Just Stare At Drift Stage For A While

Is this picture not sexy enough for you? How about this animated gif? Or this one? These are Drift Stage, an arcade racer in the style of vintage Sega. The stunning art is courtesy of Charles Blanchard, who you might remember from the similarly-styled Sky Rogue. He specialises in visualising ’90s 2D art in 3D and is, in case you hadn’t noticed, absurdly brilliant. He’s teamed up with Chase Pettit to create Drift Stage and please, for the love of all that’s holy, just come see it in motion.

Yeah. Watch it again. Then go listen to the artist who made the background music, Myrone, and everything else they’ve ever done because (bit of a theme here) it’s pure gold.

Here’s what Pettit told Kotaku about his aims for the game:

“Those classic arcade racers were simple immediate fun from the second you started playing but also offered a lot of challenge for those interested in shaving off seconds. That’s not really the way most racing games are made now. These days, you typically either get something like Forza Horizon that has one foot in the sim racing world and a learning curve to match or you get something that swings hard in the other direction like Mario Kart 8 that maybe eschews a bit too much depth for the sake of being accessible. There are definitely some amazing games in both of those camps, but I want to give the middle ground some more attention with Drift Stage.”

And here’s what he told me about what people will get to actually play:

“We’re still in the planning phases of deciding what sort of modes to include, but we intend to have the standard fare of single race, time trial (with leaderboards), multiplayer (splitscreen/online), and a career mode of some form – I’m a big fan of Ridge Racer Type 4 so that might give you some indication of the direction I’d like to go with the career mode.”

He also let me have a play of the build used to make this trailer. There’s no competition or goal at this stage, just a collection of tight turns to go round and the art to ogle. The drifting isn’t final but feels great, easily learned but with plenty of tiny tweaks to shave milliseconds – just as Chase wants it. It’s also probably the best looking part of the game, and I’ve snapped a few screenshots to illustrate. Click for bigger versions:


  1. honuk says:

    well, the music sure is great

  2. GameCat says:

    My thoughts after watching the trailer:

    Modern retro game done right.
    I want to play it right now.
    Where’s the new Outrun? :(

    • Harlander says:

      Did you play the 2006 version (conveniently named Outrun 2006)?

    • secuda says:

      Rumors goes on steam forum for coast to coast that Sega lost their contract with Ferrari. in result they had to remove it from steam. Allthough those whom bought it will keep it.

    • dahauns says:

      Yes, please! Outrun C2C 2006 is sublime arcade perfection, and it’s been 8 years now…

    • P.Funk says:

      I believe this is more than fitting.

  3. CookPassBabtridge says:

    It does give me Stunt Car Racer nostalgia, that much is true. Creeeeeeeaaaaak Zooooooooom BASH TINKLE


    Grind grind scrape SADFACE

    • Premium User Badge

      kfix says:

      Exactly what I was thinking. My god I loved that game.

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      The sheer terrifyingness of … The Drawbridge (jump to 9:05 :) )

      link to youtu.be

      • Sinomatic says:

        Was the drawbridge really randomised? I could have sworn I got to the point where I could do all the tracks fairly easily, though perhaps I just played it enough that it was luck, who knows. Either way, it was a cracking game. I still miss my Amiga sometimes.

      • Geebs says:

        Blimey, I’d completely forgotten about Stunt Car Racer and then your onomatopoeia brought it all flooding back. Fricking loved that game. Was totally impossible to beat the best opponent without knocking him off the course at the start, if I remember correctly.

  4. electron105 says:

    I’m not even a fan of driving games but that art style and the music is enough to make me want to play it.

  5. Turkey says:

    It definitely looks like an old mode 7 racer brought into 3D. I don’t really like racing games unless you can wreck other cars, though.

  6. Muzman says:

    I maintain that people who love the 80s aren’t old enough to really remember it. That or they were on too much cocaine to care.

    Still, extra points for not using chip tunes.

    • rpsKman says:

      We are undercover passion on the run, yeah
      Chasing love up against the sun
      We are strangers by day, lovers by night
      Knowing it’s so wrong, feeling so right

      This gun’ be great!

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      Retro done right is not how it was but how we want to remember it.

    • P.Funk says:

      Are you one of those annoying people who renders an entire decade of music and culture into a handful of tired tropes and obnoxious cliches? There was more to the 80s than coke and Journey.

  7. JFS says:

    Music is fine, if a little too over the top 80s. Well. The game looks a lot lkke a rallye racing game I once had on my pre-smart cellphone. I don’t know if that’s a good thing.

  8. iainl says:

    Love, love, LOVE this. Having played every variant of Outrun2 I’m aware of to death and just about resigned myself to never getting a home version of SCUD Race (officially the best-handling drift-style racer of all time), I need something new and fun.

  9. Big Murray says:

    Music and art style, good.

    The drifting just doesn’t look like it’s that much fun though, from that video.

  10. Caiman says:

    I expected something insanely fast running at 60 fps, instead it looks rather slow and staid. Of course that might just be YouTube and/or early dev build, but it doesn’t look like it has the right feel yet for a game influenced by the likes of Outrun.

    • trjp says:

      I’m kinda with Caiman on the lack of smoothness (could be Youtube of course) and OutRun 2006 is the king of the hill he’s climbing and it was a style WAY past what he’s adopted so I’m not sure entirely what he’s aiming for!?

      Of course I’d love to be wrong,,,

      • Jackablade says:

        Their collision model is currently a bit on the low poly side, so the car kind of bumps up and down slopes and makes things look more jittery than they necessarily are.

  11. LionsPhil says:

    Ah, from back when cars were beautiful.

  12. An Atheist Jew says:

    This thing easily has the best soundtrack I’ve heard in…quite a long time! I’d buy it just for the music.

  13. unit 3000-21 says:

    Dunno, the guitar sounds like something from a porn soundtrack. The funny thing is I tend to associate those sharply angled Countach-like cars with late seventies, and music like Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” rather than eighties and Scarface soundtrack.

  14. p14c3b0 says:

    This certainly looks and sounds amazing, but I hope they make some changes to the driving engine, from the video it looks like the car doesn’t have a lot of weight and the drifting does not look very challenging yet.

  15. Sunjammer says:

    I’m pretty tired of this 80s music fad right about now. Not because 80s music is bad. But all of this sounds like slick pretenders and it’s just flat and dull to keep having it shoved in my face. Hotline Miami knew not to fill their game with it, I wish everyone did. Hell, even Outrun was less 80s than this.

  16. DelrueOfDetroit says:

    Reminds me of Auto Modellista for the PS2. That game needs an HD remake for the PC. The physics were weird but I liked it because drifting super hard into walls at max speed in a Shelby Cobra was a totally viable option because you would just bounce off without losing speed.

  17. cdx00 says:

    God damn I love eurobeat. Maybe Avex will license some of their Super Eurobeat Presents… stuff to this fine gentleman. I’m excited

  18. Rob Lang says:

    Car in the video: is it a Ferrari 308 GTB? Please someone put me out of my misery!

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      I don’t know much about cars, but I think it’s the Ferrari Magnum P.I.

      • notlimahc says:

        Magnum, P.I. featured a Ferrari 308 GTS. The difference is the GTB has a normal roof, while the GTS has the targa top (a removable section of roof).

  19. J. Cosmo Cohen says:

    I might be the only one, but I’m glad Ridge Racer Type 4 is an influence in the game direction. That was the racing game that really got me into the genre.

    The game looks promising.

  20. Prolepsis says:

    Trackmania, but slower and with retro graphics? Got it.