Sunrise GP Nintendo Switch Review

Race too close to the sun, and you might burn out.

By JustAnotherJake, Posted 27 Apr 2023

Stylizing a game is very important nowadays, with most triple-A games trying to look as real as possible. This is especially true with racing games, as a lot of the leading names for racers typically look insanely good to the point where it's impossible to appreciate the beauty at high speeds. So arcade racers are left to do the artistic fun with their games and often times it can set them apart. Sunrise GP takes its style and runs with it as far as it can. To the point where that is likely the thing that will be remembered by it.

Sunrise GP, Switch, Arcade, Race, Screenshot, NoobFeed

Sunrise GP has a cell-shaded art style leading its design, with a more pastel use for its colors. The shadows are soft, letting the light do a lot of the work, leaving some cool-looking tracks that are certainly unique to Sunrise GP. The look feels both modern and retro at the same time. On top of that, the soundtrack has a cool lo-fi feel to it, matching the visuals. Many of the audio tracks feel fitting for picking a car or looking through the menus, but in races, they sometimes feel a little lacking. It stays true to the style but it would be nice if some of the racing songs felt a bit more intense. It is a true misfortune that these are the best parts of the game, and yet even they have flaws that cannot go ignored.

While Sunrise GP’s art style is unique and has a really fun direction, it often feels a bit lazy. Elements on the interfaces feel incredibly generic and often times the colors don’t seem to stay in the lines or are simply at a lower resolution compared to everything else on screen. In some areas of the tracks or on the world map, there is a decent amount of clipping. When picking a car some car’s tires will simply be in the ground and when there is a lack of detail or texturing to the ground it's very clear to see the issue. The most notable instance of this is on the world map, where a train simply leans through the floor, making it an awkward bit of scenery to look at while picking a track.

While those elements feel incomplete there are others that feel untuned, like Sunrise GP’s lighting elements. As mentioned earlier shadows are soft so the light sources do a lot of heavy lifting, and perhaps they do a bit too much. The headlights on cars are always visible, with an orange light coming out, it doesn't look right in day-lit tracks and is simply a visual distraction coming from every car on the track. The sun is often the biggest offender in this department, as it is incredibly bright, often blocking the entire track from vision. A very similar thing occurs while on one of the cave tracks. As the player exits a tunnel the lighting appears all green before passing through the exit making the upcoming track unpredictable.

Sunrise GP, Switch, Arcade, Race, Screenshot, NoobFeed

A large majority of the track designs are unfortunately another upsetting part of the game. Sunrise GP has such an interesting idea with visuals that one would think that the game would have tracks that use the medium to create insane tracks that fit. This is not the case as a lot of the tracks are very bland with little to no obstacles other than the other racers on the track. The only tracks of note are the icy tracks that have stretches of the road covered in ice or the hilly tracks with bendy roads but those elements aren't enough to carry the track list of 20. Some other tracks will have crates that block some of the roads or beams that separate the road but they never feel like actual obstacles in the grand scheme of the races.

On those 20 tracks, there are a total of 21 cars that can be driven, and all of those cars can be pretty heavily customized. Simply picking a new color would be a fine option in many other games but Sunrise GP also allows for body modification. The modifications have no effect gameplay wise so making a whacky car or a simple car would have no effect on the car's performance. The unfortunate bits come from the repetitiveness found in a lot of the car's available mods, as well as the prices for said parts.

Some parts can cost up to 2000 credits and those credits don’t necessarily come easy, as getting a three-star rank in a race only nets the play 300 credits. This becomes quite the pain when a lot of cars are clearly better than others, meaning putting all sorts of effort into one car can leave a player outclassed quickly if the car they thought was cool turns out to be one that underperforms compared to others.

Sunrise GP, Switch, Arcade, Race, Screenshot, NoobFeed

In terms of actual racing, Sunrise GP doesn’t offer much in terms of anything other than simply driving. The lack of power-ups or anything like a drift leaves the game being about simply beating a goal time or other racers. In a lot of cases, this is going to be on tracks that overstay their welcome quickly. The number of laps a track can have will sometimes be way too much for how long a track is.

If a track takes a whole minute for a lap, it seems like overkill to make it a five to six lap race. It hurts even more that the AI racers are often not the brightest as they often crash into each other or take turns really slowly. It is a rare occurrence that an opponent racer will stay in first longer than a lap, not including player wipeouts. Speaking of wipeouts from the player, Sunrise GP sure will give the player a lot of those. The main cause of this will often be the geometry of the tracks not being amazingly built.

Spots in the road will cause collisions and send cars in the wrong direction, or in some cases, the walls will do that as well. It is insulting when in most cases dring against the wall will simply slow a car down but sometimes it will trigger a collision and either send the car flying or for some reason cause a full-on stop. To make this worse, bumping into other cars feels natural and can even be played around with to cause other drivers to crash, so the game can clearly handle proper collision detection in other cases.

Sunrise GP, Switch, Arcade, Race, Screenshot, NoobFeed

Sunrise GP also has some stability issues that add to the list of problems. Occasional pop-ins are nothing new for modern video games but with this simple of an art style and a lack of speed, it feels unjustified and distracting. The game also has a tendency to crash, but given that this was on the Switch version and seemingly happened when trying to pull up lists of online leaderboards, it is likely just a connection issue but is still worth noting due to the other issue found throughout the game. On the bright side, load times aren’t very long when loading up a new course or switching between the several cars the game has to offer.

Sunrise GP does offer a good selection of modes to spice things up. The main grand prix mode is probably the most boring but it does offer the method of unlocking cars and tracks. It is the core single-player mode but only offers typical races. The challenge mode puts the player onto specific tracks with specific cars, a good method to have people competing over lap times. In the challenge mode there is a daily challenge that does change every day, but still stays true to the formula that the overall mode has in place. The quick race mode is where a large chunk of the game is at with multiplayer and simple racing being held. Having split-screen multiplayer is always a huge plus, especially with a game like Sunrise GP. There is also an elimination mode tucked into here which is always a treat to see.

With Sunrise GP being on the Nintendo Switch it is a great bonus to have quick modes to play, and the before-mentioned split screen will come in handy for many children who want to play while with friends or in the back of the car with a sibling. Even some of the single-player content is a good addition for a quick time trial while waiting at the bus stop or while on a train ride. There is also that daily challenge to bring people back for more but it really doesn’t spice things up much more beyond what already exists in the game. Again having more variety would be very nice for the game’s replayability but offering a leaderboard for times at all helps any racing game with its shelf life.


Overall Sunrise GP doesn’t feel great to play. By no means does it feel bad or clunky, rather it is simply unsatisfying to play. The speedometer may say the car is moving fast, but it sure doesn’t feel that way. There are speed lines coming from the front of the car but the visual effect is another that feels lazily put together and often feels intrusive. This not only makes the game feel even more dull but makes it hard to judge speed for sharp turns. The only way to take a turn while going fast is to slow down, as there is no form of drifting. So since it doesn’t feel fast a sharp turn can easily be harder to avoid crashing in. Mix this in with the fact that all of the tracks are simply as they are on the minimap, meaning no alternate paths or shortcuts, leaving the game being open pathways that all have the same destination. 

In many areas, Sunrise GP would simply be better if it had about another six months of development time, however, that doesn’t prevent it from being an overall dull experience. A lack of track variety is a large factor in this but isn’t the only problem. The lack of a spin on typical racing is another big flaw. It is so simple to picture Sunrise GP with an over-the-top drift and ramps or shortcuts because of its visual style but lacks anything of the sort. The races come down to which drivers have the best stats on their cars and who can handle the tracks the best. Nothing quite feels right in Sunrise GP, but there is always room for growth. Sunrise GP shows that developers at Garage 5 have some real talent and there is some potential within their game, but their game really needs to be fleshed out before they and their products can really flourish.

Jacob Cowsert (@TweetJAJ)
News Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Sunrise GP


Platform(s): Switch
Publisher(s): Gamedust
Developer(s): Garage 5
Genres: Racing
Themes: Arcade
Release Date: 2023-04-20

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