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Guide to 'Cars: Fast as Lightning' for IOS and Android

Updated on October 29, 2014

Welcome to Radiator Springs!

As Cars: Fast as Lightning begins, you are taken to Radiator Springs, the friendly little town that was host to the first Cars movie. You've probably seen the movie, so you know that the town has seen better days. Ever since a newer, faster road was built that bypasses Radiator Springs, less and less people have felt the urge to visit. This has meant that many business have closed, and most of the cars have left town. For the handful of cars left in the town, things looked dire. That is, until famous racing car Lightning McQueen came into town! Okay, the first thing he did was tear the place up, but when that was settled he took a liking to the place and decided to come live there.

This is where you enter the game. Can you return Radiator Springs to it's former glory?

The racing in Disney's Cars: Fast as Lightning is easy, but a lot of fun.
The racing in Disney's Cars: Fast as Lightning is easy, but a lot of fun.

Starting the game

The idea of the game is to win races, and use the money you earn that way to build Radiator Springs. It's your basic world builder idea, but with a few cool twists. The racing's pretty fun, to start with. Plus, there is the added bonus of all your favorite Cars-characters coming back to life.

As you start the game, you are invited to your first race. This is pretty easy stuff. Let me break it down for you:

Racing mechanics

For the races in Cars: Fast as Lightning you really only need one button: gas. And in the first race, that is basically all that you will do. It's a bit like those Scalectrix games of yore, where you had the small cars, a plastic track, and a controller in the hand of you and a friend. Press the button and the car would go, but you had to take care to let go of the gas a little bit whenever there was a corner, or the car would spin out of the track. Well, it's the same idea with this game, with a few added tweaks. For instance, there are blue circles on the track. On these circles, the idea is to let go of the gas for just a second and then press the button again, for a quick boost. And during later races, you will get the option to slide your finger over the screen in the direction of huge arrows. Do this correctly, and your car will perform stunts and spectacular jumps. Woohoo! That's more or less all there is to the racing itself. Thanks to the boosting and stunting, it's fun, plus there are tons of tracks in the game, which you can help build yourself!

Building the tracks

During the game, you will get the option to add certain parts to tracks. Be it a looping, or a special corner, or a candy stand next to the track. It's really easy to do this. Whenever you get the option to add something, you can just click whatever item is offered and it's added. Or you can choose something you would like to add yourself. This gives a little extra personality to the tracks. Remember, however, that new tracks need certain parts before you can race on them. So, don't blow all your money on fancy stuff when the basics aren't taken care of!

Your opponents

There are many cars from the 2 Cars-movies in this game. Tons of them, actually, and you can not only race against them, but also as them. You will switch cars regularly during the game, which is another fun part of it. Before you start a race, you can see how fast a certain car is and if you have any chance to go against this car, or whether it's better to update your car before you take them on. You can always go back to racing opponents you already beat earlier on, and earn some more money this way.

Building the city in Cars: Fast as Lightning is an easy task
Building the city in Cars: Fast as Lightning is an easy task

Building your own Radiator Springs

If you've seen either Cars movie, then you know Radiator Springs is a cosy little town, but also a bit rundown. Time to change a few things around! As soon as you have won your first race, you will have earned some money. You can start using this money to expand the town and make it more interesting for cars from all over the world to make a stop in town. It's pretty straightforward stuff. You click on empty spots on the map and you get the option to place new things there. You can choose for streetlights or lampposts, but you can also add shops, extra garages or motels. There are a lot of options in this game, and as you progress and the map becomes more full, you will also have the option to open up other areas of the map.

Spending real money on this game

As this is a free game suppported by In App Purchases, you will have the option to buy in game credits to speed up the process of building things. The game uses timers, so when you place a certain building, you sometimes have to wait a little bit before this building is ready. The same goes for whenever you go to a garage, where some of the modifications take time to be installed on your car. Don't want to wait? No problem! But you will have to spend real money. If you are letting your kids play this game, make sure they ask you for permission before they invest your hard earned cash in the city planning of Radiator Springs!

Honestly, I don't think just waiting for the timers to finish isn't that bad. There are a lot of things to do in town and you can easily spend those minutes having fun, without having to fork over the cash. Besides, the more buildings you put in town, the more money you earn. And when you get to the bigger races later on in the game, the earnings there also start to increase exponentially.

Side missions

There's another way to earn a little bit of extra cash, and that comes in the shape of side missions. Whenever you are in the town building map, you will see cars drive around with exclamation marks over their heads. Tap on these and you will get a new mission that will earn you a little extra cash. Lightning McQueen mostly hands you racing missions, for instance, while Mater asks you to perform tasks in the city.

There are tons of new looks for all your favorite characters
There are tons of new looks for all your favorite characters

Some more tips

Make sure you play around in the garage a little bit. Don't just add the tweaks that are necessary to increase the performance of your car, there are lots of cool skins for every car available. Some of these cost you a lot of in-game credit, but as you progress through the game, that shouldn't be a real problem.

Get a quick start. When you time your start just right, and tap and hold the gas pedal about a quarter second before the race starts, you will zoom away a bit faster than normally.

Use your in-game coins wisely. Don't spend your in-game coins on every little thing. If you have to wait a few more minutes for an upgrade, then shrug your shoulders and refrain from using the coins. There's plenty to do in the game and it's better to save the money for later on, when you really need it.

Cars: Fast as Lightning in action

So, who is your favorite Cars character?

We all love Cars, and this game is a great way to meet up with all your favorite characters again. But who is your favorite?

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