Cars: Race-O-Rama is a racing game set in the Disney/Pixar Cars universe. It is the third entry in a series of THQ licensed games that include Cars and Cars: Mater-National Championship . The game includes a single-player story mode and an arcade mode. In story mode, you progress through a series of races and mini-games with a series of cutscenes. In arcade mode, you can replay story mode events and compete in 2-player split-screen races.
The plot of Cars: Race-O-Rama centers around Lightning McQueen as he trains students of the Doc Hudson Racing Academy to compete in the Race-O-Rama Circuit. Soon, Lightning discovers that his arch-enemy, Chick Hicks, is training a rival group of racers who don't race by the rules. Lightning must compete against these rival racers in an effort to win the Race-O-Rama trophy.
Story mode uses an open-world format, where you can explore the world and play different events by driving to marked waypoints. There are 7 different main explorable areas including Radiator Springs Stadium, Ornament Valley, Tailfin Pass, Radiator Springs, Santa Carburera, Autovia, and Motoropolis. There are also 3 mini-games based on the Disney/Pixar animated short series "Cars Toons" that center around the character Mater. These include "Mater the Greater", "El Materdor", and "Tokyo Mater".
While racing, there is a boost meter that slowly fills over time. Using the boost will give you a quick speed increase. There is also a new drifting mechanic that allows you to take tighter turns and fill the boost meter more rapidly. You can also jump in most races to avoid obstacles and other racers.