Reviewed on PC


Reviewed By: William G. Jones

Computer Platform: PC
Produced by: Papyrus Design Group
Price Range: $29
Learning curve time: 10 mins.
Age level: 10+
ESRB Rating: Everyone
Patches / Upgrades: online / NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Expansion Pack CD Rom upgrade available at retail outlets
System Requirements: Pentium II 166 MHz processor, Windows 95 or later, 2X CD ROM, 32 MB RAM, SVGA monitor

Genre: Racing SIM
Christian Rating: 5 of 5
   (nothing offensive)
Gameplay: 4 of 5
Violence: 5 of 5
Adult Content: 5 of 5

From the high-banked, two-hundred mile an hour speedway in Talladega, Alabama, to the flat, half-mile short track at Martinsville, Virginia, “NASCAR Racing 3” lets players experience the high-speed world of professional stock-car racing.

Box art for 'NASCAR Racing 3'The player assumes two roles within the game--that of driver and crew chief. A garage interface allows players to set the car up for various tracks by adjusting suspension, weight distribution, and grille tape characteristics. If the technical aspect wasn't enough, there's as many as 42 other cars on the track that will fight for the win.

As a highly technical racing simulation, there is nothing in “NASCAR Racing 3” which should be considered controversial or offensive. Unlike real NASCAR competition, none of the cars in this game have alcohol or tobacco company sponsorship, nor is the series referred to as the Winston Cup. There aren't even car makes in the game, so the whole Chevy versus Ford debate can be avoided. However, the “real-life” carsets can be downloaded from many non-official websites for free. Some of these cars will feature the names of various alcohol and tobacco companies which sponsor real NASCAR stock cars. There are also some colorful fictional cars available, though most sites will allow you to preview any cars prior to download.

Due to the technical nature of this game, there is ample room for experimentation and growth. A driver can choose to test on a track by themselves, or race with as many as 42 other vehicles with varying levels of difficulty. The garage allows for realistic suspension adjustments. This is where the game gains longevity--it can take months to figure out how to make a car fast at the various tracks.

All the strategy of real racing is here--the driver can determine the extent of a pit stop, from four tires and 22 gallons of gas to a splash-and-go pit stop. The cars suffer realistic damage, and the physics model the game uses is biased so that a reckless driver will hurt their own car rather than those around them. If there's any lesson for young drivers in this game, it's that racing clean (and smart) is the way to win.

Year of Release—1999

The maker of NASCAR Racing is Papyrus Design Group, inc. They developed the first actual simulation of racing, entitled "Indianapolis 500: The Simulation." Ever since, I've bought two of their games and I'm about to buy NASCAR Racing 4. Version 4 is as real as it gets, but 3 is still a good buy, especially if you don't have a fast PC. The lack of alcohol and tobacco advertising is commonplace in NASCAR games. In the 1999 Edition, Rusty Wallace's Miller Lite car has his sponsor labeled as his race team, Penske Racing. In version 4, it simply has a logo resembling the Miller Lite logo on the actual car, only that it says “Rusty.” If you're worried about anything violent or inappropriate in games, this is the way to go. My Ratings: [5/5]
   —Garrett O'Hara, age 16

I have played this game before at a friends house and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is one of the more technical racing games in the world right now. If you get frustrated, don't worry! Take out your anger by driving your car in the opposite direction right into someone's Monte Carlo! My Ratings: [5/4]
   —Matt, age 13

One thing about the Nascar Racing games is that they glorify the dangerous sport of auto racing. People are killed all the time racing, for example the recent death of legendary Dale Earnhardt. Seriously though, it's just a racer… no blood, no “glorified” killing, etc. Pretty solid. However, if you have a bit of a mean-streak in you, you can race the opposite direction on the track and cause massive wrecks on purpose, total mayhem. ; ) My Ratings: [5/5]
   —Kurgan, age 22

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.

Christian Spotlight Guide2Games is part of Christian Answers. Copyright © Films for Christ. • “Christian Spotlight’s Guide to Games” and “Guide2Games” are service marks of Films for Christ.

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