Hot Wheels Unleashed Articles RSS Feed | Hot Wheels Unleashed RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Nintendo Switch Black Friday Sales & Deals 2021 Mon, 08 Nov 2021 17:28:30 -0500 GS_Staff

Black Friday is upon us once again, and there are quite a few Nintendo Switch sales and deals to be had. Some deals are live now, while other sales will go live starting on November 21. Some may arrive even later in the month (ya' know, when Black Friday is supposed to start). There are plenty of games on offer, though, as any Nintendo fan may expect, there aren't too many hardware deals available.

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A number of the biggest retailers, from Amazon to Gamestop to Target, are getting in on the action, of course. Here are the best deals we know of so far. Use the links below to jump to each retailer's section. 

Nintendo Black Friday Games and Bundles

The Big N itself will be offering sales and deals starting on November 21. Those include discounts on a wide range of first-party titles, as well as a Nintendo Switch bundle. 

A recent sneak peek at those deals confirm that Nintendo will be offering a Switch bundle for $299, which includes a base Nintendo Switch (not the OLED variety), Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and 3 months of Nintendo Switch Online.

This console bundle sale isn't exactly new; a 2020 GameStop Black Friday ad features it front and center. Right now, it's unclear if it will appear at other retailers or be exclusive to Nintendo. Either way, it's not something to pass up for those in the market for a Switch at a steal.

Aside from that bundle, a number of high-profile games will also be on sale from Nintendo itself for $39.99, including: 

  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
  • Splatoon 2
  • Astral Chain
  • Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Mario Kart Live will fall to $59.99, and Ring Fit Adventure will go for $54.99. It doesn't appear that some games, such as Metroid Dread and Mario Party Superstars will receive any discounts. These sales will be available until November 27, according to Nintendo, and when they do appear, they can be found over here.

Amazon Buy 2 Get 1 Free Switch Games

Ok, so this is technically a Buy 2 Get 1 on a wide range of video games over at Amazon, including PlayStation 4 and PS5, as well as Xbox One and Series X. But perhaps the biggest piece of news is that some Nintendo Switch games are included as well. 

Head over to Amazon, and sift through the qualified games. To take advantage of the deal and redeem the offer, Amazon says that you'll need to add three items to your shopping cart and the savings "will automatically be applied at checkout, if eligible." It seems not every game is up for grabs, but a good few are. 

The best part is that this is a mix-and-match deal; it applies to not only games for other systems but also movies, music, books, and more. 

A few highlights for Switch include: 

  • Minecraft Dungeons
  • Hot Wheels Unleashed
  • Monster Hunter Stories 2
  • Doki Doki Literature Club
  • Dying Light Platinum Edition
  • Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne HD
  • Rune Factory 4
  • Kitaria Fables
  • Hades

Nintendo Switch Black Friday at Target

While it doesn't specifically mention Black Friday, Target also has a Buy 2 Get 1 free deal for video games. And since it's in November, we're including it here. An ad scan mentions that these deals are valid through November 13, so act fast. 

Also, just like Amazon, this is a Buy 2 Get 1 mix-and-match sale, including all gaming platforms, movies, books, and more. Here are some highlights:

  • Mario + Rabbid: Kingdom Battle
  • Pokemon Let's Go, Pikachu!/Evee!
  • Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD
  • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
  • Luigi's Mansion 3

It should be noted that Target's selection is far smaller than Amazon's currently. Either way, you can check out what's on offer by heading over to Target's BOGO Switch page. We'll update this page with more Target deals as they pop up through the month.

GameStop Nintendo Switch Deals

It doesn't appear that GameStop has released its Black Friday ad just yet, so we don't exactly know what's up for grabs or at what prices just yet (if you've seen it and it exists, drop a comment below, and we'll update this article). 

Regardless, there are currently some Nintendo Switch games on sale at the retailer, including: 

  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  • Super Mario Odyssey
  • Mario Golf: Super Rush
  • Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury
  • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD
  • Nickelodeon All Star Brawl
  • Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze
  • Super Mario Maker 2
  • Yoshi's Crafted World
  • Pikmin 3 Deluxe

All told, there are roughly 12 full pages of sales, though some games that return for the query don't seem to be on sale, so you'll have to do a bit of minimal sifting. Head over here to check it out.

Best Buy Nintendo Switch Sale

Best Buy has been offering Black Friday deals since mid-October, but it doesn't appear that the retailer is in full-fledged holiday sale mode just yet. There are only a handful of video game deals available through their website as of this writing, and their Black Friday ad hasn't appeared just yet. 

There aren't any Switch-specific deals and frankly, not much of note. 

Walmart Nintendo Switch Deals

Walmart is another retailer that hasn't shared all of its plans for Black Friday 2021 video games, which is slightly odd considering the retailer's ad is already out. Regardless, Wal-Mart will be having an Early Access Black Friday sale for Walmart+ members starting on November 10 at 3 p.m. EST. Early Access is not available to Walmart+ trial members.

There's really no idea what to expect, though it's safe to assume some Switch games will be on sale. 

Those are the Black Friday and before Black Friday Nintendo Switch deals and sales available right now. Bookmark this page, as we'll be updating it throughout the month. Stay tuned. 

Hot Wheels Unleashed Review: Extinguished Flames Mon, 27 Sep 2021 14:01:27 -0400 Mark Delaney

Hot Wheels is one of the most ubiquitous toy brands in the world. For decades, it's awed young kids and adult collectors with elaborate tracks, fun original cars, and exciting licensed crossovers, but its video game adaptations have rarely served all of its fans.

Hot Wheels Unleashed is the first Hot Wheels game I can recall that, in many ways, feels built to satisfy fans of any age. Its driving model is as precise and tough as you want to make it, and its lot of cars on day one is enough to make any longtime fan fist-pump like the boys in its advertising.

However, Hot Wheels Unleashed commits one grievous error that extinguishes the flame of excitement and instead can leave many players spinning rubber in an oil slick of frustration.

Hot Wheels Unleashed Review: Extinguished Flames

When I played a limited preview of Hot Wheels Unleashed earlier this year, my biggest concerns were its poor music selection and an apparent lack of cars beyond Hot Wheels originals. In the full game, both of those issues still exist — sort of. The music is still bad, and within an hour I turned off its mix of what sounds like royalty-free rock. But music is merely peripheral to so much else this game is about, so that's forgivable ultimately.

Its car selection, meanwhile, is actually much more expansive. With dozens of cars at launch, there's a lovely mix of licensed cars from real manufacturers like Ford and Chevrolet, plenty of originals and fantasy cars like Roller Toaster and Rip Rod, and its first major vehicle expansion, while not free, will bring in pop culture cars from properties like Snoopy, Batman, and Ninja Turtles.

So the issue isn't a dearth of cars to choose from, it's how you go about adding them to your collection. Hot Wheels Unleashed offers a rather expansive campaign mode of 80+ races, and each one offers two rewards, a basic completion reward of in-game coins, gears for upgrading, blind boxes containing new cars, or specific new cars, and then a bonus reward for achieving the extra objective. That's all fun and fair.

Where the system breaks down is when the game stops your progress on its campaign roadmap with "secrets" that vaguely reference things you'll need to do to unlock further races. This system is so vague that during my review, I had to ask around about what it even wanted me to do. As it turns out, these secrets require you to complete specific races with specific cars to open the next chain of events.

Unfathomably, this means you're reliant on a system of mostly randomized car unlocks to hopefully pull the cars you need. At one point early in the campaign, I was met with four or five dead ends because I lacked any of the cars needed to perform their secret events.

You can either spend 500 coins (earned from several races) to buy a randomized car or check the in-game store for a few specific cars rotating in and out every few hours. But oftentimes, these cost even more — as much as 1,200 coins in my experience so far, which would take many races to earn.

This system can and will slow progress of everyone who plays the game at least once and probably several times. Frankly, I don't understand how it was put in the game at all. Two solutions exist: either let me buy the car I need or alter the way secret events work. At launch, neither is available and my hope is Milestone will see this and likely other criticisms and implement a fix.

It's really too bad because the racing itself is a lot of fun and captures the spirit of Hot Wheels so very well. Boosting through loops, soaring over massive gaps, and drifting tightly around each corner to build your boost bar and zoom past the competition feels like wish fulfillment for every kid who ever raced a pair of diecast cars in their hands and imagined a much more elaborate scene.

The difficulty options ensure players of all ages and skill levels can enjoy each race, and as each car has its own stats and rarity, it's fun to level them up and improve them, though that system does seem a bit slow and costly too.

A yellow van with a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles vanity plate racing on a blue track.

The game's greatest feature is its track editor. Here, players can build their own Hot Wheels tracks using signature orange and blue track pieces, bending them up, down, left, and right, installing loops and ramps, and even placing some of the brand's fantastical set pieces, like a dinosaur that threatens to swallow racers or a spider that shoots webs onto the track.

Players can share tracks online, as well as liveries for cars, so even if you're not one to use the creative suite yourself, you can enjoy the creations of others.

In my time with the track editor, I felt like I could build almost anything I wanted to. The toolset can take some getting used to, but all the best ones do, and this one isn't nearly as unwieldy as comparable toys in other games. It's worth mentioning, however, that many track editor unlocks are tied to campaign progress, so even here the faulty unlock system in the campaign rears its ugly head and gets in the way of the fun. 

It's also worth noting how incredible the cars look in this game. I've got hundreds of Hot Wheels cars in my home thanks to my son, and the in-game models are ridiculously lifelike. Artistically, each one captures the exact look of its counterpart, right down to the brushstrokes painted over each model, or the way the light reflects off of metal and plastic differently. 

Imagining an alternate version of this game free from the RNG-based roadblocks, I can sense Hot Wheels Unleashed would be one of my favorite games of the year. With local and online multiplayer, a garage of cars worth drooling over, and a creative track editor, it's fully featured and covers all the bases you'd expect from an arcade racer. It's just that obstructive unlock system that brings it all down.

Hot Wheels Unleashed Review — The Bottom Line

Snoopy car racing a shark car, Delorean, and others on a blue track in a study.


  • Track editor is fully featured and relatively easy to use
  • Racing itself is fast, gorgeous, and fun
  • Cars on offer cover all the bases and look stunningly like their real-life counterparts


  • RNG-based unlocks halt progress across several modes

Hot Wheels Unleashed is a great racing game in all but one way, but that one way is so invasive and affects the game's best modes worst of all that it really does drag the whole game down with it.

Cars being unlocked randomly is fine. A campaign containing secret events is fine. But the game's insistence that players use specific cars in specific events is where it all falls apart because very often you simply won't have the cars you need, and then that means you can't do anything in the campaign. 

Should the developers patch this system out, I would fully recommend Hot Wheels Unleashed to fans of the brand or the genre. But for now, the engine that operates this whole vehicle is flooded.

[Note: Milestone provided the copy of Hot Wheels Unleashed used for this review.]

Hot Wheels Unleashed Preview: Putting The Flame In The Game Thu, 24 Jun 2021 12:00:26 -0400 Mark Delaney

Hot Wheels is one of the most recognized and renowned toy brands in the world, which gives Hot Wheels Unleashed a deceptively tough legacy to live up to. A Hot Wheels game from Milestone has even loftier expectations, as the studio operates as almost a racing team exclusively.

We're months away from the launch of Hot Wheels Unleashed, but after about a week with some modes of the game, I get the feeling Hot Wheels fan old and new will find something to enjoy with Unleashed, even if the game lacks just a bit of the childlike imagination the toys inspire in fans around the world.

At first, I was worried Hot Wheels Unleashed would be too adult of a take on the property. Milestone makes some great sim racing games, but historically, Hot Wheels games have always rightly been closer to kart racers.

I have to admit the impressive visuals are initially what threw me off. These games have never looked as good as this one, not even in the context of their own release eras. This feels like it must have the biggest budget of any Hot Wheels game to date.

So far, it seems like money well spent. I was able to play Quick Race in my time with the game, selecting from nearly 30 Hot Wheels originals, or "fantasy" cars.

Nostalgic or still impassioned fans of the flame will recognize many all-time greats and newer favorites too, such as Twin Mill, Rip Rod, Roller Toaster, and Exotique. Like most Hot Wheels games, Unleashed doesn't seem poised to offer licensed cars. Rather, this is about taking Mattel's in-house creations for a spin.

Each car has its own stats plainly visible when you're choosing which to use, making it feel more like other kart racers and giving younger or inexperienced players a quick guide on deciding their future favorites. The game even breaks these cars up into tiers, including Common, Rare, Legendary and Super Treasure Hunt vehicles. 

That last group is based on real-life and normally the ones collectors pine for, though I couldn't seem to access it in the preview build. I'm told players can upgrade their cars in the full game too, both for fashion and function.

The cars are faithfully recreated too. In the selection screen, close-up models reveal uncanny attention to detail. The plastic windows reflect just as they should. Each paint job is remarkably life-like. I spent a good while inspecting every toy car, comparing them to the 600+ my son has in his bedroom. In the end, every detail major and minor is present in Unleashed and it's a joy to observe.

These touches are lovely for fans, however, they don't mean anything if the racing itself is subpar. But again, this is Milestone. The team seems poised to deliver a racing model that is easy for younger players and still has a skill ceiling (and an option for brutally tough AI) for more experienced racers.

The medium difficulty AI was already giving me a run for my money, though I was warned the difficulty isn't yet balanced properly, so I expect this to be sorted by launch.

Tracks themselves are perhaps the most exciting part. Split into difficulty tiers, even the easy tracks give off the high-speed hijinx fans love with things like boost pads and turbo meters always taking the speedometer to its limit. The best tracks are those in the higher tiers, where fantasy elements like spiders shooting webs at players and looping track pieces almost perfectly capture the spirit of Hot Wheels.

Where this element falls short, however, is in its atmosphere.

Though tracks are necessarily built much wider than their real-life counterparts, they're still mapped onto worlds much bigger than the cars, in an effort to capture the scale of the toys. But these college dorm rooms and skate parks feel rather lifeless as periphery scene-setting. Meanwhile, the soundtrack doesn't help either, as sterile, pre-canned rock music plays as you whip around every track.

Hot Wheels has done well to constantly reinvent itself in the real world with new toy lines like Hot Wheels AI, tons of licensed crossovers like Rocket League, always walking a tightrope between modernity and timelessness. Thus, I find myself taken aback by Unleashed's musical selection, which feels ripped out of the ads I saw as a kid 20 years ago. Adding more "life" to the world beyond the tracks themselves would go a long way to staying true to Hot Wheels.

In the full game, players will be able to take on a career mode including boss races, play multiplayer local or online for up to 12 racers, and — the best bit — toy with a track editor to build their own custom races. Nothing in the game is really more important than that, given the brand. Right now I have high hopes for this arcade racer, but I need to get my hands on that portion to deliver my final verdict on the game.

Hot Wheels Unleashed debuts on Xbox, PlayStation, PC, and Switch on September 30.