Distance is survival racing. Fusing arcade racing action with exploration, your car must survive by jumping, rotating, and flying through a deadly and mysterious city.
User reviews:
Very Positive (37 reviews) - 94% of the 37 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Very Positive (2,419 reviews) - 94% of the 2,419 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Dec 9, 2014

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“We think Early Access is a great avenue for us to continue to iterate on Distance with new players the same way we've been doing it since we released our private alpha to Kickstarter backers in August 2013. We're still working on improving many aspects of the game and we're always excited to get new feedback based on our changes.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

(Updated Dec. 2016) Distance will exit early access when it's ready. Until the game is feature and content complete we aren't prepared to commit to a date, but at this moment we are aiming to release it as soon as possible in 2017.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

(Updated Dec. 2016) While Adventure mode will remain short, it will have more content as well as a more fleshed out story. The arcade and multiplayer experiences will be continually updated based on community feedback. Aside from general polish we also plan to experiment with at least one new car, more achievements, and an in-game announcer.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

(Updated Dec. 2016) Distance as it is released on Steam early access is really far along. It's a fairly stable beta release with a wide variety of single player and multiplayer features, a work-in-progress version of our short story mode, random track generation, a ghost/replay system, a powerful level editor, Steam Workshop integration (with 1,800+ levels uploaded so far), etc.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“We haven't decided. We're going to price the game based on what we think the value of the game is after Early Access.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We've involved the Distance community right from the beginning since it was community funded on Kickstarter. We monitor our forums and are actively on social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook. Community members can also use the level editor to create and share their levels on Workshop. We've already seen and played some great community created levels and we're excited to see what'll come next.”
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Recent updates View all (59)

March 28

Exp. Build 5221, March Devlog

Hey everyone! It's been a wild month balancing Adventure mode, Arcade mode, PAX East, and everything in between. Today I can finally unveil what we've been creating in the Arcade mode branch of development via Experimental Build 5221!


Stunt mode has needed some serious love since the initial release on early access. We figured that we either needed to improve the mode dramatically, or cut it entirely. This experimental build features a wide variety of changes to the mode and trick detection in general. Instead of describing the changes we made in great detail, we figured it was better to see how much of it comes through if we don't explain anything. If you're not picking up on the changes then one way or another we probably need to make things more clear or intuitive.

Kristian and Brent (a.k.a. Krispy and Ashamael) took a short break from Adventure mode work to design and decorate an entirely new level for Stunt called Neon Park! I highly recommend checking it out for the best experience when playing the new mode.

I've also thrown in an early version of the Distance stunt announcer. To be honest I'm not entirely satisfied with the direction thus far, though I figured it was better to have some version in rather than nothing for this first experimental build. I'm very curious what others think of this version and I do hope to continue iterating on the feel and implementation of the new voice.


The other major feature we're including in this update is the Animator component! Just how Golden Simples and Particles dramatically changed how level creators decorate their levels, the Animator is another level of power, enabling motion in your levels. It allows most objects in the game to moved, rotated, or scaled through a variety of animation settings.

On top of that we've connected the Animator to a new trigger system to allow for things like doors or whatever you can imagine. Check out ExampleLevels/animator examples.bytes in the level editor to see a few examples.

For the full changelog and to share feedback, check out the latest experimental branch Steam forum thread:


As I mentioned previously, development this month has really been all over the place. For the most part I've been working with the newly formed "Adventure Crew" (Kristian, Brent, and Galen) to ensure they have what they need to iterate on Adventure mode. That includes quite a few bug fixes and revamps to existing editor tools and objects. Aside from tools, my focus has been largely on production planning and providing creative direction for the story. It's been quite refreshing to take a step back from level design, be continually presented with new level content, and focus on how the pieces all fit together.

Kyle has been largely focused on Stunt mode, figuring out how to simultaneously make the mode more engaging for new players and complex for experienced ones. He started by taking some old Stunt gameplay experiments of mine and heavily refined them until he ended up with the system we have today. It's the classic challenge of creating a mode that's both intuitive and complex. We're very excited to read what others think of the progress so far.

While Jason had been bouncing between various projects over the past couple months, he ended up zeroing in on the Animator component after Kristian provided a concrete outline of would be expected in that feature. In an impressively short amount of time he's added a lot of complexity to the component, and I feel like we've barely scratched the surface in using it ourselves. Not only can you create just about any obstacle using golden simples, Jason revamped our trigger system to allow for all sorts of interesting behavior. As with any new editor feature I can't wait to see how creators push it to the extreme.

As a sort of middle-of-the-month milestone Ellie and I travelled to Boston for PAX East. Once again we were a bit ambitious with the booth design, mostly in that we had to get so many wires and LEDs to the venue and somehow assemble them. Andrew as usual did an amazing job setting everything up, and then it was down to me and Ellie to figure out how to actually put it all together. In the end it an intense amount of work to pull everything together, but I was really happy the final product.

(mockup of the booth made in Distance's level editor)

(the actual booth at PAX East)

For this expo we did something different and attempted to show the new Stunt changes, partially just for playtesting, but also to show press the latest changes to the game. Kyle did an amazing job pulling together everything tech-wise we needed for the demo build that week, and Kristian and Brent did a great job finishing a version of Neon Park to show off.

We met with a truly surprisingly number of existing Distance players, introduced the game to plenty of new players, chatted with the press, and even organized a few tournaments. It was a fun weekend overall. Finally, a super special thanks to Trace Evans who was incredibly generous and helped out at the booth during a huge chunk of the weekend. Our success at PAX certainly wouldn't have been the same without his help!

PAX East Press Recap
All month long the Adventure Crew have been developing massive improvements to Adventure mode, both in story and gameplay. As usual I can't yet reveal exactly what they've been adding and changing, but I can say that they're doing an excellent job of making the publicly available Adventure mode feel like an ancient relic.

(thanks to all of the DigiPen testers that played and gave great feedback!)

This past weekend we were offered the ability to playtest at DigiPen during their Spring LAN party so we used that milestone to clean up the campaign as best as we could. We crunched like crazy to pull all of the new pieces together, and it was fantastic seeing how the package is coming together. We learned quite a bit about what weaknesses exist in the campaign. Moving forward we need to cut a bit deeper to hit our story goals, but fortunately it seems that new players are finding plenty to enjoy in the current experience.

The rest of the team have been hard at work with secret projects, so there's plenty of cool stuff in the pipeline to be announced. We can't wait to see what everyone thinks of the latest stuff on the experimental branch. If you check out today's build let us know what you think via the Steam forum thread!

- Jordan (@torcht for more frequent dev updates)

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March 4

PAX East, Team Changes, New EULA


Ellie and I will be heading out to Boston for PAX East next week! We’ll be showcasing a preview of our upcoming beta update at Booth #23131. This update features big changes/additions to Arcade gameplay including improvements to Stunt mode, a first version of the announcer, Steam achievements, and a few other surprises!

Of course it wouldn’t be a Refract booth without some ridiculous over-the-top booth lighting. See above for a mockup of the booth I created using Distance’s level editor. I’ll also be posting previews of the lighting tech on Twitter leading up to PAX.

It’ll just be me and Ellie at this year’s expo, so if possible we’re looking for volunteers to help run the booth. If you’re passionate about Distance and are interested in volunteering some time in exchange for expo access, please contact us at ellie@refract.com.


Today I’m excited to announce that Refract has added three new developers to our team! Please join me in welcoming Brent Potter, Galen Heninger, and Kristian Larsen to Distance’s development!

If you’ve been keeping up to date with the Distance community you might know them better as Ashamael, snowstate, and Krispy. They’ve contributed greatly to Distance’s community over the years (on top of creating some incredible level content). We’re excited to now bring them behind the curtain to help complete Distance’s Adventure mode.

(check out Forsaken Shrine for a collaboration between all three creators)

While I can’t yet show the content they’ve been creating for Adventure mode, I recommend checking out their previous works on Steam Workshop. Trust me when I say that the new stuff they’re creating for Adventure mode will be worth the wait.


Finally, on a slightly less exciting note, we’ve updated our EULA and added a dedicated Privacy Policy. You can review it on our website:
If you’ll be at PAX East we hope to see you at Booth #23131! Watch out on Steam for news about upcoming experimental builds. Otherwise stay tuned for more info about our upcoming major update!

- Jordan (@torcht for more frequent dev updates)

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“It’s already terrifically entertaining.”
Rock, Paper, Shotgun

“Videos and words don’t really do justice to Distance. It may be the most instantly exciting, absorbing game I’ve played all year.”

“The amalgamation of jumping, driving and flying is undeniably special and Refract Studios have created a worthy successor to the highly regarded, Nitronic Rush.”
True PC Gaming

About This Game

Distance is survival racing. Fusing arcade racing action with exploration, your car must survive by boosting, jumping, rotating, and flying through a deadly and mysterious city.

The roads are treacherous with obstacles around every corner. Instead of doing laps on a loop, survive to the end in the quickest time. Your car has abilities that not only allow you to drive on the track, but upside down and on buildings and walls! You can also fly to discover new shortcuts and paths. Take on the roads alone, or in multiplayer with your friends!

The game is a spiritual successor to the multi-award winning Nitronic Rush, created by ourselves and 5 others at DigiPen Institute of Technology. It was widely praised for its innovative mechanics, visual style, audio design, and atmosphere.

Key Features

  • Adventure: A short single player experience. Drive into the heart of a dark, mysterious city as you pursue an ominous threat.
  • Arcade: Race ghosts to take on the leaderboards' best. Earn medals to unlock new tracks in several different modes.
  • Multiplayer: Online (up to 12 players) and split-screen (2-4 players) play in modes such as Sprint, Reverse Tag, Stunt, etc.
  • Trackmogrify: Random track generation with advanced seed modifiers.
  • VR: Full VR integration with support for Oculus Rift CV1 and HTC Vive.
  • Level editor: Use a powerful level editor to create levels from within the game and share them with players around the world. Over 1,800 levels have already been shared on Steam Workshop!
  • Original soundtrack: New music from the composer behind award-winning games like Nitronic Rush, Solace, and The Fourth Wall. Listen to a preview here.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.3 GHz or AMD Athlon X2 2.5 GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT or AMD Radeon HD 3830
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 5 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Spec will be revised continually during Early Access
    • OS: Windows 8.1
    • Processor: Intel Core i5 2.5 GHz or AMD FX 4.0 GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 or AMD Radeon HD 7750
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 5 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Spec will be revised continually during Early Access
    • OS: OS X 10.7 (Lion)
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.3 GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA Geforce 640M or ATI Radeon HD 3870
    • Storage: 5 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Spec will be revised continually during Early Access
    • OS: OS X 10.10 (Yosemite)
    • Processor: Intel Core i5 2.5 GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA Geforce GTX 775M or ATI Radeon HD 5870
    • Storage: 5 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Spec will be revised continually during Early Access
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04
    • Processor: Intel Dual-Core 2.3 GHz or AMD Dual-Core Athlon 2.5 GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT or AMD Radeon HD 3830
    • Storage: 5 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Spec will be revised continually during Early Access
    • OS: Ubuntu 14.04
    • Processor: Intel Core i5 2.5 GHz or AMD FX 4.0 GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 or AMD Radeon HD 7750
    • Storage: 5 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Spec will be revised continually during Early Access
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