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Hot Wheels Unleashed Review
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Posted: 4 months ago, last updated 3 months ago.

Author: Ben Kendall, @GeekDadGamer and Jo Robertson.

OverviewOverview

Hot Wheels Unleashed is an arcade-style racing game where you race toy cars around sprawling, looping tracks through rooms and garages. Its controls, while child-friendly, offer enough nuance to reward practice. It's a game that focuses on ingenuity and creative driving as much as pure skill and is approachable to a wide range of players through difficulty settings and game modes.

Each of the cars are real Hot Wheels cars, be they from real companies like Dodge or Chevrolet or made-up ones like the Time Attaxi, and all feature a high level of detail, be it in the small surface imperfections or the paint that's scraped off during each race. The tracks are similar to real Hot wheels tracks, featuring huge web-shooting spiders, and T-Rex jaws to dodge. They also have magnetic sections which allow you to race on walls and ceilings, and the wide variety of designs make each one feel different.

As you race there are hazards scattered across the tracks, such as barriers that slow you down, or sections where you can fall off the side. You can use boosts of speed on straight sections of tracks to get ahead of your opponents, and you need to drift around corners at just the right angle to avoid crashing into the side barriers. While this drifting mechanic is simple to learn, mastering it takes significant practise and skill. During jumps, you can manipulate your car and use speed boosts to skip huge sections of the track, meaning even if you're far behind the leaders there's always a chance to make a comeback. A comprehensive and detailed track creator allows you to make your own courses, which you can then share online with other players.

Additional content increases the number of cars and tracks available to play, most notably the Spongebob season, which allows you to unlock cars inspired by the hit show, and the Batman content which brings lots of cars, races and even new campaign events to the game.

It's a racing game that blends arcade-style gameplay with the classic toys. The Hot Wheels angle offers some novelty, but it's the wide array of cars and customisations (and level editor) that really make this stand out from the usual franchise tie-in games.

DetailsGame Details

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 27/09/2021

Price: 60% off

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Action, Creative and Race

Accessibility: 23 features

Developer: Milestone Italy (@MilestoneItaly)

Players: 1-2 (12 online)

 

ListsLists

DurationDuration

Play Time: This game will take between 6 hours and 10 hours to complete.
 

Play StylePlay Style

You can play with 1 to 2 players in the same room or as a 12-player online game. 2-player split-screen play and online multiplayer also allow you to play with friends and family. Online multiplayer can be played with up to 12 players in quick matches and in private lobbies.

Cross-Platform: Play between console generations (PS4 and PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S).

 
You can play this game in the following styles:

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

Rated PEGI 3. Players can bump into other vehicles but this only slows down the vehicles and does not cause any damage. Players have to avoid various hazards, such as a huge spider that shoots webs and fans that blow vehicles off course, but no harm comes from this.
 
Users Interact: The game enables players to interact and communicate with each other, so may expose players to language usually associated with older rated games.

Account Rating

You need be 18-years-old to to subscribe to Xbox Live Gold for online play, but can then configure family accounts for younger players to play online with Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S.
 
You need be 18-years-old to subscribe to Nintendo Online, but can then create accounts for children of any age to play online with Nintendo Switch.
 
You need be 18-years-old to subscribe to PlayStation Plus for online play, but can create sub-accounts for younger players of 7-years or older to play online with PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5.

CostsCosts

Hot Wheels Unleashed usually costs £39.99 to £54.99. 

Hot Wheels Unleashed

Hot Wheels Unleashed: Collectors Edition

PlayStation Store PS5 £54.99
PlayStation Store PS4 £54.99
 
Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience.  

You need to purchase a Nintendo Online subscription to play online with Nintendo Switch.
 
You need to purchase a PlayStation Plus subscription to play online with PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5.
 
You need to purchase a Xbox Live Gold subscription to play online with Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S. There are several expansion packs that add extra content to the game, mostly in the form of cars and cosmetics. While some are free, such as the Christmas Pack, others, such as the Batman and Spongebob packs cost money.

AccessibilityAccessibility

Our Hot Wheels Unleashed Accessibility Report documents 23 accessibility features:
During the races, you need to have quick reactions to what's happening, and quickly use lots of different buttons. To progress through menus, you need to hold down buttons for a short while.

The minimap is quite large and clear, but due to the fast-paced nature of the races, you rarely have time to look at it.

There is no speech in the game, but some of the game text is quite small and often doesn't contrast well with the background.

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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