NeoSprint: Revving Up the Classic Arcade Racing Legacy with Modern Thrills!"

  Atari’s NeoSprint is a modern revival of the classic Sprint series, a staple of arcade racing games from the late '70s that spawned ma...


Atari’s NeoSprint is a modern revival of the classic Sprint series, a staple of arcade racing games from the late '70s that spawned many sequels and console versions over the years. Starting with Sprint 2 in 1976, the series became groundbreaking for its time, being among the first to feature semi-intelligent AI opponents that would react to the player and adjust their behavior accordingly making the game more challenging. 

With NeoSprint Atari aims to bring this legacy into the 21st century with a fresh 3D isometric perspective and a host of new features that cater to both nostalgic fans and new players alike. All this is part of Atari's bold endeavors to address a gap in the market for classic retro games dressed up in a modern look without abandoning the core gameplay.

About the Game

NeoSprint is a passion project led by Atari’s long-serving art director, John Kauderer, and developed by the Costa Rican-based studio Headless Chicken. The game keeps it main style but transitions from the original top down 2D graphics to a more vibrant and 3D isometric perspective, delivering a visually appealing and engaging racing experience that stays true to its origins but still sneaks in a ton of graphical upgrades making the game come more to life. NeoSprint was actually first introduced as an early-access game on the Atari VCS, where community feedback was integral in refining its features and now it is released for the wider gaming community on other modern consoles and PC.


At its core, NeoSprint offers fast-paced, single-screen arcade racing for up to eight players. Packed with features the game includes several modes: Campaign, Grand Prix, Obstacle Course, and Time Trial. 

The game comes out the box with some impressive key features.

  • Isometric Arcade Action: NeoSprint’s precise controls and arcade feel make it easy to pick up but challenging to master, with advanced techniques like drifting and drafting adding depth to the gameplay.
  • Robust Track-Building and Sharing: A deep, customizable track builder lets players design and share complex tracks, complete with ramps, jumps, and various biomes.
  • Diverse Car Lineup: The game features nine different car types, each with unique speed, acceleration, and handling attributes, customizable with colors and Atari-themed decals.
  • Multiple Game Modes: In addition to Campaign Mode, players can enjoy Grand Prix, Obstacle Course, and Time Trial modes, offering a variety of racing experiences.

In Campaign Mode, players challenge eight unique AI rivals across nearly 50 unique tracks. Each circuit ends with a thrilling 1-on-1 race against a top rival much like taking on a gym master in Pokémon or various level bosses in other games. Success in these races unlocks new track pieces, car liveries, and other rewards, gradually increasing the difficulty and excitement.

reaching milestones unlocks cool new stuff. No battle pass needed

The simple controls allow for instant gameplay enjoyment for any age, playing with a controller right trigger is gas, left trigger is brake/reverse, right bumper is the E-brake used to pull of sick drifts and the left bumper is used to temporary get a small mark above your car so you can easily identify it if things become a busy on screen. Lastly you can use the Y button (or triangle on DualShock) to reset your car if you get stuck.

Selecting the right car for the right track can be key as some tracks require sharp turns while others might have long straight stretches which could benefit from a higher top speed. For each car in the selection there will be different stats fitting the playstyle you prefer and on top of that you can also change the sensitivity of the steering to best fit your needs. 

A car flies mid-air trying to jump the gap over the track

With over 3 leagues in the campaign each with a bunch of tracks and boss races there is a ton of content to go through before you even need to go dig in any of the other features. As I mentioned doing these races and challenges will unlock new cars, drivers as well as new pieces to use in build mode, which we will discuss later.

do you prefer track of car focus?

The main traditional way to look at the track is the isometric top-down view that shows the whole track at once, which makes the cars seem a bit tiny at times, if you like to try a different approach the game has a "follow the car" setting that brings you close to the action. However, with its dynamic camera I found it a bit hard to see where I was going and at times there was so much zoom in/out action it made me a little disoriented. So, I opted for the track view option which to be honest is also the better view when playing with a friend.

Follow the car, zooms in on the action up close.

It is always more fun to play together!

The roots of the print series are well nested in the inclusion of playing with multiple human players at once and true to its origins, NeoSprint truly shines in its multiplayer modes, offering chaotic, adrenaline-fueled races for up to eight players on a single screen.  Whether you're racing head-to-head with friends or taking on the community's best times, the game provides endless hours of competitive fun. 

 In case of the steam copy we were playing, we could invite friends from across the world to join us using steam remote play and though we were a bit worried about lag, it worked surprisingly well. That makes this also a great value proposition, one game can host up to 7 additional friends, they do not need their own copy to join. The only caveat in our experience was that all players needed to use a controller.  For each race or competition there are different options from a single free race to pre-designed grand prix but the game even offers you the possibility to build your own grand prix, or cup, with your own preferred tracks from the 50 premade tracks that come with the game, to your own built tracks or from the hundreds of not thousands of tracks to be found in the online community library. 

If you build it, they will come.

One of NeoSprint’s other standout features is its comprehensive track builder. Players can create intricate tracks using three track sizes and four distinct biomes—forest, desert, winter, and city. The track builder includes a variety of pieces and decorations, allowing for endless creativity. Once built, tracks can be tested, uploaded, and shared with the community. This feature not only extends the game’s replayability but also fosters a vibrant community of creators and racers.

I did find it a little challenging to move the tracks around with the controller as sometimes I kept skipping over the place I wanted to place a piece, something in part happening because of the set grid and the isometric view, once I got used to it however, I was able to create a track that emulated my childhood slot racing track and share it online in minutes.

Before you save and share any track it is probably a good idea to do a test drive on it to make sure it is actual a track that can be completed. With a quick button press you can jump right into the action; no saving or complex measures are needed. This allows you to make changes very fast and get your track the way you like it. 

Unfortunately, the designers of the game decided to put a lot of track materials also under the unlockable items, meaning you need to meet certain challenges to get to the good stuff. I always find this a bit unfortunate when a game does this as it locks out content for people who might not be willing or able to unlock each bit and just want to play around in the game, or in this case get creative. I would love to see an alternative to this, and at least have the build parts all available in an easier way, or just unlocked after you did all the games initial tutorials. 


NeoSprint’s visual presentation is vibrant and engaging, with a polished isometric view that enhances the arcade racing experience. The game’s graphics are complemented by a dynamic soundtrack that keeps the adrenaline pumping throughout races and the sound of the engines and squeaking tires makes for engaging edge of your seat moments. The intuitive user interface ensures that players of all skill levels can easily navigate through the game’s various modes and features. There were some moments where the UI was a little in the way of where my car was driving but there was no way to move the UI out of the way, and with multiple players I would have been nice to be able to assign player names instead of P1, P2 etc as well as seeing names on the podium would be a nice addition. These changes would make it easier to see who, is who and allow for better bragging rights/ ribbing the opponents.

Final Thoughts

NeoSprint is a delightful revival of the classic Sprint series, offering a perfect blend of nostalgia and modern gameplay innovations. The game’s surprising wealth of content, from nearly 50 unique campaign tracks to the limitless possibilities of player-generated tracks, ensures that there is always something new to experience. Everyone that came to play in our multiplayer tournament had a blast and were smiling ear to ear the entire evening. This is the kind of fun arcade like or living room type experience I remember from growing up and I have been missing so much in the years we have moved to online gaming only.  Even with the fact my friends came mostly from online, it still felt they were right next to me. 

Whether racing solo or with friends, NeoSprint delivers endless fun and excitement. Its robust track-building tools and diverse game modes make it a standout title in the arcade racing genre, proving that the spirit of the classic Sprint series is alive and well and offers fun for all ages. This racer hits the finish line as a convincing number one, gold medalist.  

Title: NeoSprint
Developers: Headless Chicken
Publisher: Atari
Platforms: Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PC, Atari VCS
MSRP: $24.99
Languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese
Release Date: Out now (June 28th, 2024)

About the writer: DadGeek (Rob) is the co-founder of GeeksVsGeeks. He is a product of the eighties and never let go of his geek interest and hobbies no matter how often someone told him to stop. His love for gaming and all things geeks has been part of his parenting style and permeates throughout the whole family. A family of Geeks vs Geeks 

* We are part of the Atari Creators Team.


xbox 6330433349057486676

Post a Comment

Share your thoughts with us.


- Navigation -