Formula Cartoon All-Stars (iPad)

CARTOON_BOXRace as and against your favorite Cartoon Network characters in this top-down viewed kart game, downloadable on iOS and Android devices (reviewed on iPad here).  Actually they look more like four-wheelers than karts, but whatever.  You’ll play as characters from Cartoon Network’s large history of characters and shows, like Clarence, Steven Universe, Johnny Bravo, PowerPuff Girls, Flapjack, Adventure Time, Gumball, Regular Show, Uncle Grandpa, Ben 10, Dexter’s Laboratory, and even some I don’t recognize!  I’m a little disappointed that Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends and Samurai Jack weren’t represented, but that’s still a lot of characters!

Races are viewed in a top down fashion.  You steer and turn by moving a steering wheel icon with your thumb on the right bottom corner of the screen.  On the left side you can activate a turbo boost once per track.  Run over presents and you can tap on the left side to use power-ups as well.  These include weapons that freeze your opponents or trap them in bubbles, tomato mines, shields, and a magnet for collecting goodies on the track.  Coins and diamonds are scattered on the track for you to get, and you use them to buy new parts, racers, and to upgrade your stats.  Place high on each track to earn more stars, which unlock new cups and tracks for you to race on (and you’ll earn more coins and diamonds, too).  Compete in online tournaments or play through tracks in cups in single player mode.

Use coins to buy new parts for your car, like chassis, tires, and engines.  These parts are purely cosmetic and don’t improve your stats in any way.  You also use coins to buy racers.  Diamonds are harder to come by, but they are used to upgrade your acceleration, top speed, and turbo boost.  You can also use diamonds to unlock tracks early.  Only problem is that coins and diamonds are slow to come by, and you’ll have to race on tracks multiple times to earn enough to buy what you want.  That wouldn’t be a problem if the game were loads of fun, but it’s not that great.  Play control isn’t bad, but it’s not all that good either.  And the graphics look like they could’ve been done on the N64.  And the tracks aren’t that interesting either.  They just want you to use real money to buy more coins and diamonds via in-game purchases.  I think the only people who would truly enjoy this game are die-hard fans of Cartoon Network’s shows.


Kid Factor:

Violence is minimal and very cartoony.  You can turn racers into ice cubes or trap them in bubbles, but that’s about it.  If you’re OK with your kids watching Cartoon Network, they’ll be OK with this game, too.  Reading skill is helpful for the text and instructions, and parental supervision is recommended for the in-game purchases.

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