Press Release

Summer is here and so is Riptide GP: Renegade!

Riptide GP: Renegade is launching on PS4 and Steam on July 26, and Apple TV and NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV on August 2nd.  Other platform releases which include Xbox One, Windows 10, iOS, and Android will be coming shortly after.

Announcing Riptide GP: Renegade

We’re pleased to announce Riptide GP: Renegade! Coming to consoles (date TBD), fans can look forward to incredible new and visually stunning race tracks, vehicles, racers, trophies, mini-games and best of all, online and split screen multiplayer.

Beach Buggy Racing™ Speeding to Mobile

Vector Unit Bringing Seat of Your Pants Kart Racing with Split Screen Co-Op to Mobile

San Francisco – June, 24, 2014 – Independent game developer Vector Unit Inc. announced today the launch of its latest mobile driving game Beach Buggy Racingfor Android, iOS and Amazon devices.  The second in the popular Beach Buggy game series, which has had over 30 million downloads worldwide, Beach Buggy Racing pits players against each other in an action-packed world of playful, off-road kart-racing mayhem.

Players race to the finish line around 12 richly detailed tracks, through dinosaur infested jungles, lava-spewing volcanoes, sun-kissed beaches and mysterious swamps.  Tracks are filled with secret shortcuts, and magical powerups that boost, smash, shoot and bounce drivers to the front of the pack.  New drivers can be unlocked and recruited, each with a unique character ability, like teleportation, flaming fire tracks and Tiki spells.  Players can also collect and customize new vehicles for the ultimate thrill ride on sand, ice, fire and more!

“This is the sequel 30 million Beach Buggy Blitz players have been waiting for,” says Ralf Knoesel, Vector Unit’s co-founder and CTO.  “Beach Buggy Racing shares the first game’s amazing off-road driving action and totally destructible environments, but now we’ve put all that in a full-fledged racing game with tons of new game modes.”

And what kart racing game would be complete without split screen play?  By connecting two to four Bluetooth game controllers, players can compete shoulder to shoulder to shoulder on a single device in Beach Buggy Racing’s thrilling Split Screen game mode.  Players can also challenge Facebook friends online and earn achievements with Google Play Game Services (Android), Game Center (iOS), and GameCircle (Amazon).

A challenging and addictive kart-racing adventure for all ages, Beach Buggy Racing will be totally free to play on Android, iOS, and Amazon Kindle devices later this summer.  

Attendees can get a sneak preview of Beach Buggy Racing’s split screen mode at Google I/O this week on the 3rd floor at Moscone West in San Francisco!

Vector Unit dives into Google Play game services

San Francisco, CA – May 15, 2013 — Vector Unit, the indie game developer known for top-selling mobile racing titles Beach Buggy Blitz™, Riptide GP™ and Shine Runner™, announced at Google I/O, Google’s developer conference, that all its games will offer full support for Android’s new Google Play game services starting immediately.

“We love to connect players in our games, but until recently on Android there have been a lot of competing social platforms without a single standout,” says Vector Unit CEO Matt Small. “Google Play game services offer a unifying platform that every Android gamer can join easily, has all the features we could want, and that we as developers can support without worrying about whether it’s going to still be around in 2 years.”

The company’s premium water racing titles, Riptide GP and Shine Runner, and its popular free-to-play “endless driver” Beach Buggy Blitz, all receive updates today that allow users to log in with their Google accounts to earn Achievements, post scores to Leaderboards, and sync their game progress using Cloud Save.

Vector Unit’s upcoming sequel Riptide GP2 is also showcased at Google I/O this week to demonstrate Google Play game services’ real-time multi-player capabilities. Google I/O attendees can play Riptide GP2 this week in the Sandbox on the third floor, and also with NVIDIA, where it’s being shown running with extra graphic features on NVIDIA’s new Tegra 4-based Shield devices.

“Multi-player is a major focus of Riptide GP2,” explains Ralf Knoesel, Vector Unit’s CTO. “Google Play game services provide a robust and easy to use real-time multi-player experience. The elegant invitations and notifications allow players to easily connect with their friends to show off their hydro jet racing skills.”

Riptide GP2 is due to be released on Android and iOS this summer. In addition to multi-player gameplay, the game features a new deeper career mode, player and hydro jet customization, and a stunt combo system with dozens of spectacular stunts.

Beach Buggy Blitz™ debuts at Google I/O Developer Sandbox

San Francisco, CA – June 27, 2012 —Vector Unit, a game developer known for top-selling water racing titles Riptide GP™ and Shine Runner™, debuts its new Android racing game Beach Buggy Blitz in the Developer Sandbox at Google I/O this week.

Beach Buggy Blitz is built around an “infinite drive” mechanic that challenges players to drive as far as possible through lushly detailed, procedurally generated environments -- power-sliding through beaches and volcanoes, flying through the air off massive jumps, and smashing through totally destructible environments. Along the way players can collect coins to unlock and upgrade new vehicles, purchase new costumes, even customize the game itself with new powerups and consumables.

This is the first game to utilize Vector Unit’s retooled Vector Engine 3, which features console-style effects optimized to make the most out of mobile powerhouses like the NVIDIA® Tegra® 3 quad-core mobile processor.

Beach Buggy Blitz is our most technologically advanced mobile game to date,” says Ralf Knoesel, Technical Director, Vector Unit. “From the start we knew we wanted to take advantage of what the Tegra 3 mobile processor can do, from extra-detailed models and normal-mapped textures to advanced collision and driving physics. The game also features a number of Tegra 3 exclusives, like lens splash effects and dynamic headlights in caves -- stuff we really just can’t do on slower platforms.”

Beach Buggy Blitz will be playable at Google I/O in the developer Sandbox on Thursday, June 28, 2012. The final game is scheduled to ship later in July 2012, and for a limited time will be available exclusively for Tegra-powered Android devices.

Game Features:

  • Action-Packed Off Road Racing. Powerslide through beaches, caves, swamps and volcanoes. Smash through completely destructible environments. Grab air off massive jumps. Punt seagulls and giant crabs and watch them go flying.
  • “Infinite Drive” Environment. The procedurally generated environment means you can drive forever (at least until you wipe out), and it never plays out the same way twice.
  • Tons of Unlockable Content. Earn coins to purchase new cars and costumes, upgrade your vehicle, unlock new powerups, and purchase out of this world consumables like the jaw-dropping Drop Ship.
  • Totally Free to Play. You can unlock every single thing in the game without paying a dime.
  • Optimized for Tegra 3. From the gorgeous models and textures, to the detailed driving and collision physics, to high-end special effects like motion blur, lens splash, and dynamic headlights – Beach Buggy Blitz is optimized to take console-quality gaming mobile with Tegra 3 processor-powered super phones and tablets. The game will be featured in TegraZone™, NVIDIA’s free app that showcases the best games optimized for the Tegra processor.


Storm the Bayou and Smuggle Moonshine

Vector Unit’s Shine Runner™ coming to iOS and Android December 2, 2011

San Rafael, CA – December 1, 2011 — Indie game developer Vector Unit announced today that its latest mobile game, the water racing/action/strategy hybrid Shine Runner, will be released for iOS and Android devices on December 2.

In Shine Runner, players smuggle contraband goods in souped-up flat-bottomed fan boats, powersliding around twisting backwater bayous in a frenetic race to stay one step ahead of the clock – and the law.

Smuggling runs play out in lushly detailed – and fully destructible – 3D river environments. Players crash their way through levels packed with shacks, docks, chicken coops and outhouses, catch huge air off ramps and levies, and dodge (or smash) other river boats, including belligerent police. Between runs, players sell off their smuggled cargo and look for bargains so they can load up on grey market items like Gator Tails, Snake Oil, Tobacky…and of course, bootleg moonshine. The goal of the game is to maximize profits over a 10 day period.

“Our theme for this game is simple,” says Ralf Knoesel, Vector Unit’s Technical Director. “Two words: ’Redneck Chaos.’ Yes, there’s strategy to the trading meta-game, but personally I just love smashing alligators into chicken coops, punting cops off the tops of levies… I’ve been working on Shine Runner for months now and I still laugh when I’m playing.”

Shine Runner will be available Friday, December 2, 2011 for iPhone, iPad, and Android phones and tablets.

Game Features:

  • Amazing Water Physics. Slip and slide through twisting bayous with the most realistic boat physics ever seen on mobile.
  • Completely Destructible Game Environments. Crash through docks stacked high with barrels. Demolish shacks and outhouses. Punt gators and chickens. If you can see it, you can smash it!
  • Smuggle Your Way to Riches! Buy and sell contraband goods like Moonshine and Tobacky, smuggling them from one colorful locale to the next in a race for maximum profit.
  • Gorgeous HD Visuals. Explore a colorful southern world filled with high-detail boats, animated characters, beautiful bayou, marsh, and mountain environments, all running at a silky smooth framerate on your smartphone or tablet – or (on Android) on your HDTV with HDMI out!
  • OpenFeint and Game Center Support. Make your name in the Shine Runner Hall of Fame leaderboards or show off your skills with some of the wackiest, most inventive Achievements around.


Riptide GP Splashes on to iOS and Android This Month

San Rafael, CA – October 6, 2011 — Indie game developer Vector Unit is proud to announce that their critically acclaimed water racing game Riptide GP™, previously an NVIDIA® Tegra™ exclusive, will be released for iPhone, iPad, and high-end Android devices in late October 2011. 

Riptide GP is a speed-infused arcade racing experience featuring realistic, physics-based waves and stunning visuals, ushering in a new era of console-quality titles on mobile devices.  

“We’ve taken all of our console game experience, passion for games, and our proprietary Vector Engine,” said Matt Small, Creative Director and Co-Founder of Vector Unit, “and jammed every ounce of it into Riptide GP to create a big, exciting, over the top 3D racing extravaganza for mobile players.” 

Players stunt, boost and rocket their hydro jets through twisting canals and rivers, futuristic cityscapes, and mysterious research facilities over an ever-changing torrent of unpredictable and undulating water.

Riptide GP goes wide end of October 2011.  


Vector Unit unveils Riptide GP at Mobile World Congress

Game developer bringing console-class water racing to Tegra 2 powered tablets and phones

San Rafael, CA – February 15, 2011.  One of the new Android games optimized for the NVIDIA® Tegra 2 making waves at Mobile World Congress this year is futuristic water-racer Riptide GPTM, the newest title to come out of independent studio Vector UnitTM, developers of Hydro ThunderTM Hurricane for Xbox LIVE® Arcade.

Set against the backdrop of a futuristic Earth, Riptide GP features daredevil watercyclists rocketing through canals and rivers across a dynamic, ever changing surface of glittering water. Riders jump each others wakes and catch huge air off rolling waves as they battle to be first across the finish line. It's Supercross on water, played out on twisting, undulating waterpark racetracks.

The developers at Vector Unit are no strangers to the technical demands and gameplay opportunities of water racing games. Their previous title, Hydro Thunder Hurricane, a sequel to the Midway Games arcade classic, was released last year as part of Microsoft's Xbox LIVE Summer of Arcade and featured gorgeous water visuals and a sophisticated hydrodynamic simulation.

“The thing that's great about racing on water is that the track is always changing,” says Technical Director Ralf Knoesel, the man behind the team's procedural water. “It's not like racing on a static road where every lap is completely predictable. When you're riding over huge swells of ocean waves you have to make decisions about when to carve through a trough or jump a crest – all while battling the other riders for the best line.”

When asked about bringing their next-gen technology to the Tegra 2 platform, Knoesel is enthusiastic. “Until recently it just wasn't possible to create the kind of game we wanted to make on a phone or a tablet. With Tegra 2, we've been able to create a racing experience that combines sophisticated physics simulations with console-class visuals.”

Riptide GP is being developed by Vector Unit in partnership with Flashman Capital LLC.

Prepare to rev up your watercycle and shred the waves Summer 2011.

Hydro Thunder Hurricane “Tempest Pack” Splashes Down in October

Downloadable content pack adds more tracks, more boats, more water-soaked goodness 

Microsoft Game Studios and developer Vector Unit today announced the “Tempest Pack”, a downloadable expansion pack for the Xbox LIVE® Summer of Arcade hit Hydro Thunder Hurricane, available for download on Xbox LIVE® Marketplace for the Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft in October 2010.

The Tempest Pack will include three brand new racing environments, two new Expert-class rocket-powered speedboats, a slew of new boat skins for existing boats, as well as new Championship, Ring Master and Gauntlet events.

New tracks include the volcanic ruins of Atlantis, the hurricane-whipped waters of the Bermuda Triangle, and a medieval obstacle course packed with exploding barrels and interactive cannons known as Castle Von Boom.

“The new environments are all about ratcheting up the level of insanity,” says Creative Director Matt Small. “The weather is stormier, the waves are bigger, and the levels are packed with more interactive obstacles and more potential for chaos and destruction. That’s what puts the tempest in Tempest Pack.”

The DLC also adds two new Expert level boats to the pantheon of Hydro Thunder favorites. Whiplash is a futuristic cross between a v-hulled speedboat and a Formula 1 race car, while Psyclone is a souped-up flat-bottomed fan-boat. “You can tell from looking at the Leaderboards that Rad Hazard was the boat to beat in Hydro Thunder Hurricane. Whiplash and Psyclone give Rad Hazard a run for its money.”

But the new vehicles don’t stop there. As an added bonus, developer Vector Unit is including supercharged versions of the six Novice and Pro boats available in the base game, bringing the total number of playable Expert class boats to 11.

“To be competitive on the Leaderboards and in online races you need to be driving an Expert boat,” explains Ralf Knoesel, Vector Unit’s Technical Director. “The ships you unlock early in Hurricane are designed to be accessible to new players, so they’re easier to handle and a little slower. But we know a lot of fans have favorites in the Novice and Pro classes like Damn the Torpedoes and Tidal Blade. With the Tempest Pack you can drive any boat you want at the highest levels of competition.”

All new and existing boats get new unlockable skins, including paint schemes for Banshee and Rad Hazard designed by the winners of the Design-A-Skin Video Contest hosted by Vector Unit in August.

The Tempest Pack also adds three Gamerscore-boosting Achievements, Ring Master and Gauntlet courses for all new levels, and three new Championships. Exact release date and pricing will be announced at a later date.