Hot Wheels Unleashed in the test Cute racing game with scratches in the paint

Hot Wheels Unleashed is a racing game based on the well-known toy automobile. Whether the frenzy can convince in mini format, we clarify in the test.

An arcade racing game with lightning fast rides, route editor and the whole thing in a fantastic, faithful Hot Wheels look? That sounds almost too good to be true, one or the other may now think, and sometimes is true. Because Hot Wheels Unleashed does not necessarily fail with these fundamental points, but at the things there are.

Table of contents

  1. 1The toy gives full throttle!
  2. 2 small cars quite big!
  3. 3 (Loot) Boxing
  5. 5Multiplayer to turn
  6. 6Creativity remaining on the track
  7. 7 not the best time, but about the finish line

The toy gives full throttle!

Let s start with the biggest and most important point, the driving gameplay. At this level, Hot Wheel impresses pretty much. It s just fun to choose your little mobile pedestal and then booters with full throttle over one of the slopes. On the one hand, it feels very powerful and there is a nice speed of speed over, but on the other hand, you have always in mind that you are currently not a full vehicle or the like here, but drives with a toy car over plastic tracks.

That may sound a bit about, but on the contrary represents one of the biggest pluses of the game. For example, it is quite easy to push its competitors from the track and to skid in a high arc from the route. A mechanics that works at other games maximum by exploiting bugs is due to the appropriately built driving physics of toy cars.

The two side mechanics that are to be mastered are the boost and drifting. The boost can be activated to get a short velocity thrust, which, depending on which vehicle is used, is even slightly different. He is charged mainly by using the other mechanics, drifting. So if you slide well with a drift properly through the curve, you not only have the advantage that you can get rummer so easily better, but can then use the Boost from the curve or on the next coming straight line to move even better. The Boost thus represents the most effective way to set up to his competitors or to give them away.

Small cars very big!

There are a wide variety of Hot Wheels to discover. Source: PC Games visually brings Hot Wheels Unleashed (Buy Now) Great everything out of the setting. The individual toy cars are elaborated with extreme detailed loyalty to the absolute maximum. For fans, it will be a special pleasure to see the collectibles one to one digitally and to be able to protect it. The selection is sufficient here by real existing cars in miniature form over absurd chassis in the form of dinosaurs to special designs such as the Delorean from back to the future. The carts can also be optically personalized as you like and mood. So it is offered something for every taste.

The environments convince on a whole route. There are some different areas in which the assembled plastic parts are built to provide a lot of variety for the eye. Above all, the beautiful lighting effects, which show a race over the road, remain positive in memory.

Also very nice are the small wear marks and imperfections, which show both the vehicles and the stretch parts and significantly increase the immersion. Toys look in real life after using not more than 100 percent like new. The sound can not compete with this high quality unfortunately absolutely. In addition to the engine noise, only a replaceable soundtrack is turning towards itself.

(Loot) Boxenstop New Hot Wheels are free to open Lootboxes. Source: PC Games

Apart from a small shop, which offers every few hours a handful of Hot Wheels directly to the purchase, is the only way to get new mobile debts, opening Lootboxes. Why not just directly buy the car you want, does not open at all. Instead, you have to go this detour and hope for luck. At least the whole thing works only about Ingame currency and there is no way to acquire something with real money. The necessary currency for buying the Lootboxes is earned primarily in the context of the campaign.


The overview map of the campaign is strongly reminiscent of the playing rugs on which children like to fool around with their Hot Wheels. Source: PC Games The campaign called City Rumble comes with a pretty overview map therefore connecting different routes, puzzles and boss fights. That sounds quite cool on the paper, but in practice is a sobering system. Apart from normal races against the Ki and race on time, there is not much to see here. Oh, except puzzles , with big quotes. These then exist, for example, to complete one of the previous mission with a particular vehicle. These tasks are so irrelevant, you could have left them completely.

And there are also boss fights , you see, we put again on quotation marks. This is simply a bit longer and heavier, yet normal races against the Ki. So you choose in the end race after race on the map to get money with which you buys Lootboxen or improved already unlocked hot wheels.

Multiplayer to turn

The local multiplayer relies on two-player splits screen, works flawlessly and allows you to enjoy a good gameplay together with a friend without a noticeable impulse regarding performance. Problems makes online multiplayer. In the theory, the whole thing should not be very difficult: one steps in a lobby, selects his preferred vehicle, then still a route and then occurs against other players on this route. However, the developers underestimated two things: the absolutely underwear gamedesign talent of the PlayerBase and the much too high probability to meet online for trolls.

Built by the community, completely stealed routes like these are unfortunately not uncommon. Source: PC Games The problem is that every player in the lobby may choose his preferred map from a selection of five different routes. Those with most votes will be used next. So far so good. From the five routes are three part of the normal game, but the other two are created by the community. It happens amazingly often that a completely terrible route wins the voting and is forced to drive them.

The absolute highlights are stretched in which the destination is placed quasi directly at the start and you take minutes of loading times and waiting times in the lobby and then needed exactly a second to drive the route. Unfortunately, there is no rarity. What is completely missing is some kind of ranking or other progress system.

Creativity that stays on the track

You can leave your creativity free run! Source: PC Games The environments in which the routes are constructed are very beautiful as mentioned. Unfortunately, they often often come to validity because they are at 95 percent of the time on the hot-wheel typical plastic discharge parts. Here we would have wished much more excursions in the living room or garage pampa. You maybe take a pizza box or a small part of a track leads over a sofa. Unfortunately, that feels more and more like a gimmick instead of a central element of the routes.

That s a pity, as with the beautiful environments and toy car setting, all the necessary points for interesting courses are actually offered. Theoretically, the community can help to remedy by using the widely built environments to build creative courses there. Especially well, this does not work in practice but right now. The editor really offers many opportunities to leave its creativity free run, if one can get used to the slightly contraintuous control.

not the best time, but about the finish line

From setting through the gameplay to the optical implementation, Hot Wheels is completely at the front. The overall package of the miniature cars is braked by many small obstacles. The uninspired soundtrack and the somewhat hard-to-use editor are still points over which one can overlook.

The decision to prefer Lootboxes to a conventional unlock system, the boring campaign and the unmarried multiplayer, unfortunately, for Hot Wheels Unleashed Multiplayer represent a pothole, which can simply not be driving around. If you can make friends with the setting and has no problem with all these mistakes, you get with Hot Wheels Unleashed an otherwise certainly convincing Arcade racing game with nostalgifact.

Hot Wheels Unleashed is published on September 27, 2021 for PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X / S, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.

My opinion

VonBenjamin lachmann

Just get the curve

Although it has its problems, Hot Wheels makes uneasily a lot of fun. In the hours I spent with the game, the positive points are definitely overogued against the negatives. Sure, the Lootboxes are strange, but the content I received from it, still looked at me somehow. The campaign is not particularly intoxicating, but through the strong driving gameplay, the individual missions are still entertaining. But there are also points that have clouded my fun much stronger, such as the stupid online multiplayer. It remains the constant tank that Hot Wheels could have been uneasy so much more. The toy setting, where the whole world appears around a gigantic, would offer as many ways to build extremely individual and special routes that have never been seen. Good approaches are available, but in the end, the ideas never go beyond a small detour to a sofa cushion or the like and I remained in my way from all my time with the game. A route, which leads through a living room and where you have to drive under a chair and drive over a carpet, or a lane, which runs inside a freezer and leads over frozen food, but for example, would have been nice! So, during the best moments of Hot Wheels Unleashed, I had this taste of the missed chance.

See all 7 pictures in the gallery

Hot Wheels Unleashed in the test: A racing game with scratches in the paint! (1) [Source: PC Games]

From Benjamin Lachmann
& Lukas Schmid
Editorial manager
12.10.2021 at 17:00

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