Reviewed on PC


Reviewed By: Alex

Computer Platform: PC
Produced by: Electronic Arts
Price Range: $15-25
Learning curve time: 4 hrs.
Age level: 10+
ESRB Rating: Everyone
Patches / Upgrades: at Web site

Genre: Simulation
Christian Rating: 5 of 5
   (nothing offensive)
Gameplay: 5 of 5
Violence: 4 of 5
   (barely present)
Adult Content: 5 of 5

Need for Speed: High Stakes
Iou stick the CD in the drive, pop the clutch, hit the gas, and take off…
    Well, not exactly. But this game is much better than its three predecessors. "Need For Speed: High Stakes" is a nice racing game offering a variety of choices you can make.

First, there are several modes to play in: Single Race, Hot Pursuit, Tournament, Knockout, and Career Mode. In Hot Pursuit, you either 1) try to run away from the police, or 2) be the police force. Tournaments allow you to race against other players on several tracks. The one with the most total points wins. Knockout is like musical chairs—with each track, the last one to finish is dropped out, until there is only one.

In Career mode, you start out with $25,000 to buy your first car. You'll use this car to win races. When you have enough money you can upgrade it to make it faster. When you make more money, you can buy better cars and upgrade them too. You need to finish all the races in a tour with at least a bronze medal to open new tours. Also, after you play these different modes, you will unlock new cars and race tracks.

When you go too fast, chances are you will do damage to your car, which obviously decreases its performance. High jumps will damage the suspension, and knocking down street signs will shatter your windshield.

There are no major ethical problems with "Need For Speed: High Stakes". But some people might not like the techno-pop music, which can thankfully be turned off. Also, the fact that you can crash so hard makes some people nervous. Although the driver doesn't get hurt, this still seems a little violent. And running away from and even ramming police cars doesn't exactly seem like a moral act. Thankfully there are no guns or drugs.

A 3D graphics card is recommended, but not required. But it plays kind of slow without one.

Overall, "Need For Speed: High Stakes" is a good game, with lots of hours of fun for everyone. There is no reason to be afraid to let little children play it. If you are thinking of buying a fun game, this one might be a good choice.

Year of Release—1999

Positive—This is the BEST racing game I've ever played! Personally, I like it better than Gran Turismo 3! I just got a new PC so I can run the graphic settings on max, so it looks SWEET. There are tons of modes, and the fact that you can even be the cops is really cool. I also enjoy the reply option - its better than most I've seen. The other cool features that I like include the ability to put in your own audio CDs, downloadable cars (like the BMW coupe!), driving through traffic, and best of all, semi-realistic damage! In fact, sometimes I just spend my time playing destruction derby with Porches (something I can't quite afford to do in real life). Unless you have a thing against speeding on European highways, then you better get this game. My Ratings: [2/5]
   —Matt Gambill, age 20

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.

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