Slipstream review for PC, PS5/4, Xbox Series X/One

Platform: PC
Also On: PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X, Xbox One
Publisher: Blitworks
Developer: Ansdor
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-4
Online: No

SEGA knows who butters their bread, that?s why we?ve got endless Sonic the Hedgehog titles, while other IPs are relegated to cameoing in Ryu Ga Gotoku titles as mini games at best and at worst forgotten in the annals of history. Outrun is one of these titles as this adrenaline pumping racer hasn?t seen a new iteration since 2009. While others are willing to wait for SEGA to give them the time of day, other men build their own game engine and create their own ?Outrun-like?. One such man is Sandro Luiz de Paula aka Ansdor and his game is Slipstream.

If you showed Slipstream?s gameplay to the uninitiated, it?s likely that the response solicited would be ?Is this a new Outrun?? These uninformed inquiries wouldn?t be quite off, because the game follows the formula almost to a tee. Behind the back racing as you gain speed by slipstreaming behind road traffic, drift through turns, and choosing one of two tracks if you manage to beat the clock and complete your course. The controls are simple, yet mastering the art of the drift might be a monumental task for some, and an easy chore for others.

While the game isn?t eager to devour all your quarters, it provides options that make this arcade hard title enjoyable for either the most unroadworthy driver. Automatic drifting and different weight classes will make the difference between timing out in the first stage or crossing the finish line in stage 5. Other tools that softens the gameplay include a rewind feature that lets you scrub 5 seconds of your race, letting you correct course and a speed adjustment feature in the options screen. So there?s nothing stopping you from cruising through the 20 diverse tracks the game has to offer.

Outside of the Outrun-ish rally style racing, the game also offers a plethora of other modes to sate your need for speed. A Grand Prix mode which will allow players to customize their car to give you the edge as you strive for first place. Battle Royale tasks players to stay out of last place as you complete each section until there is one racer remaining. Time Trials are just you against the clock as you try to complete the track in the fastest time possible. Of course if you can actually gather some friends, there are races that can accommodate up to 4 players locally.

Slipstream is truly a work of love. Its gameplay honors its source material and if you look closely at the rivals that challenge you on each track you?ll know Ansdor is definitely a fan of racing in the media as a whole (I see you Tofu Boy?but why isn?t your car white? Also how does Din Mikal feel about family?). The game might feel a little too punishing at times, but Ansdor leaves plenty of accessibility options to flatten the learning curve. Outrun might be stuck in the garage, but Slipstream is out there cruising the streets and it?s a perfectly viable ride!

Blitworks provided us with a Slipstream PC code for review purposes.

Grade: B