In Which You Build The Track As You Race: Krautscape

The wild birdcar attempts to migrate alongside a flock of non-car birds. Forever an outsider to both birds and cars, it is shunned. Such is the high price of its incredible racing prowess.

Trawling through Steam Greenlight might often lead to the feeling that you’re trapped in a labyrinth minefield of well-meaning but not necessarily, er, high-quality offerings, but every once in a while it yields a gem of absolutely gleaming promise. Such is the case with beautiful-looking, bonkers-sounding all-terrain (including sky) racer Krautscape. It sees you rocketing around in tightly coiled airplane cars, down a track that grows on the fly at the whim of whomever’s in first place. Given that only a thin sliver of red earth separates you from the sky’s unbreakable gravity lasso, odds are someone’s going to fall. And then? Why, your car unfurls its wings, of course! More cars need wings, I think. Let’s be honest here: that would easily solve most of humanity’s most pressing problems.

Win or lose, this looks like a game where I will be screaming, “WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEE” pretty much the whole time. I am quite OK with this.

But how’s it work? Magic? Alien bloodomancy? Shakespearean typewriter monkeys? Not quite, but close. It’s more like this:

“Krautscape is an action-packed multi-player racing game where the currently leading player builds the track during the race. The track, as the most important part of any racing game, emerges dynamically during gameplay. This leads to a completely original and unique gaming experience for every race.”

“The chasing players can take shortcuts by flying off the track to overcome obstacles. But the track is needed to score and to get speed – the vehicles don’t have any thrusters to accelerate while flying.”

So flight is more of a safety net with benefits than a game-breaking ascent into the win-o-sphere. That’s a nice balance, if you ask me.

It looks positively brilliant, but obviously, feel and tactility matter a lot here. A racer can have all the cool tricks it wants. If it doesn’t handle well, then everything else is fit for the scrap heap. So we’ll see.

Krautscape will be out late this year. If you’re keen on it, I imagine its developers would very much appreciate it if you chopped off one of your thumbs and handed it to them on Greenlight (symbolically, mind you; RPS does not endorse self-mutilation for the purposes of game promotion).


  1. ZIGS says:

    Kroutscape? I thought this was a Prisoner of War sequel

  2. Mr. Mister says:

    The flying safety net reminds me of Nitronic Rush, though here the lack of thrusters makes it differ in implementation due to the dynamic map generation and the lack of air-bound obstacles.

    Come to think of it, can the leader contruct ramps and flying sections too?

    • Branthog says:

      I love the way the game looks, but the curled-up wings really get in they way, visually.

    • Koshinator says:

      That reminds me…. should be getting alpha access to Distance soon… can’t wait – it’s looking brilliant

  3. Branthog says:

    I guess slurs are okay when they’re against Germans or something.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      lol what slur? Kraut is German for all sorts of plants. I think this game’s title implies you’re supposed to smoke weed to play it.

    • DeVadder says:

      As a german, i can assure you that ‘Kraut’ is not exactly a slur. We even have a whole music genre called ‘Krautrock’. Then again, it is a pretty old and basically dead genre.
      If you called someone Kraut on the street, most people would hardly understand what you mean and at most be puzzled why you talk as if it was the 80s. ^^

      • crinkles esq. says:

        From what I’ve read, the German music scene was not very happy at the (if memory recalls) British labeling of a rather diverse genre of German bands – from Kraftwerk to Amon Düül to CAN – under the moniker “krautrock” in the ’70s. I think less because it might be considered a slight, and more because it was dismissive of the individual artists’ sounds. Akin to the way any band from Seattle in the 90s got labelled “grunge rock”.

  4. Player1 says:

    This is the project of some former Swiss game design students and has been in the works for quite some time now. I’m really happy they made it to RPS. Btw there should be a playable version around somewhere.

  5. Bhazor says:

    Not interested in the game itself but that art style is gorgeous.

  6. Simplisto says:

    Make it faster and I’ll buy it.