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on November 1, 2011
I have just bought this for my son's 5 year birthday. It is a stand alone video game that connects to a TV set (through standard video-in/audio-in RCA plugs) and plays a racing game based on the Cars 2 universe.

While the box claims to include 18 games, in reality, I would consider that there is only a single game split into a tutorial plus 14 "missions", 9 of which are races on different tracks and 5 of them are somewhat dumb variations of shooting games, where you have to drop "traps" like oil or bombs to hurt chasing cars. The remaining games are just "mini games" used to fix your car in pits.

These 14 missions need to be unlocked in order, usually by arriving up to 5th place in the race. Unfortunately, missions don't seem to get harder as the game progresses.

The game controller (which is the game itself) is a steering wheel and seems quite fragile with its low quality plastic and stickers. I wonder how long it will last. It runs on 4 AA batteries.

Game control is pretty simple. Turning the key turns on the console. The wheel drives your car, gear shift is used to accelerate and break, horn is used for releasing the booster (and also as the action button on chase games) and the F1 butterfly style gear commands are actually used to put the car in a skid right or skid left mode, allowing it to turn on tighter turns.

Running close behind another car fills in your booster power which can then be released by pressing the horn, and this makes your car go faster.

Touching other cars or the limit of the track causes your car to gain damage, and if it becomes too damaged, you will be taken to the pit for fixing. Fixing the car is just a matter of following instructions and issueing commands (turn the wheel, push the gear, etc). Seems to me that your car does not lose positions or time while in pits.

I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the graphics and sounds as my expectations were really low. These are probably sub PS1 in quality, but better than 16-bit video games. Graphics are smooth, with good frame rates, textured roads and some blocky polygon graphics. Racetracks are different and their visual change in each race. Each of the 9 tracks are located in either Tokyo, Porta Corso in Italy or London.

Game play however is seriously flawed. First of all, the races are all way too easy. Other cars run much slower than yours (Lightning Mcqueen), so even though you always start in last place, you will be 1st by mid race (each race is 3 turns). Running a race where you will almost automatically win every time is not fun. And really, my 5 years old son won his first race even though he had never played the game before and crashed the car and went to pit about 3 times. He has not been second even once since he started playing.

Since you will always win and since you cannot play against other players, the only goal in this game is to improve your race times. The 10 best times are saved for each track, so at least you can compare how well did you do against previous races or other people. But here another game play problem sets in, as your race times are almost unafected by driving style. Turning, skidding and crashing does not slow you down. I found out that the only thing that can cause larger time differences is the use of the booster.

I would have given this game 1 or 2 stars for its game play flaws, but in the end, as my son is enthusiastic about the game and doesn't seem too bother yet that it is so easy, I went for the 3 stars rating. But really, this is a game for very young kids and anyone slightly older than my son will get bored.

It is really a pitty, because given its processing and graphics capabilities, with better opponents, slightly improved driving simulation (for example, reducing speed while turning) and other additional small improvements, this game could have been a real hit for children in pre console video games ages and for older brothers/sisters and parents.
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on March 3, 2012
Easy to set up, easy to use. Good variety of race tracks and alternate games. Grandson, age 5, will play it until we make him stop
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on November 10, 2011
Oh my. I purchased this for my son's birthday back in August, and it lasted all of 3 days. It was great fun while it lasted, then it just stopped working. Changed batteries, didn't help at all. It doesn't even turn on. What a waste of money.
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on December 21, 2011
I'm on my second unit of this product - one from Target and one from Toys R Us. Both of these were crap in a different way. One got through the tutorial and then re-booted. The other one never got passed the credits. Don't buy this thing via mail for any reason. If you are willing to go back to the store several times, go for it. It looks like it SHOULD be fun. I got my money back on both of them, but returned them right away.
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on December 20, 2011
I thought this would be a great "beginner" video game for my 4 year. Since his brothers' Cars 2 Wii game is too advanced, I thought he could have "his very own" video game to play. I walked him through the tutorial which was very easy to understand and he really got the hang of it. The game did allow winning most of the time, which I thought was GREAT for smaller kids. Who wants to lose if you are learning how to play video games?

If you are looking for advanced or complex gaming options, consider investing in a "REAL" video system. Even though the product indicates 18 games, it just varies the racing tracks and does offer a detailed tutorial. For $40 what can one expect? In my opinion, I suggest this game for kids 4 to 7 yrs. old to only give them a feel for real video games w/o breaking the bank. It should be for occasional use (no longer than 30 mins. to 1 hour), not to leave the kids playing for HOURS on end.

After toying with it for one day my 4-year old, who normally fights his 7 year old brother for everything, did not seem interested. He did want his very own video game to play in his room, but after playing it he decided he would rather play with his 'Ka-chow' toy cars. Whew, that saved us a bundle!! Even though he felt 'like a big boy', he would rather watch his brother play Cars 2 on the Wii so we purchased his own colorful mini Wii remote. With all of the action on the screen he didn't even mind just playing with "his" remote (which we did not even engage for play).

Overall I rate this product a 1-Star.

Pros: The appearance of the game is attractive and the graphics were considerably smooth and appealing; very similar to the "Cars 2 Universe" movie. This stand alone video game is easy to use and connects directly to a TV set (standard RCA video-in/audio-in plugs). The target audience is for kids just beginning to dibble with video games ages 4-7. It is only for recreation (no educational value) but does help develop hand-eye coordination.

Cons: The product is poorly made for the price and is not durable. To best use this system, you must sit on the floor to hold the console or place it on a 'kiddie size" tabletop. (We tried both, the tabletop works best.) The gear shift is made of plastic that will not withstand rough play when shifting and the "pedals" are too close to the steering wheel. After 1 day of play the stickers peeled off and the system had trouble loading several times. We even changed the (4-AA) batteries twice and changed TV's. To no avail, the system still did not operate properly and we will return it for a full refund. Save your money!

TV Games Deluxe Cars 2
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on January 5, 2013
Santa Claus brought this present Christmas eve to my very nearly four year old son, who is a car fanatic. He asked for a steering wheel and was delighted when he got an interactive one. He loves the game and plays with it regularly. Of all the presents Santa brought this is his favorite. The quality of the graphics is low resolution akin to amusement arcade level. The difficulty level of the game 'easy' which is perfect for this age group considering all they really want to do is drive a car and are not so caught up with the competitive aspects of the game.

PS good fun for the parents if played after a few glasses of wine
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on April 11, 2012
Bought it for my for year old nephew, and he loves it. The game itself was very very easy to beat, my nephew had it beat within a half an hour.
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on December 31, 2012
It's pretty easy game but there are few variations that kids won't get bored. As another reviewer said, Lightening goes faster than other cars so there're a good chance that your kid'll win. I have the original nintendo and I thought the games maybe good for my 3 1/2 old son but his coordination isn't good enough yet. With Cars 2 he got the hang of it and likes to play couple rounds. Also as a reviewer noted, it only runs on battery and drains them pretty fast. When battery is low, it'll play a bit but restarts in a minute or so. I have rechargeable battery so that's not a problem.
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on January 3, 2013
I got this for my Cars obsessed three year old. The graphics of the game are pretty basic and low quality compared to the graphics of the menus and other parts. Game play is kind of weird too. There is a learn to drive feature that keeps stopping to ask you to hit the horn. Unfortunately the 3 year old thinks you have to hit the horn all the time which makes him select options that he doesn't need. Would be nice if there was just an option to drive around so the younger kids could just sit and steer and watch their favorite character drive around.
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on January 15, 2014
I bought this for my Grandson, he has a few disabilities and always got upset when he couldn't play the other types of games like the other children. He asked for this in October for his birthday and we couldn't find one, so then again when this was the only thing on his Christmas list and then asked Santa for it I had to find it so I inquired around. He has no problem playing with this game, and pretends he is driving his little sister shopping! We haven't even had to change the batteries yet. Grandson happy makes Grandma happy!!!!
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