On The Horizon: Distance

Today in ‘games that desperately need to be out I mean come on already you kickstarted it in 2012 for goodness’ sake’: Distance. I’m not quite sure how this one slipped under my “rad neon games” radar (I have a lot of radars) but it’s probably for the best I wasn’t waiting for it all this time. From Refract Studios, formed by the team behind the ostensibly similar Nitronic Rush, it’s a flashy, fast and fantastic-looking arcade racer. You’re only sometimes trackbound, taking to the air at opportune moments to jump over obstacles or even reach full flight. It’s pretty much the game we all thought up as kids, only with slightly less plasma cannons. New trailer below.

The quicker reset thing shows these folks have got their heads in the right spot. There’s nothing more frustrating than a game which requires absolutely perfect precision but will not reset instantly in the event of a cock-up. I like the look of those challenge modes too – they let the fabulous environments show off in a new way, and are very in-theme with the future-car vibe. While it isn’t new to this build, I love what they’ve done with the UI, placing it all in the center of the screen by attaching it to the car. This leaves as much screen space as possible for the actual game.

As part of the two year anniversary of the Kickstarter, Refract yesterday did a livestream of a bunch of their old builds. The archive is now available and is filled with interesting tidbits about the development of the game. If you’ve never tried the prequel, as I hadn’t until today, it’s very much fully featured and totally free. Check it out.

The backers’ beta has already begun and Early Access is shortly forthcoming, as Graham reported last month.

In other ‘racing games Ben is excited for’ news: Drift Stage is still rad as all hell. Composer MYRONE, who I’m gradually developing something of an obsession over, recently released a new track.


  1. Demiath says:

    Looks like Megarace, but where’s Lance Boyle?

  2. Keator says:

    Looks like Megarace, but where’s Lance Boyle?

  3. felisc says:

    I hear owners of Intel’s MMX processors will see an increase of 37% more graphics in this game.
    But yes, 97 jokes aside, this looks nice.

    • Mittens89 says:

      Your comment triggered a huge wave of nostalgic feelings. All of a sudden, im 8 years old again, and myself and my father are playing POD and Tomb Raider 2 on a computer in PC World which had this MMX technology going on. Great memories.

      Edit: it was an Apricot computer!

  4. melnificent says:

    It’s a fun game, but feels as empty as Spacebase 1.0. My main regret was rectified (no sign of the beta a YEAR after it’s expected date). Hoping that they add some sort of AI to the final game even if it’s just some basic stuff to steer clear of walls.

  5. Rikard Peterson says:

    “It’s pretty much the game we all thought up as kids”

    The cars are connected two by two with ropes? (That’s the racing game I thought up as a kid.)

    • jrodman says:

      This sounds like fun. A top down racer in this vein? I wonder it would be better if:

      * The ropes are actually chains with spikes or whatever that you use to attack things?


      * Instead of ropes — rigid struts, a-la Thrust.

      But maybe just ropes would be good. Obviously it has to be co-op.

    • ehtan says:

      This sounds excellent. You should probably prototype it. WASD can be one car and arrows can be the other for single player, and co-op can be, well, co-op.

      • DelrueOfDetroit says:

        I thought he meant you would compete. The purpose is to either destroy the other car or to keep it as tight a race as possible.

  6. PopeRatzo says:

    The games I thought up as a kid were usually variations on “Doctor”. And not the kind with a Tardis, either.

  7. Phasma Felis says:

    I know I say this every time RPS mentions it, but seriously, go play Nitronic Rush right fucking now. It’s amazing. I played it so hard that I woke up with a cramped accelerator finger almost every day for a month and a half.

    There’s been plenty of racing games where you can drive up walls and shit, but Nitronic takes it to a whole new level. Driving straight up a wall and then jumping off of it to land on another wall is pretty sweet, but what really makes you feel indescribably awesome is that you didn’t just hit the “jump to other wall” button, you hit the “jump wildly into space” button and then flawlessly manipulated your afterburner and rotational thrusters to drift across the space between the walls on a column of flame, spin around your long axis, and nail a perfect four-point landing without ever slowing down. Parkour at 300mph.

    • ProbablyPosch says:

      Fuck you for making that sound so cool. Now I actually have to drop what I’m doing and play that.

    • gradius816 says:

      Nitronic is awesome! Just regd to say that..

  8. Enkinan says:

    Ever since that first Drift Stage article I have listened to Myrone almost daily. I just want to throw money at him on iTunes and he isn’t on there :(

  9. Philotic Symmetrist says:

    I’m not sure if I already knew this particular detail (I probably did and just forgot) but: Split-Screen Multiplayer!

    Huzzah, PC gaming is finally catching up to consoles :P

  10. Lucid says:

    You can cut your cars in half and still drive them.