video game however, it’s darn right annoying. The mouse’s cursor lags about three seconds behind the movement. It drives me crazy trying to work the mouse with this game but my daughter is flexible and has slowed her movements down to match the mouse’s speed. I don’t know if it’s a problem with my mouse or with the video card or memory but it’s irritating and hard to work with.

Now that we finally had a computer willing to cooperate, we began playing the Cars video games. The characters are true to the Pixar movie and the included games are easy for 4-6 year olds to enjoy. Older children will enjoy seeing the characters and may like the games initially but the games aren’t challenging enough to keep their interest much longer than a few plays.

Before you can participate in the big race, you must complete a series of challenges. My favorite game is learning Ramone’s secret dance moves. Ramone does a little dance and you must help Lightning McQueen imitate the moves. Other fun activities include helping Mater tow away junk cars and steering through Sarge’s crazy obstacle course.

The Cars Video Game by Pixar is a cute game that fans of the movie Cars and younger children will enjoy. The other version of the Cars video game is geared towards older fans and is more of a racing style game. Before buying Cars Radiator Springs Adventure, make sure to check that your system meets or exceeds the minimum requirements.

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