World Of Cars Online
Head Out On The Highway With The Gang From Cars
What It Is
World Of Cars Online is a new browser-based, virtual world inspired by the 2006 movie, Cars. Since it’s original theatrical and subsequent video releases, Cars has continued to be one of the hottest boys properties and will likely grow in popularity with the release of Cars 2 in 2011. World Of Cars Online is a destination site where kids get to socialize, play games and — of course — race cars!
Kids can sign up for a membership on their own but a parent’s email address will be required to complete the registration process. Once a parent has approved and set the child’s account parameters (more on this later), kids create their own car, which will be his or her in-world avatar, and then they are off to the town of Radiator Springs in Carburetor County! Carburetor County is an open world where players travel around, engage in races and mini-games and interact with the online world’s other players. All of the communication among members is done through an on-screen chat window where kids can type and insert emoticons. While driving around the world, players will also find a variety of different race tracks, mini-games and opportunities to interact with familiar characters from the movie.
Why It’s Fun
Kids will love creating their custom cars, which includes selecting the body style, color, name and more. As they play games and interact in the world, they will earn coins that can be spent on a huge inventory of additional items to further customize the cars. Each player also has a home, which can be decorated and upgraded as well by adding landscaping, signs, fountains and even junk.
Race tracks can be found in all areas of the world, and up to four players can join in a race by pulling their car up to the start line. In addition to earning coins, players will win trophies and badges for taking part in races and mini-games. Coins are awarded to everyone for participating but the number of coins given out will depend on individual performance. While races are a big part of the world, this is not an Online Multiplayer Game, and kids can spend as much time as they want just exploring the virtual world of Carburetor County. Additionally, many of the mini-games located in the world are single-player games.
The online world of Cars also gives fans of the movie a chance to explore beyond the movie’s main location of Radiator Springs. Carburetor County is an extensive new world of back road racing and offbeat adventures where players will interact with Mater, Fillmore, Sarge and other characters from the movie. Unlike console-based video games, Online games such as World of Cars, are constantly changing and growing in scope and features. New race tracks, mini-games and items will be added to the game to keep players engrossed and able to create new experiences.
Who’s Going To Love It
World Of Cars Online is going to appeal mainly to kids between the ages of six and twelve. Both girls and boys will enjoy this virtual world, but boys tend to make up more of the Cars franchises’ core fan base and the same will probably be the case with World Of Cars Online.
Navigating in the world is easily done using a mouse or the arrow keys on a keyboard. Cars can pass through — rather than bumping into — each other which reduces a lot of frustration when the roads are crowded. Both of these navigation elements could potentially open the game up to kids as young as four.
What To Be Aware Of
There is no cost to join and play in World Of Cars Online and the free-to-play game is packed with content, games and items. Additionally, the chat features are open to all members of the site. However, in addition to the free content, there is an option to upgrade to a sponsorship level, which costs $5.95 per month. Sponsorship level members gain access to exclusive tracks and have the ability to purchase additional parts, gear and accessories for the cars and homes. These exclusive upgrade items are purchased with in-game coins, however, the monthly subscription fee of $5.95 is paid in real dollars. There is more than enough free content for kids to get started with so we recommend letting them play for free before deciding if the upgraded membership makes sense.
World of Cars Online is a browser-based game site, which means there is nothing to download or install on your computer. A broadband Internet connection is required.
The world features a series of parental controls to allow parents to set and limit a child’s interaction with other online members. Parents can easily access all settings when they receive the initial activation email.
There are no third-party advertisements in World of Cars.
3 out of 5
It has to be fun or it wouldn’t be on Time to Play. But some games are more fun than others so here’s our scale: 1 is fun, 2 is a lot of fun, 3 is great, 4 is awesome and 5 is out-of-this-world!
Video Game Information
World Of Cars Online
Publisher: Disney Online Studios
System: PC, Mac
Genre: Virtual World/Racing
Players: Online Multiplayer
SRP: Free plus monthly subscription option
Available: Now at WorldofCars.com
Launch Date: August 2010
Date of Review: August 2010