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The vaporwave subculture may have fallen behind, but anything old is getting less old with the release of Retro Racer by Sweet Games. Neon lights, synthetic sounds and supercars come together in this racing game, but the core gameplay is an outdated relic.

Retro Racer Review

The aesthetic of Vaporwaves is perhaps the key to its success – the faux-future combines VHS scan effects and analog synths with something that captures the era that could have been. The genre is outdated now, but what you’ll find in Retro Racer comes close to what made the neon-clad world such an underground success last decade.

Retro Racer conveys this atmosphere through its universe: polygonal palm trees, landscapes bathed in neon lights and omnipresent sunlight set the tone for the genre. For the die-hard fans, this is a good reflection of their home. The synthetic sounds also hit all the right points of the genre, though they do nothing to leave a lasting impression.

However, after spending some time in this game, you will feel that it is completely soulless – a death sentence for this type of game. Racing is a lonely business – without rivals on the road, the world feels barren, devoid of commitment and character. Instead, players simply have to complete five laps on four different tracks – there are no objectives in this setup, and the races (if you can call them that) just look like pass/fail maneuvers. It’s easy to ignore, because it looks like some sort of prototype training mode that was never completed.

The situation is even worse as far as the management system is concerned. The controls, which are linked to the WASD keys, are very slow. Those who try to drift off eventually lose control. In the absence of a place or time, this is just a minor inconvenience. However, the tracks are wide enough to allow for such a mistake. There are a few small obstacles and roadblocks along the way, but nothing too difficult to overcome.

With the exception of the four main courses (two day courses and two night courses), there’s not much here to keep players on task. With no opponents, no timing, no scoring, there is no incentive to improve your performance on each course or move up in the standings. Again, there are no achievements, and the player can complete all four tracks in about 30 minutes.

Retro Racer meets the minimum requirements of the racing genre. The vaporwave aesthetic is already dead and the lack of any meaningful content makes this composition a minor misfire.


This review of the game Retro Racer was conducted on the PC. The game was bought in digital version.

The vaporwave subculture may have fallen behind, but anything old is getting less old with the release of Retro Racer by Sweet Games. Neon lights, synth sounds and supercars are coming.

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