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The Art of Rally developer is trying something different: An F1 management game set in the 'golden era' of 1970s excess

 Golden Lap screenshot - top-down shot of a racetrack and standings, mid-race.
Golden Lap screenshot - top-down shot of a racetrack and standings, mid-race.

Having worked its magic on drifting and rallying, minimalist racing studio Funselektor is now turning its attention to "the golden era of open wheel racing." Golden Lap is going to be quite a bit different than the studio's previous racing games, though, because this time around you're not the driver—you're the boss.

As the manager of an aspiring faux-F1 team, you'll make the calls that will lead your driver to victory or otherwise: Everything from allocating budget to improving and tuning cars, managing personnel, and making moment-to-moment strategic calls during races.

To help keep everything manageable, Golden Lap promises a "minimalist take on the racing strategy genre," with only essential information and clear outcomes presented, so players can "focus on the big picture, with depth where it matters." And despite the new approach to gameplay, Golden Lap retains the bold, vibrant visual style of Absolute Drift and Art of Rally.

Setting Golden Lap in the 1970s is also a purposeful choice: Technology and safety was improving "in leaps and bounds," but it was still an era of danger and daredevils—a time when a guy like James Hunt could wake up after a night of hard partying, have a smoke, climb into the cockpit, and claim a championship.

It also matches up with Funselektor's previous game, Art of Rally, which is set in the 1960s through the '80s, an equally tumultuous time in that motorsport.

Golden Lap screenshot - a list of teams in the game
Golden Lap screenshot - a list of teams in the game

Funselektor is co-developing Golden Lap with Italian studio Strelka Games, whose previous release was the under-appreciated top-down extraction shooter Hell is Others. As someone who very much liked that game, I'm glad to see the studio is getting to work on another cool-looking project.

Golden Lap is set to come out later in 2024, and is available for wishlisting now on Steam.