Review – Slipstream (Xbox One)

I hate looking for indies on the Steam store. I’m sure that I constantly miss out on tons of hidden indie gems due to that storefront’s horrendous (lack of) curation and annoying algorithmic schemes. Case and point, Slipstream. I just played this game on the Xbox One and had a ton of fun with it, only to find out later that I wasn’t playing a brand-new title. In fact, Slipstream is four years old already. It had been rotting on Steam all this time, with little to no chance of standing out in a place full of competitors. I was looking for a spiritual successor to OutRun for so long, and it has been lingering around for all these years…

Slipstream Turbocharge

It looks great. It runs like a turbocharged dream.

Created by Brazilian solo developer ansdor, Slipstream is exactly that: it’s OutRun, but for a new generation. It retains the same gameplay loop and control scheme from Sega’s classic series, but with a few twists to make it feel more modern and accessible. This is especially beneficial since, let’s face it, OutRun hasn’t exactly aged as well as our rose-tinted glasses thinks it has. It is for OutRun what Horizon Chase Turbo is/was/has been for Top Gear, in short.

In Slipstream, knowing how (and when) to drift is what makes you go from dead last to first in a race. This game is all about perfecting the craft of (slightly) slowing down a bit in order to drift like a lunatic on nonsensically never-ending turns, all while avoiding walls and other obstacles which will make your car enter orbit if you touch them. Despite the inclusion of a rewind function, this isn’t as easily available as, say, Forza Horizon 5: you cannot rewind as much as you want. You have a limited amount of rewinds and each of those only last for a few seconds each. At the end of the day, this is an arcade racer, and it will test your skills. That is, if you don’t pick the easiest difficulty, but even that is slightly trickier than your average Easy Mode.

Slipstream Bosses

You will eventually meet a few rivals. One thing they all have in common, they are weird and quirky.

Slipstream features a wide assortment of modes. Some of them are straight homages to OutRun (beat a racer and then choose the next area by staying on the right or left side of the road), and others are more traditional, circuit-based races with tons of drivers. It’s not a game drowning in content, but there was enough to distract me for a while. There are a handful of cars to choose from, each with different stats, and a handful of different areas to race around. They basically bog down to different backgrounds with a handful of new assets thrown into the streets, but that was basically what I wanted and expected from this game.

It’s hard not to love Slipstream‘s presentation. I love how it isn’t 100% sprite-based, being a combination of juxtaposed sprites in a pseudo-polygonal world, making the game feel like something that could have existed back on the PS1 or Sega Saturn (basically what a hypothetical OutRun for the Sega Saturn would have looked like). It runs like a dream as well, never even daring to skip a frame on my Xbox. I didn’t dislike its soundtrack, but I didn’t find it to be as good as the ones featured in other retro arcade racers. Let’s just say that I can’t remember the note of a single tune featured in the game, and I was playing it not even twenty minutes prior to starting this review.


Ignore the fact the waves are LITERALLY flooding the road.

Slipstream is a fantastic game if you’re looking for a retro-style arcade racer to satiate your nostalgic needs. It knows its audience, and wants to please that specific niche of gamers. It’s a game that proves that solo developer, ansdor, could (and should) be hired by Sega in order to handle a brand new entry in the OutRun series. If you’re not into retro racers, be it by being more fond of the improvements seen in modern racing games or the fact you have never liked these simpler, more limited experiences in the first place, Slipstream isn’t going to change your mind. However, that’s not really a problem at all. It wants to please us retro enthusiasts, and it does so with honors.


Graphics: 9.0

A perfect mixture of juxtaposed sprites and simplistic yet charming polygons, all running at a stupidly fast framerate.

Gameplay: 8.5

Slipstream can either be downright infuriating or really appealing depending on how well you can handle its retro physics and drifting mechanics. Pro tip: do not stick to automatic drifting. It doesn’t take too long to learn how to play it properly, and it’s so much more rewarding once you do.

Sound: 6.5

It’s not a bad soundtrack per se, but you tend to expect a bit more from tunes in games like this other than just “passable”.

Fun Factor: 7.5

Slipstream is an amazing love letter to OutRun, and a pretty entertaining arcade racer if you’re into that specific kind of retro-infused gameplay. It will not change your mind towards them otherwise.

Final Verdict: 8.0

Slipstream is available now on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch.

Reviewed on Xbox One.

A copy of Slipstream was provided by the publisher.