Review: New Star GP

This post is a translation. Rate it!

Switch to: German

Lights out and away we go – the new Formula 1 season is now under way, just like the arcade racer New Star GP which we’ve played extensively for you.

New Star GP launched today for PC (Steam), Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. We lined up for you on the starting grid and went through the entire career of this brand-new racing game.

A career and a championship mode are available in New Star GP. In the championship mode, we can put together our own competition in the creation mode, choose the era, car and tracks as well as set the rules of the game, such as the number of laps, activating or deactivating dynamic weather, pit stops and (permanent) vehicle damage. We also have as many pre-configured championships to choose from as there are tracks in the game, some of which first have to be unlocked. Every championship can be played with up to three other players in local multiplayer or via Steam Remote Play over the internet (like in the video below). You can choose from 17 different tracks, each with their official Grand Prix version, a backwards version and a greatly simplified version that could also appear in Mario Kart Tour. Below is an overview of all available courses and their real-life inspirations that we have identified (not official):

  • “Valencia” – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya (Spain)
  • “Northampton” – Silverstone Circuit (England)
  • “Brussels” – Circuit de Spa-Francochamps (Belgium)
  • “Cote D’Azur” – Circuit de Monaco (Monaco)
  • “Rhine” – Hockenheimring (Germany)
  • “Adriatic Sea” – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari / Imola (San Marino)
  • “Vienna” – Red Bull Ring (Austria)
  • “Neapels” – Autodromo Nazionale di Monza (Italy)
  • “Danube” – Hungaroring (Hungary)
  • “Kraków” (Poland) – It may have been inspired by Tor Poznań (Poland) or Sochi Autodrom (Russia).
  • “Caspian Sea” – Baku City Circuit (Azerbaijan)
  • “Persian Gulf” – Yas Marina Circuit (Abu Dhabi)
  • “Tokyo” – Suzuka International Racing Course (Japan)
  • “Brisbane” – Albert Park Circuit (Australia)
  • “Brasilia” – Interlagos Circuit (Brazil)
  • “Texas” – Circuit of the Americas (USA)
  • “Quebec” – Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve (Canada)

While the simple variants of the courses are reminiscent of Mario Kart Tour tracks, the full-fledged racing tracks are at times very close to the real-life track layouts and even though the majority of the available courses seem to be inspired by the current F1 calendar, it is also nice to be able to do a few laps on a track that is very close to the Hockenheimring. The teams and drivers are also inspired by real role models and have visual and linguistic similarities. This is particularly relevant in the heart of the game, the career mode.

In career mode, we create our own pilot and compete in five eras against F1 greats who are based on real drivers such as Nigel Mansell, Nikki Lauda, ​​Ayrton Senna, Max Verstappen and Charles Leduck – sorry, Leclerc. In order to counteract the notorious lack of women in the Premier League of motorsport, some of the drivers had their genders switched by the developers. Each season consists of ten events, therefore not every track is available in the available five eras – from the 1980s to the 2020s. We can only determine the order of the courses from the second season onwards. Each event includes not only the Grand Prix, but also other disciplines that vary from event to event, including test drives, time trials, checkpoint races, elimination races, rival races and reverse courses. In these events we not only get to know each course and our opponents, we also collect trophies and money. We can use trophies to unlock new perks and we can use money to buy new car parts. The perks include the possibility of automating pit stops, being able to use the slipstream (perhaps the most important perk in the game) or receiving a sum of money for certain placements. The latter is tied to a sponsor and we can place their logo on our livery. As our career progresses, we also unlock new body shells that seem to be inspired by real cars from McLaren or Williams, for example. Unlike in real formula racing, where special liveries are used for special occasions, we can completely change the chassis and our helmet design at any time.

The game allows us to activate up to five perks, although each slot has to be purchased at a high price first. The game offers a variety of perks and vehicle parts that can be adapted to your own play style. However, if you fall behind in the development of the car, you will quicky notice a lack of competitiveness on track. However, with the right pit stop strategy you can counteract such deficits and, for example, consciously take less fuel with you in order to use the automatic magical refill perk and land on the podium as the winner with a one-stop strategy. If we don’t automate individual steps or the entire pit stop, we have to change the tires and refuel every time using quick-time events. This brings even more excitement to the races, unlike in F1 2023, for example, where we only press a single button to pit.

While the races are relatively easy at the beginning on the normal level of difficulty, New Star GP becomes significantly more difficult from the second era at the latest and the track design also changes from simple to more realistic track layouts. With each era, not only does the speed of cars increase (which is technically not entirely realistic as the cars got slower due to safety restrictions), but also the cost of upgrades. This makes the random events between the Grand Prixes even more precarious. A donation to a charity to better our reputation must then be compared to an investment in a better wing. Sometimes we also have to decide between a PR appointment and an important meeting with our race engineer. However, the mood barometer of each department can be easily raised again with a little pocket change and that’s also how most of the perks can be further increased. We are only allowed to hire new staff as part of these events. A job market would be a welcome addition to the managing aspect of career mode. The additional events mentioned are also becoming more relevant in order to be able to continually upgrade your car. Grand Prix victories alone are not enough.

In the constant battle to upgrade your car against other teams, we also have to allow time to repair vehicle parts because they wear out during races. We didn’t notice any wear and tear across seasons in career mode; this seemingly only occurs in championship mode. Our gearbox and brakes are particularly in demand on city circuits and so it is not uncommon for both to quickly run out on the “Cote D’Azur” or the “Caspian Sea” tracks. The car’s handling is strongly influenced by the condition of its parts and tires: At the beginning of a stint we first have to warm up our tires, as was common practice before the introduction of today’s tire blankets, and when it rains, you should quickly put on wets, but don’t do it too quickly, otherwise your lap times will suffer. Large puddles cause spins if we switch back to slicks too early. The weather system had no impact on most of our career, so it was consistently sunny. It is precisely this dynamic weather that makes the races even more exciting, as you have to adapt your pit stop strategies. Without this variety, genre aficionados may get a bit bored, as each race’s structure is relatively the same with six laps and similar tire wear. An imponderable is artificial intelligence, which defends its place against us and against the AI ​​competition, but also likes to crash into our rear. Modern overtaking aids such as ERS or DRS cannot be found here, but we do have a boost that can be activated at any time and is automatically fully charged at the start of each new lap.

While in championship mode all human players can use slipstream and get an enormous boost when they are driving just behind another vehicle, this perk must first be unlocked and equipped in career mode. Since perks are largely swapped out at the beginning of each new season, you are not guaranteed to have slipstream. The AI, however, does not seem to be able to use slipstream at all. If we just drive behind another car, the high suction effect can catapult you easily into the surrounding gravel. This leads to great moments of frustration and should be revised. In addition, it should be possible to set the dead zone for the left analog stick, as it has to be moved somewhat strongly in order for your car to change direction. Fortunately, in each race you have the option to rewind up to three times in such cases. Be advised though that some sponsors don’t like to see that and therefore deny you your bonus.

Graphically, New Star GP looks like it was made from one piece and is reminiscent of classic arcade racers. On the one hand, a lot of attention to detail went into the design of the cars, the animations and the elements off the track, but on the other hand you shouldn’t expect visual miracles from this indie team which consists of only around a dozen women and men. It’s unusual that there are no graphics options at all. The lack of anti-aliasing is very apparent, on console as well as on a powerful PC and this should be fixed. The game’s retro feeling is fueled by the decent 80’s style synth-heavy soundtrack, though it get’s a bit repetitive a little too quickly.


New Star GP is a decent entry-friendly arcade racer with a competent and motivating career mode. It’s an incredibly satisfying feeling when your pit stop strategy in “Brussels” works out perfectly as you get back on track in front of your nemesis, who is represented by an angry portrait, and thanks to the new tires you’re sailing into the sunset while your opponent is struggling, or when you narrowly overtake your competitor in a heart-stopping race to the start-finish line in “Brasilia”. If small inconsistencies such as the heavy edge flickering, the slipstream behavior in curves and the aggressiveness of the AI ​​get improved and a name and team editor (currently in the works according to a post in the Steam Community Hub) or even an online multiplayer mode get added, New Star GP should be able to attract even more motorsport fans.

New Star Games provided us with PC and PlayStation 4 copies of New Star GP. We captured the screenshots with the PC version.