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Jimmie Johnson's Anything with an Engine: A Video Game Review

David DeNennoContributor IIINovember 23, 2011

Jimmie Johnson driving the unfamiliar No. 7 at Watkins Glen
Jimmie Johnson driving the unfamiliar No. 7 at Watkins GlenJerry Markland/Getty Images

NASCAR fans may remember that Jimmie Johnson participated in the Nationwide Series race at Watkins Glen in August. Though it was a bit strange to see him driving anything other than his usual No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet, there was a method to the strangeness.

Johnson was driving the car to promote his new video game Jimmie Johnson's Anything With an Engine. The game was just released last week for Xbox and PlayStation and was released this week for the Wii.

Gaming fans familiar with the style of battle racing that was made popular by Super Mario Kart will not be disappointed.

The title does not lie: You can race with a shopping cart, a coffin, a toilet, etc. Each character and vehicle has its own unique strengths and weaknesses, along with missiles and mines that help you hinder other drivers.

The graphics and game play are fairly average. At first, Anything With an Engine feels like a game that you have played before.

However, that does not last. One cool and unique feature is the ability to obtain fan votes during the race. If the player is able to gain enough popularity, the track opens up a short cut to help catch up to the field.

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Other interesting features include a race that is literally head-to-head; three drivers line up together opposite of three other drivers.

When the green flag is dropped, it becomes a big game of chicken. Drivers try to maintain speed while simultaneously avoiding high-speed wrecks. This happens every lap as the drivers traverse the track and meet each other repeatedly.

There are certain challenges that pit you directly against Jimmie Johnson himself. He lays out a path that will get the quickest lap time and it is your job to equal or better that. It is much more difficult than it actually sounds.

The coolest part about the game is that Johnson himself is very much a part of it. He did not simply slap his name on the game to sell a product. Quite the opposite, he performed several voice-overs for the game and speaks to the player frequently.

Here is a link to the game's website. It shows just how much fun Jimmie apparently had making the game.

If you are looking for a fun racing game, go ahead and pick up a copy. It is economically priced at $30 and is quite entertaining.

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