Arcade Racing on the Retro Roads of Sunrise GP

Sunrise GP
Reviewed On
Nintendo Switch
Available For

Some days, you want a title with a deeply complex story, serious moral dilemmas, and amazing action. Other days, you come home, and you really, really just want to turn off your brain and click boxes to paint or drive a car around a brightly colored track. Sunrise GP, as it happens, provides exactly that latter.

Plot Ahoy!

Sunrise GP is a simple arcade style racing game that lets you choose between three game modes: a straightforward race, a race with obstacles, and a grand prix mode. Then, you race. That’s as far as the plot goes for Sunrise GP, and that’s not a bad thing. Is this a Forza? No. Did I want a Forza on the Switch? Also no.

Sunrise GP occupies that niche between the more realistic racing titles and Mario Kart with a slightly cartoony visual aesthetic, the ability to bounce off walls without ending the race, and a wide range of customization options.

You aren’t going to find any weird vehicular weaponry in Sunrise GP; it really is just a racing game. You’re focused on time, and Sunrise GP keeps you engaged by noting your time as you pass through checkpoints. The races in all three modes are pretty short, which is great if you’re just trying to let your brain recover for an hour or so, but it does mean that you’ll get through it quickly.

The modes are straightforward. Quick Race Mode puts you in a car and on the track for a few spins. The Grand Prix mode serves as the game’s story by having you progress through a series of twenty tracks. You must take first, second, or third, marked by a one, two, or a three-star rating, in order to unlock the next course.

Challenge mode is actually pretty interesting because you have to complete a series of challenges that requires that you drive a specific car. That matters because each car handles noticeably different, depending on the style and power. Challenge mode employs the same 20 track model and also requires a starred finish in order to unlock the next course.

Review Notes

For all the good in Sunrise GP, there are a few problems. The game’s AI racers aren’t well-controlled. They’ll plow into you and each other willy-nilly, resulting in pileups that you must successfully navigate if you want to make it to the all-important finish line. As you begin almost every race in last position, you’re going to spend a lot of time navigating around these AI-created obstacles. The game also has some physics issues in that you really can plow into the wall and just keep on going without any issue. However, just a bit down the track, the same collision could send you flipping over the lanes. I couldn’t find any rhyme or reason as to why or how these virtually identical collisions would have such vastly different results. It almost felt like an RNG issue, which doesn’t work in the racing context.

The car customization options offered by Sunrise GP are really fun and do make a difference when you’re on the track. You begin Sunrise GP with basic vehicles and options, but as you continue through the races, you unlock better and more varied upgrades and cars. However, these upgrades are pricey, especially when compared with the winnings you receive from each track. Also, the game offers more limitations in terms of cosmetic changes as your rim and paint color options are minimal. I highly recommend that you try out as many of the cars as you can because you may find that you prefer one style of car over another. Also, don’t be afraid to change cars to suit the track you’re going to be racing. Much like the rims and paint color, you’re going to start recognizing the tracks as they do tend to repeat, albeit with some cosmetic differences.


Sunrise GP’s bite-sized individual tracks and challenges mean it’s an ideal way to kill time without having to worry that you’ll have to quit mid-race so long as you avoid that early pileup. With some issues in terms of physics and the AI, Sunrise GP still offers a solid gaming experience for just $14.99, making it a great value for those looking for a nice racing experience for the Nintendo Switch.

Stray Thoughts From Behind the Keyboard

  1. Sunrise GP is pretty, especially if you like that neon aesthetic, and the soundtrack is pretty solid as far as that goes.
  2. Really, it is just a great title to chill with.
  3. It also offers co-op and multiplayer modes, which is cool!
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