Reviewed: January 4, 2007
Reviewed by: Jeff Gedgaud

Viva Media


Released: November 1, 2006
Genre: Edutainment
Players: 1
ESRB: Everyone


System Requirements

  • Windows MW/XP w/ SP1
  • Pentium II 233 MHz
  • 32 MB RAM
  • 16-bit Video Card
  • 16 MB Hard Drive Space
  • 24x CD-ROM
    Also Supports MAC OS X 10.1

    Screenshots (Click Image for Gallery)

  • Gary Gadget: Building Cars is an interactive game for kids not only to learn about the main parts of a car but also to have fun and learn problem solving and other skills. Building Cars is brought to us by Viva Media and Terzio Verlag.

    You play Building Cars in several areas; the garage of Gary and his yard where your car parts are laying around, a map that takes you to your different neighbors and other areas like an auto show or race track. You have several neighbors, friends and other interesting areas to drive to and show off your new car designs.

    Building Cars also includes several areas that have problem solving fun with things like having to install a horn on your car to get some cows to move off the road. This type of interactive play helps children learn problem solving to build life skills in the game.

    Starting at your garage Gary Gadget gets to build cars from the parts there and laying around in his yard. After building your first car you can drive around the countryside to show off your car to your friends and neighbors or take your car to a car show and win a medal.

    After roaming the roads kids will learn things like cars require gas and when theirs runs out they need to go home to get more. Or they can fill up at a couple of gas stations to prevent running low on gasoline in their travels. They learn other important parts of driving as well as helping others to promote good friendship and citizenship.

    There are other problem-solving and learning activities with things like roadblocks in the form of cows or steep roads. Kids need to learn what parts for their cars they need to install in order to pass these obstacles. They learn what parts of cars are required to do other jobs like making the car faster or lighter to overcome other obstacles on your countryside tours.

    Other features of the game are:

    • Endless Car Part Combinations!
    • Discover over 127 car parts!
    • Race Your Cars
    • 16 Missions and Activites!
    • Earn Certificates and Win lots of medals!
    • Create a photo album of your favorite cars
    • Bonus! Visit Gary Gadget's website and download more parts and a bonus game too!
    Building Cars is a pretty simple to understand and learn game but younger kids around the age of six or seven might need the help of an adult from time to time. They might not understand some of the things like having to continue to return to the auto show and the garage to receive more parts from Freddy Freddrick, a neighbor, or some other areas of the game.

    It is a fun game and very interactive with you trying out different parts of cars or other things and finding out what belongs on a vehicle. You can use other things like airplane parts or odds and ends lying around the yard to put on your car creation but some of it will work while others just wonít.

    The more stuff you stick onto your car and show it at the auto show the higher score you will get toward getting a medal. You will also get medals for things like mud driving and long distance medal by using various car parts and accomplishing things in the game. The game has a very simple interface using the mouse and the arrows for driving.

    Building Cars uses simple cartoons and some animations for moving objects such as people talking to you or the dogs that are a big part of your daily life. In the shop and at other peopleís yards you will have these animations when people talk to you. When driving around you have a map with a small car for moving between these areas. Building Cars has some pretty low system requirements and no settings for graphics quality.

    I had no problems with the sound and just like the graphics there are also no sound settings here. The people talk and you have some simple sounds for various things throughout the game but there are very few. There is no theme music or background noise in the game so there is not much to the sound.

    Gary Gadget: Building Cars is a pretty good kidís game, no itís not really meant for us adults. It is simple enough that kids can pretty much play it on their own with little help from us kids at heart and yet challenging enough that they will learn several things. Kids will learn about cars and the parts that they need to work as well as learn about things like needing special tires for driving in mud or a better engine for driving up steep hills.

    The game comes with extra content that you download from their web site such as new car parts or an additional game. The car parts adds more pieces that you download into your documents folder under the Viva Media game folder and then play the game to get the parts mailed from your Uncle George who was visiting Timbuktu.

    The additional game is a cute little stacking game that has you restacking junk to get at the car part at the bottom of a pile. You need to restack the junk to get to the part at the bottom and can revisit this area to get more and more parts. Gary Gadget: Building Cars will keep kids entertained for some time as they work to create different cars, drive around to the different areas to help your friends on little missions and collect medals for driving skills and your car designs.

    Gary Gadget: Building Cars is a very good kidís game that has a lot going for it. You not only introduce kids to problem solving puzzles and working towards goals in a game that has some fun little missions like helping your neighbors.

    The game is totally non violent and has some very good moral lessons as well as the fun driving and building your own creative car designs. This is the type of game that schools, day cares and libraries will get to loan out to kids and families who value good skills and problem solving games.