Often, the best you can hope for from a game adaptation of a movie is a decent likeness of its star dropped into a mediocre game genre. So this likeable and energetic Mario Kart-style racer is especially welcome.
Loosely tied to the film’s plot, it sees Lightning McQueen and friends inside the virtual-reality training programme of an international spy outfit. This leaves them free to race and do battle rather than re-enact the events of the Pixar sequel.
The action combines stunts with familiar Mario Kart attacks like oil slicks, missiles and sideways shunts. The characters feel bouncy and floaty, as befits anthropomorphic cartoon cars, and toss quips at each other as they vie for first place.
Events take you around the (virtual) world, and vary from straightforward races to combat-based challenges like destroying baddies while zooming around an arena. The split-screen multiplayer mode, for up to four people on the same console, adds to the fun but there’s no online equivalent.
The visuals, though handsome, don’t have the pizzazz of a silver-screen Pixar offering. And while the game won’t pick up any prizes for originality, families who enjoy the movie won’t be let down. This is no cheap blockbuster tie-in.