Vienna Automobile Society Is a New Kind of Racing Game

Part puzzle, part twitch game, this multiplayer is all about the fundamentals.

Vienna Automobile Society
Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images

You’ve probably played a driving video game at one point or another. Maybe it was a hyperrealistic racing game like Forza or Gran Turismo; maybe it was an iPhone version of Need For Speed: Most Wanted; hell, maybe it was a battered Cruisin’ USA machine at Pizza Hut. But you’ve never played anything like Vienna Automobile Society.

While it sounds like a smoky clubhouse where Freud would lecture about virility in perpendicular parking, Vienna Automobile Society is actually a multiplayer racing game. There are controls for accelerating and braking, but unlike most other racing games, there’s no pretend steering wheel. Instead, players control and adjust the car’s path along the track, in order to find the fastest line—and the best places to pass. Learning the course, and picking your spots, is the key to victory.

The game is being developed by Nic Tringali, a Dallas-area game designer who released a transhumanist cross-solar system adventure game called Sun Dogs last year. On the VAS website, Tringali says watching Formula One and Formula E racing inspired him to create a new type of racing game that evokes the split-second decision-making drivers use to win races, but isn’t as hard to master as the Forzas and Gran Turismos of the world.

Don’t judge Vienna Automobile Society based on the quality of that GIF—the game is still in the early stages. It’s expected to land on PCs and Macs either later this year or early next year. You can follow its progress on the game’s Twitter account.