Remember 80s racing games? You weren’t so concerned with online connectivity or using those bastard blue shells to take down enemies in front of you. Nope, for the most part, it was you and the road. Oh, and a time clock. In this particular case, it was Out Run. The developers behind Slipstream sure seem to love it.
That’s because it’s an arcade classic and one, surprisingly enough, you can play on Nintendo Switch right now. That said, Ansdor’s got a fun little competitor in its own right with Slipstream. It’s a game built on simple arcade principles that’s really wild to master. This means doing some drifting, getting that sweet “slipstream” behind other cards, and beating competitors to the finish line. It’s hardly the ultimate trip at the wheel, but for ten bucks, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better piece of racing nostalgia.
The Slipstream Guys Have a Crush On Sega
Right off the bat, you can tell how much Ansdor loves Sega. Not only does it throw its Out Run flavored hearts at it, but also Sonic the Hedgehog as well. Seriously, at some points during races, it’s like borderline obsession.
Still, Slipstream makes it all work. The track design is inspired, neat, and even uses the classic forward-scrolling method of other racers like, well, Out Run and Power Drift. For that matter, the game also moves at a fluid pace, with inspired locales (the city! the countryside!) and neat, if somewhat generic, car choices. There are so many goodies to unlock as well, making the trip worthwhile.
The music’s pretty good too. Not amazing by any means (there’s hardly anything here that can replace the “Magical Sound Shower”) but it’s a good listen nevertheless. Slipstream also features some solid audio work with the sound effects, particularly with that old “drift” effect that Out Run made famous years ago.
It’s nice to see Ansdor so inspired by the racers of old. Not to mention the game packs some great split-screen multiplayer as well, for up to four people. Granted, the split-screen gets a little hectic in this mode, but it’s sure-fire fun for some couch sessions!
The Drift Is the Thing
Drifting to get ahead in a racing game is nothing new. Hell, for a while there, Ridge Racer made it its bread, butter and even steak. With Slipstream, however, the system’s a little bit different. You still get that high-speed thrill around a corner, but you have to master the mechanic first.
There’s a neat little trick involving hitting the brake, hitting the gas again, and then leaning into the turn to nail the drift. It takes a while, especially in handheld mode, but it works pretty well. If you prefer, you can change the game’s options and drift automatically, which may save you a little bit of headache later. The choice is yours.
Overall, though, the game’s racing aesthetics are nicely captured. That said, the computer cars can be a little too relentless for their own good. Some of the earlier opponents aren’t too bad and even take loss pretty lightly. Later on, though, you better have drifting mastered.
If you get the hang of it all, you’ll find Slipstream to be a rather suitable ride. With lots to unlock as well, including 20 vehicles and a gaggle of fun tracks. There are lots of modes here as well, such as the Battle Royale mode, which really lives up to its name. Get your friends for this one!
Don’t Let It Slip Past
For ten bucks, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better tribute to Out Run than with Slipstream. Granted, for two dollars less, you can just download the Sega Ages version itself and play that. However, Ansdor has loaded this arcade racer with enough frills and good times to justify the extra price. It’s especially fun in multiplayer (though, again, hectic), and the unlockables make it all worthwhile. Not to mention that sweet, sweet scaling.
On top of that, no girlfriend yelling at you in the passenger seat. Bonus points, dude!
VIBE Score: 7.5/10
Speaking of Sonic the Hedgehog, you should really go see his latest movie.