THQ gives us an alternative to the racing genre, and it's something that indeed could be well worth testing. Unfortunately, THQ gives us a bad alternative to the racing genre, and it only makes Sprint Cars feel like just another racing game, but with some different, cheaper looking cars attached to it.
The whole point of sprint cars is that they're supposed to be this great, messy, outrageous alternative to racing vehicles - nasty crashes and deadly turns included. And serious gearheads will notice a few related tricks of physics unique to Sprint Cars, like the fact that you can't jerk the steering wheel suddenly because it'll send you skidding all over the place. You have to be gradual.
The problem is, this isn't fun at all; Sprint Cars plays like a very basic racer that does nothing different than the other racer to show its appealing side. The tracks here are the same they were in any other racing game - okay, they're a bit sloppier, we suppose - and they don't change. Maps are extremely simple, and the course view usually looks the same. The tactics for these simple courses are, obviously, simple. Left turns are almost the only obstacle in your paths, and once you develop common knowledge as to how to avoid them, it'll get boring very fast.
Likewise, multiplayer doesn't offer anything to get excited about. Unless your friends love turning the analog to the left every few seconds, your pals are bound to try and wreak havoc, just to try and find some fun. Unfortunately, damage to cars is non-existent; cars look good as new after heading straight for a wall past 100.
The visuals don't help the situation, either. They're ugly, and they really look like they need to be loved. Music almost isn't there at all, except for a few menu selections.
If you can get past all its faults, the career mode is decent. Its character creation is cheap, though, and the whole organization is irritating. Still, it's there, and it does its job, so that's gotta count for something.
This is a racing game that's not fun. It's basic, tasteless, and doesn't use any creativity with its cool cars it's focusing on in the game. The pricetag is appealing, though, and if you're really into this sort of thing, it just might amuse you enough for the weekend. Otherwise, don't make that left turn.