Hot Wheels Track Attack Wii
Published by: THQ
Developed by: Firebrand Games
Hot Wheels Track Attack is an arcade racer that’s based on the ever popular Hot Wheels toys. The game has three main modes: Race, Multiplayer and Builder. In the Race mode you'll race in four different environments: Big Air Beach, Road Rally Rainforest, Mad Dash Desert and Stunt City taking part in different events and earning tokens which can be used to upgrade your vehicles. You can upgrade Top Speed, Handling, Acceleration and Boost ratings for each car. You'll also unlock additional vehicles, events and track pieces which can be used in Builder mode.
In Race mode there are over fifty different events to complete and these are made up of five different event types. Circuit Race is essentially the standard race mode with secret routes and tokens to find on each track. Hot Lap is where you'll try and set the quickest time possible for a single lap of a track. Elimination is where the last place driver per lap is eliminated with the goal being to be the last driver remaining. Checkpoint requires you to pass through as many checkpoints as you can on the way to the finish line. Finally Token Grab is where you'll perform stunts to collect as many tokens as possible within the time limit. With this being a Hot Wheels branded game it's obviously aimed at younger children and as such it should come as no surprise that the AI drivers don't put up much of a challenge.
Local multiplayer races are available in Hot Wheels Track Attack but the game doesn't offer any online racing which is a shame. Up to four players can take part in five events. The events on offer are Circuit Race, Elimination, Token, Custom Circuit (where you can race on the tracks that you've created in Builder mode) and Team Race, which has been designed for four players forming teams of two with each player awarded points for their finishing position. The winning team in Team Race is the team with the most points.
In Builder you'll design your own tracks. You'll pick an environment in which to build your tracks (which are the same locations you can visit in the Race mode). You'll use the Hot Wheel track parts to design your tracks and whilst it's a fairly basic track builder it does work well and is very easy to use. However you’re limited to 12 custom tracks in total, 3 per environment, which is unfortunate.
When it comes to the controls you have a choice; you can either tilt the Wii remote to steer (as in Mario Kart) or you can disable the tilt action and simply use the directional pad with the Wii remote held in the sideward position. By default the tilt control method is activated but whilst it works quite well, I do feel as though it's not quite as responsive as it should be. The more conventional control scheme which uses the directional pad to steer is absolutely fine however.
The game's presentation is probably best described as adequate. Graphically this is a rather basic looking game and it certainly could have looked a fair bit better. Many of the circuits look bland and the car models certainly could have been more detailed. The game doesn't pose deaf gamers any problems. There is some speech in the game but none of it is important. When you select a car the name of the car is spoken. During a race there are comments such as "Unreal!" and "Epic Win!" which aren't subtitled. In Elimination races you're shown in text the name of the eliminated driver and the game makes good use of icons to give you early warning of Speed Pads, Spin Pads, Flip Pads and Slow Pads. In short despite a few omissions the game won't cause deaf gamers any real problems.
I'm sure enthusiasts of the Hot Wheels brand will get a kick out of Hot Wheels Track Attack but everyone else will see this as a rather basic racer which probably won't hold your attention for too long. Unless you're a young child who doesn't play racing games that often, you'll find the AI unchallenging. Graphically the game could have looked better and the environments could certainly have been a little less bland. Even the included track builder seems basic and has a silly limitation on the amount of tracks you can build. Hot Wheels fans might appreciate it then but everyone else should probably look elsewhere for their arcade racing thrills.