Codemasters is best known for its solid racing titles, like DiRT, Grid and F1, so its newest launch will be a surprise to many because F1 Race Stars is a game that uses the official license of the biggest racing competition in the world, but opts to approach it in a casual and cartoon-driven manner.
F1 Race Stars is a simple game to get into: just choose your race, your class, the track you want to try out and a driver and then get out, learn the various moves and tricks, get a working knowledge of the circuit and then try to stay ahead as long as possible and maybe win the race.
The circuits themselves are described as licensed, but that does not mean that they look like they do in the real world, although F1 lovers might notice similarities.
They are basically fantasy versions, with included shortcuts, big jumps, speed pads and more forgiving corners.
The handling model for the vehicles in F1 Race Stars is also closer to that of something like Mario Kart than F1 2012, set to emphasize entertainment over simulation and allow newcomers to get through the race without hitting the various environment objects too much.
The game also gives the various real-world drivers actual superpowers that, again in classic Mario Kart fashion, can clearly change the course of a race and get someone from first position to the second half of the racing order in no time.
I’ve played F1 Race Stars on the PC, but the game is better suited to being played with a console controller, and after a few races, my hand began to ache from the constant pressing action on the W (acceleration) key.
It’s a fun little experience for the first few races, but I don’t think the entire concept is suited to the F1 license.
Worth a full Softpedia review? No.