As well as vintage anime influences
French one-man project The Next Penelope is being created by Aurelien Regard, a former Arkedo co-founder. It's a top-down racer with F-Zero influences that also mixes in boss fights where the game sort of morphs in to a shoot 'em up.
Another feature of The Next Penelope that is different from your typical racer is that there's a progression. Regard has laid out a story with special moments in it to work toward.
"One of my favorite racing games is Ridge Racer Type 4," Regard told IndieGames.com. "Not because of the gameplay, but because at the end of the game, you were living the countdown for the year 2000 with fireworks and all (the game was release few months before). THAT was special."
The Next Penelope also has anime and Greek mythology influences. Ulysses wife, Penelope, is the star of the story. Ulysses 31 was a favorite anime of Regard's, so he has built what he calls an alternative Ulysses 31 universe to pay homage.
This game is being developed in Construct 2, and it runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux now. Regard is also interested in console ports.
The Next Penelope looks like it would be a lot of fun. I like how every ability is tied to energy use, and I love how free exploration earns you more abilities. Smart stuff. Watch the dev video -- the boss fights look great.
Read more on The Next Penelope at IndieGames.com.