Super Pilot is classic Nintendo racer F-Zero (either X or GX is up for debate) with a level editor, and developers Dopagames don’t care to hide that at all. Race around at a thousand miles an hour against dozens of bots, defy gravity, shoot off the track and explode in a cloud of flaming glory, and then build your own tracks to do it again on.
The first early access version of Super Pilot flew onto Steam faster than anyone could see yesterday (maybe they TAS’ed it?), but an older demo build has been lurking around on Itch for a while. Give it a spin, or check out the launch trailer below.
Other sci-fi racers have tried to capture the spirit of the Wipeout series, while others have channelled parts of the F-Zero formula, but never this directly. Even a quick glimpse at the trailer should put a big dumb smile on the face of any F-Zero fan. While it may lack some of the detailed backdrops and bizarre characters from the hit Nintendo/Sega collaboration, the physics feel right, in their own bizarre way. These aren’t cars, but impossibly fast jet-powered vehicles that adhere to the track (and drift) through strange and not especially intuitive forces.
The big feature of Super Pilot is something that’s been missing from the series since the Japan-only F-Zero X Expansion Kit: A track editor. Draw wide and narrow sections, say where safety barriers will be missing, place boost pads, loops and maybe even fit in a few physics-defying tubular sections, just for fun. It’s simple, and tracks can be shared online. Sadly there’s no online multiplayer, but it does support split-screen for up to four players, which is how F-Zero was always meant to be played anyway. Plus, it’s much easier on today’s massive high-resolution TVs.
Dopagames think they’ve got another 6-12 months of work left to do on Super Pilot, with a focus on adding more flavour to the game. More tracks, more music, more environments, more vehicles – all the secret spice stuff that made F-Zero so moreish. They also want to add more track elements (including proper jumps), more playmodes and such, but reckon that the game is playable and polished – if limited – right now.
Super Pilot’s first early access release is out now on Steam, and costs £9.26/9.71/$11.69. A 2017 demo build can be found on Itch here, although keep in mind the age of that build when trying it. Pro tip: To drift, just release the accelerator for a moment while cornering.