Back In The Day(tona): The 90’s Arcade Racer

With a name straight from the same Tin O’ Titles that Braithwaite and Hall dug into for their Old-School RPG, ‘The 90’s Arcade Racer’ is a Kickstarter project inspired by the likes of Daytona USA and Indy 500. As is traditional in racing games, cars wot go fast will attempt to outdo one another but the nineties heritage means there will be blue skies above, aquariums at the side of the track and animatronic dinosaurs looming overhead. The funding will help to improve car handling, as well as providing time to complete two more tracks to add to the one that is already completed. Video below.

It’s a different nineties to the one I lived through, that’s for sure. Replace blue skies with grey, and exuberant whales with Noel Gallagher’s eyebrow for my experiences. Oh, and the car? A Fiat Panda Super, possibly the only vehicle I could have owned that made having a set of wheels less cool than journeying from place to place on an undersized tricycle.

The Kickstarter has had a strong start, with 27 days left and over two thousand of the required ten thousand pounds already pledged. Ten quid is the minimum tier that provides a copy of the game at launch, and there’s a choice of PC, Mac or Linux. Completion is expected in November.


  1. Llewyn says:

    A Super, eh? Flash git.

  2. Tomac says:

    Another kickstarter using nostalgia to get their game funded?

    I’m so surprised

    • Trillby says:

      I don’t usually reply to this kind of thing, but this annoyed the hell out of me. What a perfectly silly comment. The game is a game purely designed to mimic arcade racing games of the ninties. If you liked playing those games back then, and want a relatively cheap way of recreating that experience, the developers seem to have found a way of doing it (the clue is in the title of the game). If the game evokes nostalgia, then so much the fucking better, because it is chiefly designed to do so.

      What kind of sarcastic, trite humbuggery to begrudge firstly the people who would delight in a game like this and secondly the designers, who seem to have an honest love and enthusiasm for their project. And of course the designers want their game funded. So does everyone who is participating in the funding.

      Noone is being cheated out of anything here, we are all willing contributors. And just because you think you have recognised some sort of trend, it doesn’t make you look like anything more than a cynical old curmudgeon/hipster (depending on age – I assume lower rather than higher) to immediately shit on it as being insidious or unfortunate.

      Much rather, the dearth of “nostalgic” games seems more of a sign that a very large generation of gamers have fond memories of games past. Let them have their fun without your snidey, uneducated and frankly pathetic remarks. I bid you good day, Sir.

      • Tomac says:

        Lol. Do you feel better now? You shouldn’t let what people say on the internet get to you.

        I do like all of the assumptions you make just based on the two sentences i’ve written though.

        • Trillby says:

          Well, those 2 sentences did communicate a lot of information…

          Sorry for all the conjecture, I was in a bad mood, hadn’t had my supper and it seems I had my “high horse” hat on to boot. You did strike a very touchy nerve quite hard though – your comment still annoys me. It seems like a very negative reaction to something that isn’t negative at all, more a reflection of indie gaming’s (which has always been a touch nostalgic) ongoing development.

          I do sound a bit of a tosser in my first reply to you, but in all honesty, your first comment makes you do too. All in all, exactly as you say, a first-rate internet debate.

          • Universal Quitter says:

            You really didn’t need to apologize. He was being a dick, just in a more terse, concise way than you. At least we know WHY you were pissed. We’ll never know why Tomar cares so much about kickstarters for games he obviously doesn’t want.

            I’m sure he (she?) realizes that and simply lacks the gonads to apologize or acknowledge what a turd he (it?) was being.

        • Untitled says:

          Just to let you know Tomac, you look like such a fool here

      • El_Emmental says:

        Oh, I loved that post :D

        “Humbuggery”. “Curmudgeon”. “Snidey”. If only people would use that kind of words when they’re angry on the Internet, rivaling for originality, that would be something…

        Trillby, you rock, you get all my Internetz – forget about Tomac, he’s just trying to look edgy (we’ve all been bored/young/both one time in our lives).

        Regarding the “nostalgia” point, I have to say that I prefer a Kickstarter about nostalgia, when entire gaming genres were abandoned by the video game industry for years, than a Kickstarter for yet another Slender Man or Call of Duty clone.

        Barking at nostalgia when it’s a racing game in 2013 is complete nonsense, each type of racing (simulation, soft simulation, arcade, crazy fun) gets a (decent) release per year on average at best.

        What about new indie games ? Once you set aside all the one-trick pony platformers, roguelikes and 4X space-sim clones, you’re left with very little projects (most, if not all, properly funded).

        So yeah, Tomac, you’re flaming using a months-old trick, the RPS article on it is from early October 2012:
        link to

        If you don’t have anything else to say, and don’t have a fresh flaming bait, please avoid articles about Kickstarter projects.

        At least keep that noise for the Kickstarter Katchup, you’ll find plenty of people to argue and be agree with there.

  3. DickSocrates says:

    It certainly looks authentic. Music could do with being kicked up a notch. Not sure if I’m interested or not, I do suffer from nostalgia despite my best efforts, but it’s normally restricted to things that actually existed at the time. I’ve fought my way through emulators gettings Daytona and Scud Race working (though ended up not bothered enough to play them), but a brand new game in that style… not sure.

    • Syra says:

      The problem is this is how my mind actually remembers those old games like daytona – like their idealised selves. So all retro games for me are impossible to play because I go back and realise they are fun but ugly as hell/unfathomable to play and should stay in the past. I wish every awesome arcade title and poor looking 3d game which was fun way back when could have a proper reskin and make it accessible interface wise etc to modern audiences.

      • Alextended says:

        Daytona actually looks kind of funky still, in a cartoony sort of way. At least in the recent XBLA/PSN port which increases the draw distance (something emulators don’t do) as well as the resolution and such. Although it still has a small issue with texture filtering, it’s not anisotropic for some weird reason.

        Daytona USA 2 and Scud Race hold up in some ways despite being really old too. Model 3 was a beast at the time. But this thing obviously looks way more technically achieved. Hopefully the rest of the courses are as awesome and then I can say it’s surpassed those games in the visuals if nothing else. I suppose he’ll make the driving physics more proper as well, for example giving you the (bad, of course) ability to actually go the wrong way rather than have the car always adjust forward. Hopefully such changes won’t affect how fun the handling is in games like these though, that would suck.

        Daytona USA

        Scud Race
        link to
        Daytona USA 2
        link to

        Glorious 60fps (and awesome arcade cabinets and wheels with force feedback) not pictured and there may be glitches due to the emulator where applicable. Most of the graphical issues in these games come from the lacking opponent cars (then again, there are often way more than in most modern racing games). The courses and primary cars can still look good, especially in the latter two games (Daytona USA was on model 2).

      • j1yeon says:

        I played Daytona at the arcade last year with a couple friends, and it was just as good as I remember. Even better, actually, since when I played it when I was a kid, I had a far lesser understanding of how a transmission actually works.

        I’m personally not a fan of the notion that pretty much every game needs an HD remake or needs to be redone to be enjoyed in this day and age. Newer games have never made it more difficult for me to enjoy older ones. Especially being that so many newer games are far more shallow and focus development on the wrong things :)

      • Guvornator says:

        Just to enforce what j1yeon said, I played Virtua racer last year and it is also really, really good. Now I’m willing to admit that may be due to a) playing in those lovely moving 8 car simulator jobbies and b) beating everyone else (the oldest was 14 and it was only on Big Forest but, hey, I’m still proud) but it’s a lot of fun. As a person who was willing to pay for Screamer twice, I’ve got to admit I’m a little excited about this.

        • djbriandamage says:

          I’m not at all a car guy but I too love Virtua Racer (in the arcade, anyway) and bought Screamer twice. I suppose I’d better get my butt to Kickstarter.

  4. 1Life0Continues says:

    “The 90’s Arcade Raceerrrrrr, Let’s go away!”

    Nope, doesn’t feel right…

    • bit.bat says:

      “Game Over yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaahhhh”

      or was that Sega Rally, I can’t remember.

    • BobbleHat says:

      Even after 15 years I can’t help but hear that as ‘Betty Boner’.

    • greenbananas says:

      Oh god. Images of Blue, Blue Skies Staaaart Rooooling through my eyes.

  5. JFS says:

    Unlike point-and-click adventures and isometric party-based RPGs, I don’t miss that 90’s racing genre. It was fun back then, but I don’t need it now. I’d rather have a remake of some of the fun racers of the time, say Whacky Wheels or Road Rash, or a new Micro Machines.

    • Tams80 says:

      Micro Machines!

      I can’t see Codemasters doing it though.

      • The First Door says:

        That have made some more modern Micro Machines… the problem was they were all a bit crappy. Micro Machines V4 was quite the let down at the time.

    • Alextended says:

      But Daytona, Scud Race, Sega Rally, etc, are among the most fun racers of that time.

  6. Chizu says:

    I’m very interested in this (and also wondering if the PC will get the port of Daytona USA consoles recently got)

    Current no cash, but if I have some to spare before this is over, I will likely pledge.
    I do so miss the old racers with silly course settings.
    When, oh when, will we get another Speed Devils or Beetle Adventure Racing :(

    3 Tracks sounds a bit mean though. Even for a low budget release (admittedly going from the video they are very pretty)

  7. AmateurScience says:

    I think this is a great wee project asking for a very realistic amount of cash, and it deserves to be funded.

    But in the name of all that’s good give it an actual name

    Here are some:

    Hot Rubber

    Car Bastard

    Hard Gear (sticks)

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      Dangerous Curves
      Hot Pit Action
      Slippery When Wet

      …is it getting hot in here?

  8. Eukatheude says:

    Never seen a Panda outside italy.

  9. BobbyDylan says:

    I remember having intense races against a friend in adjasent arcade booths, only to reach over and slap his gear lever into 1st on the final straight….. good times.

  10. Michael Fogg says:

    I think games like Burnout Paradise, Need for Speed Most Wanted or Forza Horizon continue the spirit of those 90s racers (like Screamer?) very satisfyingly. So what’s the point?

    • Chizu says:

      whilst gameplay-wise, I’d agree, but they lack the visual flare of those old games. Burnout has always been set in very real-worldy city locations and such.
      I, for one, miss the bright visuals, random dinosaurs and hot air balloons.

      • Michael Fogg says:

        Oh c’mon, did you try the Big Surf expansion?

        • Chizu says:

          No Dinosaurs anywhere. Big jumps and roadworks, yes, Dinosaurs, no.

      • Henke says:

        You’ll want to be giving Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing a go then. It’s actually quite good.

    • Alextended says:

      The point is not everyone is you and others don’t necessarily agree with the sentiment. I don’t think Burnout, NFS, or even Trackmania scratch the same sort of itch at all, which is why I was very disappointed SEGA didn’t give the recent enhanced Daytona USA port the PC treatment, not to mention that we still don’t have home ports of games like Scud Race, Daytona USA 2, and others. Hopefully this game will do nicely instead. I also hope it’s a success in the kickstarter but also beyond it so that he finds motivation and validation to keep working on it for more tracks, cars and modes than are currently planned (which are alright for the price in my opinion, but more is always good if the quality is there, which is why I don’t expect dozens of tracks, but a little more variety would be good), and maybe allow those with the Unity know-how to make their own tracks, even if he doesn’t bother making a user friendly editor oh his own for the average Joe. That would be glorious.

    • Guvornator says:

      If they did, I wouldn’t have Screamer installed on my laptop. Don’t get me wrong, they’re great games, but 90s arcade racers they ain’t. Hell, 2 of those don’t even have arcade cabinets…

  11. Vorrin says:

    wait , wasn’t Indy 500 a sort of proper simulation, and more 80’s than 90’s ?

  12. BooleanBob says:

    I don’t know about uncool, Adam. If nothing else, it’s the same car as Erin Winters’.

  13. fallingmagpie says:


    • Veracity says:

      Outrun 2006 remains available in various versions and is a nearly perfect 90s racer. It has next to no racing in it, though, which I suppose might matter to someone.

  14. Snargelfargen says:

    I’m a little hesitant to kickstart a racing game without a demo to try. They live and die by their driving models. It’s not like an rpg or rts where some aspects can be ignored if they aren’t up to snuff.

    • Alextended says:

      Can’t blame you for that but the kickstarter is to actually keep developing this full time, the driving model isn’t complete at this point. Feel free to wait until you can sample it, hopefully it will be funded and you can just buy the full product when released.

      • Snargelfargen says:

        I hope it works out! I have fond memories of 90’s arcade racers and the original NFS games.

  15. FionaSarah says:


    More racing games like Fatal Racing please, world.

    • cjlr says:

      Just about to say something along those lines…

      Fatal Racing (or Whiplash, as they called it on this side of the Atlantic) was, is, and always will be my favourite racing game of all time.

    • Caerphoto says:

      My soundcard made “Fouette” sound like “Sweaty”. My 14-year-old self was greatly amused by this at the time.

    • The First Door says:

      Oh my! A modern version of Fatal Racing would make me so happy… I loved that odd mix of insane tracks with slightly more realistic handling that most games of the time.

      That corkscrew jump is forever burned into my memory from the amount of time I played the demo!

      Edit: I’m vaguely hoping Distance will scratch that itch for me, at least a little though.

  16. edwardoka says:

    Just this morning I was saying that I wish that Geoff Crammond would launch a kickstarter.

  17. elmuerte says:

    If it was a Cruisin’ USA/World like game I would have backed it right away.

  18. Eficent says:

    Still remember when we moved into this current gen and the first thing that seemed to happen is all the color got taken away. Nostalgia is a tricky beast though and I could have rose colored glasses on for the games of old.

    Now we just need one of these for a Hydro Thunder type racing. That new one they made had no sense of speed.

    • RobF says:

      Nah, it’s a fair observation. For some reason we’re going through a weird phase across media (both in games and in films etc…) where heavy grading and desaturation is the in thing.

      Related, sort of. I was watching Dark City again a few nights ago having not seen it in a while due to the DVD print I had being near unwatchable in its shiteness. I very clearly remember just how incredible the film looked on release in the cinema. The orange and teal grading and almost computer gamey boss fight at the end between Mr Book and Murdoch were pretty out there in 1998. Watching it now and it’s lost a lot of that because now, every single thing looks like Dark City. All the things are graded to the point it’s getting increasingly difficult to tell one thing from another at a glance. What thing in deep teal is this now?

      We’re sorta lucky that gaming is a broad enough church that this hasn’t happened across the board yet (arguably helped by indie and mobile games to a fairly large degree) but there’s a definite trend towards removing colour, stripping things down to incredibly limited palettes. It’s kinda disappointing, really as once things have been through the grading, that thick dense teal is fairly gross.

      Still, as long as they don’t all look like piss (I’m looking at you, Deus Ex HR) that’s something.

  19. El Mariachi says:

    That Fiat is not at all unattractive. Nice proportions and clean lines without any superfluous swoopy aeroblob styling bullshit. Presumably it’s underpowered, but visually it’s nothing to be embarrassed about.

    • Caerphoto says:

      If it’s anything like my old Fiat Tipo, the problem is it feels (and looks, tbh) quite like a hollow metal box on wheels.

      And clearly, eye of the beholder and all that, but I find it damned ugly.

  20. Malibu Stacey says:

    Burnout Paradise and Need for Speed Most Wanted are things which exist.

    Good luck trying to out do Criterion Games though.

    • The First Door says:

      Yeah, but those are nothing like what he is try to replicate. He is trying to replicate the type of tracks you used to get in arcades where you had whales jumping over the track, or random dinosaurs for no real good reason beyond it was cool.

  21. Zorn says:

    Destruction Derby or Need for Speed 2.
    Give me something like that and you can have all my money!
    Well, at the moment, that are all my student loans. But I’ll rob
    blind beggars for you. Well, no, maybe I don’t. But… Psygnosis!
    And… ah, darn. I guess maybe it’s too much nostalgia.
    I think split screen would kill me today.

    I want my wasted youth back. Yes, kickstart that!
    Meanwhile I’ll convert sid tunes to midi for my Nokia 3100.