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9 Jul 2024

REVIEW: NeoSprint on PC (2024 Video Game on Steam) released by Atari


Review by Jon Donnis

NeoSprint, the latest offering from Atari, breathes new life into the cherished "Sprint" series, transporting players back to the golden age of arcade racing with a modern twist. This single screen racer for the PC successfully merges nostalgic charm with contemporary features, resulting in an exhilarating racing experience that caters to both solo players and multiplayer enthusiasts.

From the moment you launch NeoSprint, the game's vibrant, colourful graphics and energetic sound effects immerse you in a world reminiscent of the classic arcade era. The isometric view provides a perfect perspective for navigating the intricate racetracks, and the option to switch between the classic top-down angle and a closer, more dynamic camera adds an extra layer of depth to the visual experience.

One of NeoSprint's standout features is its precise, arcade-style controls. Easy to pick up but challenging to master, the game demands skillful maneuvering, particularly when it comes to drifting and drafting. This nuanced control scheme ensures that each race is both thrilling and satisfying, as you strive to perfect your racing technique.

The robust track-building and sharing tools are where NeoSprint truly shines. The customizable track builder allows you to design tracks with a variety of elements, from ramps and jumps to banks and scenic decorations. The four distinct biomes, forest, desert, winter, and city, offer diverse aesthetic backdrops, making each track feel unique. However, the track-building mode can be somewhat fiddly. Switching between different track types and placing them precisely in the limited grid area can sometimes feel more frustrating than creative.

NeoSprint also features a lineup of nine different car types, each with its own unique attributes in terms of speed, acceleration, and handling. Customizing your cars with different colours and Atari-themed decals adds a personal touch, enhancing the overall racing experience.

For solo players, the Campaign Mode offers a substantial challenge. You'll face off against eight rival racers across multiple Cups, with each track becoming progressively more difficult. Unlockable decorations and car liveries provide additional incentives to keep pushing forward. Beyond the Campaign Mode, NeoSprint includes alternate game modes like Grand Prix, Obstacle Courses, and Time Trials, each offering hours of engaging content.

Multiplayer mode is where NeoSprint's chaotic fun truly comes to life. Racing against up to seven other players on a single screen is a blast, turning each race into a frantic, high-stakes battle for supremacy. The ability to share and rank custom-built tracks with the community ensures that there's always fresh content to explore, keeping the game endlessly replayable.

Despite some minor frustrations with the track-building tools, NeoSprint is a triumph. Atari has successfully revived a beloved classic, infusing it with modern sensibilities while retaining the core elements that made the original so special. The game runs smoothly on PC and is also available on all major consoles, broadening its accessibility.

NeoSprint is more than just a nostalgia trip; it's a genuinely fun and well-crafted racing game that stands on its own merits. For fans of the original Sprint games or newcomers looking for a thrilling arcade racer, NeoSprint delivers in spades. With its blend of nostalgic appeal, precise controls, and endless customization options, NeoSprint earns a solid 8.5 out of 10. Atari has once again proven why they are masters of the arcade racing genre.

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