What is a Car Game?


Updated: 08/02/2020 by Computer Hope

A car game, car simulator, driving game, or racing game is a video game where the player controls a vehicle in a real-world or fantasy environment or track. Car games have an overhead view showing all cars and the track, a third-person view showing their car and nearby cars, or a first-person view inside the car. In the picture, a player is racing in the game Project CARS against other players in first-person view.

In most car games, you race against other player-controlled cars or NPCs (non-player characters) around a racing track or through a city. However, there are also more realistic car simulators that help train people to drive different vehicles or machinery, like Truck Simulator, for driving semi-trucks. More unique car games like Rocket League have cars in a large soccer field, and players use their car to try hitting a ball into the opposing team’s goal.

How is a car controlled in a car game?

Steering wheel

To control a car or another vehicle on a computer, the player may use a keyboard and mouse or a steering wheel with other accessories. In the picture, the steering wheel, shifter, and pedals can control the car if the game supports them.

On consoles, the car can be controlled by a gamepad and also have the option of connecting a steering wheel.

Are steering wheels required for car games?

No. Because not everyone has a steering wheel and the peripherals are expensive, all car games can work with either the mouse and keyboard or gamepad.

What was the first car game?

Grand Trak 10 car game

Gran Trak 10 was the first car driving video game released in May 1974 by Atari. In this driving arcade game, the player gets a set amount of time to race with points added to their total score as they get to specific track turns. To increase the game’s difficulty, more complex tracks are available that have oil slicks which cause you to lose control of the car and crash into a walls.

Examples of car games

Below is a list of different examples of computer car games in alphabetical order and their developers.

  • Dirt Rally – Codemasters
  • F1 series – Codemasters
  • Forza Horizon – Playground Games and Turn 10
  • Forza Motorsport – Turn 10
  • Grand Prix – Microprose
  • Gran Turismo – Polyphony Digital
  • iRacing – iRacing Motosport Simulations
  • Mario Kart – Nintendo
  • My Summer Car – Amistech Games
  • Need for Speed – Accolade and Electronic Arts
  • Project CARS – Slightly Mad Studios
  • Re-Volt – Acclaim Entertainment
  • rFactor – Image Space Incorporated
  • Rocket League – Psyonix
  • Screamer – Virgin Interactive and Interplay
  • TrackMania – Nadeo

Other racing games

Racing games don’t only utilize cars. Others include karts, jets, motorcycles, skis, and spaceships.

Game, Game terms, Steering wheel

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