Roary the Racing Car
Based on the children's
show of the same name, Roary the Racing Car skids onto the
Nintendo DS which is strictly for the youngest gamer possible. If you're
older than 10, you might want to look elsewhere for your enjoyment and
more specifically, your edutainment.
The animated series
series revolves around "talking" cars that include Roary, the youngest
of the lot, Maxi, a former Formula One car and Tin Top, a stock car that
together with even more cars get involved in all sorts of mischief. The series also has some
"human" characters in it such as Big Chris who is the best friend of
Roary. It's basically the perfect archetype show for young kids.
the animated series on to the DS, the game even contains the original TV
theme song sung by Peter Kay who also voices Big Chris in the
series. So what exactly is the game? Roary the Racing Car on the
DS is basically a collection of mini-games and once the player has
signed in, they have the choice of picking one of the following games;
Roary’s Racing Games
– Roary’s Race, Musical Mayhem, Big Chritine’s Tyre Challenge
Maxi’s Missions –
Light ‘Em Up Roary!
Challenge – Farmer Green’s Fruit Machine
Spot the Difference
Drifter’s Drives – Catch Flash!
Sliding Tiles Tin
Top’s Trials – Rusty Remembers
Get Ready to Race!
Negotiations – Jigsaw
The games are then
divided into the different colour coordinated cars in the series. For
example, if you select Roary, you will have the option of competing in
"Roary's Race", "Musical Mayhem" and "Big Christine's Tyre Challenge"
with three choices of difficulty levels.
The games are a mixture
of fun (racing) and edutainment (memory games, puzzles etc). The racing
games are very reminiscent of those early arcade games like Pit Stop
that has Roary attempting to get the fastest time. Of course, Roary must
avoid a variety of obstacles such as oil slicks and cones. The gameplay
is quite basic and most kids should have no issue in playing the
majority of titles.
With that said, not all
the games in the title are racing and can be quite diverse such as Tin
Top's Sudoku which is a basic version of Sudoku aimed at children. The
mixture between education and arcade actually works most times with this
game and if you can accept that this game is targeted at the youngest of
gamers, than it actually works quite well.
The game even boasts a
trophy system for children to aim towards and hopefully keep them quiet
in those long car journeys. Some of the games in the title were a little
tough for my 5-year old but with some help, he easily managed to master
them but it does raise the question of why did they include some tough
games when the majority of the game is quite easy?
The control system of
the game uses the touch screen to control the main gameplay such as the
stylus used to control the car or to place your letters down for Sudoku
or the various memory games or jigsaws. Easy stuff! Although the games are quite
diverse, the control system is quite basic, ensuring that children will
have no issues in mastering this title.
Graphically, the title
is reminiscent of the TV show and the in-game graphics are quite bright
and simplistic. The game does contain some sound bites from the TV
series and I must admit that the main theme song does get on your
nerves, however my 5-year old had no issues with this whatsoever.
If you're looking for a
game without the hype and the violence, than this is the perfect title
for the younger gamer. The gameplay is fun and will keep them busy,
provided they don't find a Mario or a Nintendo game before attempting to
play this title. Not the slickest title around but still fun.