Experience the Thrill of a Retro Arcade Racer

New Star GP is not your average throwback-style arcade racer.

New Star Games is well-known for its retro-style sports titles like New Star Soccer and Retro Bowl on mobile devices. With New Star GP, the independent studio is venturing into the realm of racing and expanding into the multi-platform gaming market.

Having primarily focused on mobile gaming, the challenge of launching a game across multiple platforms simultaneously is no small task for a small team like New Star Games.

As a result, New Star GP represents the studio’s most significant and most ambitious project to date. Following a positive reception during the Early Access phase, New Star GP is now set to debut on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox platforms.

Classic racing vibes

New Star GP may seem like a straightforward arcade racer on the surface. Although there are some visual hiccups on certain elements, the graphics are vibrant and colorful, featuring a low-polygon art style, bold hues, and dynamic speed effects when slipstreaming past opponents.

It’s important to note that there isn’t a dedicated PS5 version available yet. However, the game is playable on PS5 through backward compatibility and offers sharp visuals in 4K resolution, maintaining a solid 60 fps frame rate.

One drawback of being limited to previous generation consoles is the restriction of races to just ten cars on the track. A next-gen version leveraging the PS5’s enhanced capabilities could potentially offer larger race grids.

Despite its nostalgic aesthetic reminiscent of classic 1990s arcade racers like Virtua Racing, New Star GP surprisingly offers considerable depth.

Forums: Arcade or Authentic?

Firstly, let’s talk about the handling. This isn’t your typical arcade racer where you’re always flooring it and drifting around corners with no concern for speed loss.

New Star GP retains its arcade roots but requires players to master racing techniques such as optimal racing lines and precise braking points to achieve top speeds. Once you bridge the gap between the arcade visuals and the authentic racing mechanics, driving becomes engaging, rewarding, and immersive.

Surprisingly for an arcade racer, you must manage your tires and monitor fuel consumption. Variable track grip levels and changing weather conditions influence your strategies. Excessive collision damage can lead to tire blowouts, introducing race planning aspects typically found in simulation racing games.

Before hitting the track, you can customize your fuel load, choose tire types (hard, soft, or wet), and plan your pit stop strategy. Races necessitate a one or two-stop strategy, requiring at least one pit stop for fresh tires, refueling, or repairs. Reminiscent of 1980s Epyx Pitstop games, players manually control their pit crew.

A unique interactive minigame element lets you adjust fuel levels while changing tires by holding down specific buttons. Timing plays a crucial role, as insufficient fuel can ruin your race. Conversely, excess fuel contributes to sluggishness, incorrect tire choice can compromise performance, emphasizing the need for a careful balance.

Merging arcade and simulation racing mechanics may seem unconventional, but it sets New Star GP apart from other retro-style racers like Hotshot Racing and Formula Retro Racing World Tour. New Star Games has masterfully balanced each aspect, preventing players from feeling overwhelmed.

Although you can’t disable tire wear, race commentary provides clear explanations to help you determine the optimal pit stop strategies for each track. Alternatively, players are encouraged to experiment and create their custom pit stop plans.

Journey Through the Years

New Star GP‘s distinctive career mode tasks players with managing a motorsport team and navigating through Grand Prix competitions spanning five decades, from the 1980s to the present day in the 2020s. Progression is marked by evolving car designs and track layouts based on the era, enhancing the sensation of advancement. Despite lacking official licenses, New Star GP serves as a tribute to Formula 1’s rich heritage.

Enthusiasts will recognize car designs inspired by legendary Formula 1 vehicles, such as Ayrton Senna’s McLaren MP4/8. While car characteristics evolve with increasing speed, it’s disappointing that all cars share the same engine sound, resembling a roaring V10 regardless of the era.

To further emphasize progression, each car can be fully personalized using earnings from races, enabling upgrades to components like the engine, brakes, and suspension for competitive performance.

The game features 34 circuits, reminiscent of renowned F1 venues, with fictional tracks based on classic and contemporary locations such as Northampton (Silverstone) and the iconic Cote d’Azur in Monaco.

Short track layouts allow completion of each ten-GP season in approximately five to six minutes, depending on skill level, enabling players to engage in quick play sessions or marathon sessions to finish a full season. This flexibility adds to the game’s appeal.

With each season introducing fresh circuits and rivalries, alongside checkpoint races, elimination challenges, time trials, and one-on-one rival showdowns between Grand Prix races, the game offers a wide range of events to maintain player interest throughout the extensive career mode encompassing over 170 challenges.

Light team management features, from recruiting staff to choosing sponsors, contribute to the career mode’s depth. Staff members exhibit emotions, with team morale influencing staff perks, such as faster pit stops for a competitive edge.

Responses in media interviews impact team morale, with unhappy staff potentially leaving the team. These ideas could be expanded in a motorsport management spin-off akin to New Star Manager.

Competing with Rivals

In contrast to most arcade racers, New Star GP forgoes rubber-band AI, ensuring races remain fair and challenging without artificial speed boosts for opponents in the final lap. This results in intense and competitive races where every decision carries weight. Victories are hard-earned.

An engaging feature is that AI opponents adjust their speed based on player performance, adding a layer of challenge. However, the lack of a qualifying option means players typically start races from the back of the grid. While later events offer increased difficulty, the AI remains balanced and fair.

Characteristic of New Star Games’ titles, New Star GP incorporates a lighthearted sense of humor. Players compete against parody F1 drivers like Nigel Mawson and Ayrton Serafino, each with distinct racing styles and personalities. Rivalries and dynamic interactions elevate the racing experience.

Regrettably, online multiplayer is absent from New Star GP. Understandable due to the studio’s size, but it’s disappointing not to have the option to compete against other players online or compare times on leaderboards. Hopefully, online features may be added post-launch if the game gains popularity.

Nonetheless, players can enjoy old-school split-screen multiplayer with up to four players. Whether playing solo or with friends, customizable championships, including marathon endurance races, offer diverse gameplay options.

As New Star Games’ debut multi-platform racing title, New Star GP delivers depth uncommon in retro-style racers. While the absence of online multiplayer at launch may disappoint some, the extensive career mode promises hours of gaming enjoyment, complemented by nuanced gameplay mechanics.

New Star GP excels in providing exhilarating arcade racing, captivating low-poly visuals, and engaging team management elements, making it one of the top retro-style arcade racers on the market.

Sign up for our weekly newsletter to receive the latest news and deals on racing games directly to your inbox!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *