Being able to drive fast cars recklessly is beyond many of us. Accordingly, it’s understandable that petrolheads and adrenaline junkies lean towards arcade racers. This genre has been around for years, and the latest, yet retro title to hit the market is Slipstream.
Developed by Ansdor Games and published by Blitworks, this is an old-school arcade racing title. It follows in the footsteps of the Outrun franchise and is heavily influenced by Sega. Consequently, it is filled with 80s and early 90s vibes, is distinctly old-school, and is rough around the edges.
Slipstream is loaded with modes.
The story of Slipstream is nonexistent. Subsequently, your attention is held by the captivating action and the many modes you undertake. The lack of a plot did disappoint me, as I love how ridiculous 80s-inspired stories are. Yet, in the long run, it matters not as you quickly fall for its charms!
The multitude of modes that are available effectively demands the same thing. Race hard, overtake your rivals, and complete each leg of the race. However, it isn’t as simple as it seems, and the smallest of mistakes will undermine your progress. If you fail, and you will, it’s game over! Now, this may seem disappointing, but it’s not such a big deal. Luckily, each race is quick and you can easily jump straight back into the action.
The gameplay demands that you drive from point A to B as quickly as possible. If you fail to beat the timer, you’ll lose. Therefore, speed is of the essence. As you drive along, you’ll overtake NPCs and rival racers. However, depending on which mode you select, this is either essential or just part of the fun. During each event, you must drift every corner like a demented boy racer. By doing this, you’ll increase your speed while looking badass. Yet, extra speed increases the likelihood that you’ll crash. When this happens, you can rewind the action by up to five seconds. This is an essential tool that rectifies mistakes while keeping you in the lead.
Solo racing or play with friends.
The original arcade racers were phenomenal, but they lacked multiplayer action. Luckily, Slipstream hasn’t made the same mistake. Subsequently, you can enjoy the hectic and fast-paced action alone or with three friends. This additional content adds to the longevity while making it exceptionally competitive. Besides, it was fantastic challenging your friends as the AI isn’t tough enough.
The gameplay is split across an array of modes. You’ll experience single races, grand tours, cup events, battle royale, and a cannonball race. Every one of them is filled with rivals, unique landscapes, and twisty tracks. Sadly, though, there is a distinct lack of challenge and this undermines the action. Other than crashing, there is little chance that you won’t win every event. Annoyingly, the computer puts up no fight and victory is all but assured.
Fortunately, nonetheless, the cup events and the cannonball races offer some unique rules. Moreover, you can also improve your car and at least this adds depth to a very shallow arcade affair. I wish the developers had consistently delivered this sort of detail, but unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.
Slipstream is gloriously old-school.
Ansdor Games has brilliantly captured the late 80s early 90s aesthetics. With boxy imagery, vivid colours, and basic animation, this is distinctly old-school in its approach. What’s more, the landscapes are wonderfully varied from icy tundra to neon-lit cities. Consequently, there is a nice blend of open spaces and claustrophobic tracks. These ensure the gameplay stays fresh while adding a minor layer of difficulty.
Where this excels is its synth music. The audio captures the era perfectly and is a wonderful accompaniment to the fast racing. The banging tunes are complemented by the screech of your tires and the relentless bangs as you crash for the nth time. Subsequently, it was gloriously loud, obnoxious, and unbelievably retro.
Drifting is a key aspect, and yet the developers allowed this to be automated! This strange move makes an already easy game much simpler. Alongside this, the steering is accurate and the rewind option is straightforward to execute. Sadly, this basic approach will disappoint adept gamers. However, it’s great for newcomers and younger players.
The single-player mode has limited appeal, and this impacts its longevity. Once you complete every task, which will take around three to four hours, there is little else to do. Thankfully, the excellent couch multiplayer mode will ensure you’ll return. Therefore, there is some replay value to be had from this retro racer.
Slipstream is fun but lacks depth and difficulty.
Arcade racers are all about the fun and the challenge. Subsequently, Slipstream ticks some of those boxes. It’s undeniably enjoyable, and playing with friends is excellent. However, it lacks depth and won’t challenge you. I wish every mode was as deep and fulfilling as the battle royale or cannonball race. Sadly, they weren’t, and this was a shame. All things considered, it’s fun and therefore I recommend you to buy it here! Will you beat your rivals and win every race? Choose your ride and drift your way to victory.