LQ: 8.1


Brain grade: 7
Fun score: 9.2

Game Type: ESRB Rating: Everyone Platform/Console: , LWK Recommended Age: 6+ Other Requirements: Internet Connection Thinking Skills Used: , ,


Nitro is a 3D car racing game in which players use their motion controlled mobile devices to control the direction of their vehicle. A gas and break pedal are manipulated by both thumbs. While the controls are very motion sensitive, after a few plays – and car upgrades – players will no problem steering their cars around hairpin turns. Nitro is free, but if players want a continuous play racing game, they will have to spend some money, as many of the upgrades require players to open their wallets. Racers can choose multiplayer in which they can race against friends, time trials, and rival circuit where races are against the CPU controlled opponents. Players must continue to upgrade both body and mechanical work to ensure their cars are ready to meet the increasingly difficult opponents. In addition to simply beating opponents, racers must collect car parts that are scattered throughout each track. Parts like fiberglass and steel can be used back at the shop when it comes time to upgrade. There is no offensive or violent content in the Nitro and it is recommended for children 8 and older.




When racing in Nitro, players must demonstrate an extremely high level of fine motor skill control. Because the controls are so sensitive, even the slightest movement of the mobile device will cause players' car to turn. When the device is moved with more force, the car will make a sharper turn. "Drifting" around particularly winding turns requires keen concentration as players must turn their devices quickly, releasing as soon as they course straightens out. Each race players have a one time use Nitrus boost, allowing them to travel at a faster speed. However, it should not be used hastily, as players should use it if they fall behind or want to ensure a victory. Nitro is a great way for players to practice in-game self-control skills, which can likely influence their day to day behavior.

Working Memory

There are a finite number of race courses in Nitro, which means the more times players race, the more familiar they will become with the tracks. Players who actively internalize the game environment will likely fare better when races get more difficult. Those who are prepared for an upcoming turn or a small passageway will have a better chance of maintaining control of their car. Players who blindly race, making minimal observations, will ultimately lose when facing more challenging opponents - even if they have faster cars. Players must make every effort to commit landscape changes to memory. This way they will be ready to meet the challenges that more difficult drivers present.


Players are tasked to exercise their flexibility skills when racing. They must simultaneously maintain an unwavering focus to the race, while also keeping a close eye on the map in the top right corner of the screen. Players must be able to shift their attention quickly between the race and the map. This skill requires dexterous thinking and the ability to adapt to a constantly changing game environment. Players must show that they are not one dimensional drivers either. When upgrading a car, they should strive for balance. While it speed may be the most important aspect of a car for many players, they must ensure the car also has adequate acceleration, handling, and off-road ability. Players should choose to upgrade their cars based on the type of course. They should also experiment with a variety of cars. By upgrading more than one car, players will have a car that is suited for straighter courses, off-road courses, and tracks with many turns. The ability to change gameplay strategy to meet the challenges of the course is a skill that successful Nitro players must learn very quickly.

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