Retro-style indie racers like Horizon Chase Turbo and Hotshot Racing are all the rage right now, harking back to classic arcade racing games from the past. This trend isn’t ending any time soon either. Last week, Sunrise GP was announced for Nintendo Switch.
And now Spanish indie publisher BlitWorks has announced that Slipstream, an indie retro racer originally released on PC in 2018, is coming to consoles. Priced at $9.99/ 8.99, it launches on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch on 7th April.
Sprite-scaling for the modern age
If you can't tell by the visual style, Slipstream is clearly inspired by Sega’s timeless arcade racer OutRun. Created by lone Brazilian developer Sandro Luiz de Paula, Slipstream is built on a custom game engine. The stylish graphics recreate sprite scaling techniques used in racing games from the ‘80s and ‘90s before the days of 3D polygonal graphics.
The effect certainly looks convincing, bringing a “real, authentic retro experience to modern hardware,” with colourful sprites and smooth 60fps gameplay.
Slipstream features 20 tracks set in a variety of exotic locations such as cities, deserts, forests, mountains and beaches. Inspired by classic models from the ‘80s and ‘90s such as the Honda NSX and Nissan 300ZX, each of the five playable cars have unique specs.
As the name implies, the indie arcade racer emphasises slipstreaming and drifting, adding depth to the otherwise simple gameplay.
For a more authentic retro experience, you can also apply Pixelated CRT and NTSC filters. Adding to the retro atmosphere is an original soundtrack by Stefan Moser (aka Effoharkay) blending synth-pop and jazz fusion.
Six game modes
Slipstream features six game modes. Mimicking the classic OutRun experience, Grand Tour takes you on a scenic trip through five stages with rivals to beat and branching paths to choose. Cannonball, on the other hand, is a customisable race mode with options to enable or disable traffic, rivals, and other racers.
Grand Prix is your standard championship mode with five races and optional car customisation, while Single Race is self-explanatory. Other game modes include Time Trial and an elimination mode called Battle Royale.
Slipstream also supports local split-screen multiplayer for up to four players, but there’s no online multiplayer, sadly.