a car, tracks behind it in the wet asphalt as it goes towards a copse of thin trees in the fog, front headlights cutting through in an orange glow. screenshot.

A driving game inspired by the creator’s real-life escape from the Soviet Bloc

Car games are typically shiny and chrome—vehicles dedicated to portraying their brands in the best possible showroom lights. They focus almost entirely on the image of the car you see in ads: sleek and stylish, fast, an Americanized ideal of the freedom of the open road. You rarely see them the way that Ondřej Švadlena presents them in his untitled work in progress, a moody driving simulator in which you drive down dark streets pursued by oddly physicked AI foes. The project, whose progress has been documented in a TIG Source forum, is a large-scale open world game where you drive through…

Vienna Automobile Society

Vienna Automobile Society makes a puzzle out of racing cars next year

The racing line is perhaps one of the most crucial aspect of motorsports. Carefully modulating speed and direction to take a corner optimally is key to shaving precious seconds and fractions of a second from lap times. Cornering strategy and track condition and vehicle limits are linked in that moment of driving precision. Royal Polygon understands the importance of the racing line. The studio’s upcoming arcade racer-puzzler hybrid Vienna Automobile Society takes that moment, the careful navigation of the corner apex, and crafts a minimalist test of reflexes and fast-paced planning around it. It’s come a little way since we last…

wheels of aurelia (race)

Wheels of Aurelia sputters onto the race track

Elevator pitches have the benefit of being ideas rather than actual things in the real world. With the right pitch just about anything can sound promising. Take communism, for instance—a system that, on paper, reads like an egalitarian haven, promising equality, fairness, and a stable life for everyone. It often doesn’t play out so well when put into practice, but the idea captivates so much that it lead to countless wars, dictatorships, and deaths. Wheels of Aurelia, set in a 1970s Italy reeling from feminism, communism, revolution, and terrorism, sounds better as an idea than it plays. You are Lella,…

Forza Horizon 3

There’s a new Forza game out, and it’s as douchey as you could hope

I am not much of a racing-game guy, unless it a) takes place in the future, b) has dinosaurs driving the cars, or c) has Forza in the title. The Forza series impresses, fundamentally, as a piece of craft. You just know that each of these cars was wheeled IRL into a room full of lasers to be scanned perfectly, their each intoxicating line painstakingly redrawn, the very texture of their leather interiors recreated with the tenderness of a lost lover. The cars roar in breathtaking harmony before each race. And then, good god, the feel: two triggers and a…

Drive! Drive! Drive!

Drive! Drive! Drive! is all killer, no filler

I don’t drive in real life. I can’t face it, the idea of having to pay that much attention to anything makes me anxious. The same is true of racing games: Forza, Gran Turismo, Burnout all get me a little nervous as they approach top speed. Drive! Drive! Drive! takes my anxiety and multiplies it tenfold. You see, you’re not just racing around one track—keeping the best line and drifting around corners to recharge your boost bar—you’re racing around several tracks at once. Each separate track has a car for you to control, so you have to jump between them to…


In Kaasua, the wobbly racing track is your biggest enemy

Some racing games want hyperrealism, providing rumbled feedback to let the player know when to switch gears, recreating skidmarks on real race tracks, and giving a view from the inside where you can see all the gauges twitch. Robber Docks’s new game, Kaasua, is not one of those games, which is exactly what makes it so delightful. In Kaasua there is only one button: the go button. You can assign any button on your keyboard to fill this role, allowing the player to easily accommodate the controls for just themselves, or up to seven others playing on the same keyboard.…

Forza Motorsport 6 Apex glitch

Forza 6 glitch turns it into a much more beautiful racing game

Seizure warning: The video linked below can be a problem for photosensitive epileptics. /// There comes a time in nearly every game’s life cycle where a series of really awesome glitches are captured. Whether it is the papery surreality of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (2015) or the deep weirdness of the Jackdaw rising from the ocean in Assassins’ Creed Black Flag (2013), these glitches break through the manufactured reality of the games—the attempt at photorealistic textures—and show us an underlying failure in the architecture of their titles. They’re also pretty freaking sweet to look at. Take this week’s example…

Vienna Automobile Society

Vienna Automobile Society will turn racing into a twitch puzzle

You’re a kid, you’ve never driven a day in your life, and in the distance towards the back of the arcade sits a partially enclosed cabinet that crudely approximates the dimensions of a race car cockpit. Some version of Pole Position (1982), probably. It has a driving wheel! And foot pedals! So you jam a few quarters into the machine and crush the gas as soon as the game starts. Seconds later your tires are chewing up the lawn. First you under-steer, than you overcompensate. A minute goes by and the machine is already asking you for more quarters. This basic problem,…


Formula E will be the first racing championship with driverless cars

One of the charms of NASCAR, SB Nation word wizard Spencer Hall once argued, is that “You are watching for a non-fatal but spectacular crash.” Crashes are fun—and flammable—which is great up until the point you start to care about people. Therein lies the problem with racing. The distribution of interesting events is bipolar: either the humans tethered to machines do something brilliant or are on the verge of death. The baseline competence that would normally fill out the meaty part of a bell curve, while far more impressive than anything you could do, is fundamentally boring. Fret not; Formula…