Rooted in a series of arcade racing games from the late ’70s, “passion project” NeoSprint launches in June for PC, consoles

The Sprint games are iconic!

4 mins read
The key art for NeoSprint.

I wasn’t even born until the mid-’80s, but Sprint was still a series of games I could find in an arcade every now and then when I was a kid. I guess that I must not have paid much attention because I didn’t know about its history until I looked it up today. For example, fun fact: the games in the series are numbered after the amount of players and not the order of release (which was Sprint 2, Sprint 4, Sprint 8, and Sprint 1). And Sprint is just about ready for its comeback! NeoSprint is a passion project that was conceived by Atari’s art director John Kauderer, who has been with the company for over a decade (albeit split over two time periods). Described as “a worthy addition to the Sprint series bloodline that is sure to satisfy speed demons and architects alike,” the 3D isometric game has been confirmed for a launch date next month.

Before I get to NeoSprint, here’s some more background on the original Sprint series. Sprint 2 launched in 1976, and in November 1997 interview with Next Generation magazine developer Dan Van Eldrean stated that it “was the first game that actually introduced the concept of a computer car that had the intelligence to drive itself around the track—not necessarily just in a canned predetermined course, but in a semi-intelligent manner, depending on how you were doing.” Another reason for Sprint’s popularity is that it offered multiple tracks, unlike most other racing cabinets at the time. For three years in a row, it was a top-three earning arcade game in the United States. Sprint 4 and Sprint 8 then launched in 1977, and Sprint 1 in 1978. There have been other iterations since then, too. Now here we are, decades later, and the series is still relevant (and game-changing).'s Discord banner. You click on it to be taken to the Website's Discord server

NeoSprint is first described as an isometric multiplayer racing game, though there is a single-player option available. It features 3D tracks, multiple gameplay modes, building/sharing tools, online leaderboards, and single-screen racing for up to eight players. The game was released in early access for the Atari VCS (is anyone actually using that?) and the developer used player feedback to help with refinement.

Campaign mode is your time to shine all on your own, challenging eight computer rivals for bragging rights to being the best. There are multiple Cups, each more difficult than the next. Progression unlocks new decorations and car liveries. Grand Prix mode allows players to build circuits from the own tracks, download tracks by other players, and heck, even mix them! There are two more self-described modes available, Obstacle Courses and Time Trials.

Controls have an “arcade feel” so the game is easy to pick up and play but difficult to master. There are intricacies involved in drifting and drafting across race tracks, you know! Track building is quite robust. Players can design the twistiest, turniest tracks they can imagine. Use ramps, jumps, banks, and more with drop and click track segments, and add scenery and decorations to make your tracks pop. Each track can be set in one of four biomes: forest, desert, winter, and city.

Developed by Headless Chicken and published by Atari, NeoSprint will be released for PC via Steam, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Atari VCS, Xbox Series, and Xbox One on June 27.

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Lindsay picked up an NES controller for the first time at the age of 6 and instantly fell in love. She began reviewing GBA games 20 years ago and quickly branched out from her Nintendo comfort zone. She has has developed a great love of life sims and FMV titles. For her, accessibility is one of the most important parts of any game (but she also really appreciates good UI).

  • Probably the best known “Sprint” game is Super Sprint, which came out in the mid ’80s and was ported to absolutely EVERYTHING. It was a huge step up from the earlier games with its full colour (relatively) high-resolution graphics, 16-bit processor and fancy-pants sound. Only supported three players max, though.

    Sprint 8 is a sight to behold — the screen is laid flat in the middle of a table-like arrangement, with two steering wheels on each side!

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