Riding the wave of Star Wars hype, Lucas Learning has released Anakin’s Speedway, a scaled-down version of Star Wars: Episode 1 Racer (
3.5 mice. ;
) for kids ages 4 and up. In contrast to Racer’s electrifying driver’s seat view, Speedway gives only a basic aerial view of the racetrack. In addition, there are no steering controls; instead, kids adjust speed to avoid wipeouts while the podracer sputters through a series of curves and gravity-defying loops. Anakin’s voice is constantly in the background, either giving shouts of encouragement or offering helpful tips. Kids are also given the option to mix and match track pieces or switch racetracks altogether. While the game’s illustrations are attractive, they don’t compensate for its lack of imagination, variety, and challenge. Chances are, kids could learn the very same concepts and be entertained far longer by playing with an old-fashioned toy racetrack.