Powerslide is based on a post apocalyptic world, where virtually the whole population has died. Those that remain are split into two groups; the "freaks" who have been mutated by the radiation, and the "rich" who have set up villages underground to escape any radiation.
Powersliding is the freaks recreational activity in which they compete in championships for fresh fruit, which is very rare due to the fallout.
In the game you can control any one of a number of characters and compete in these championships (Novice, Advanced, and Expert) to try and become the top Powerslider.
Powerslide was coined as a "go anywhere" arcade racer, this means that within the set courses the player was free to explore any routes they think may be quicker, or to find entirely new routes.
There are three modes:
- Single race: where you can race on any of the tracks you have unlocked.
- Timetrial: Where you try to set the fastest time on any of the unlocked tracks.
- Championship: This is the main mode of the game where you work your way through the three championships to become the top racer. As you complete races and win championships you unlock tracks and cars for use in the other modes. Once beating Expert championship a further Insane championship is unlocked as well as the "supercar" which is the fastest car in the game.
Up to 8 players were able to play online and had a choice of two modes to choose from:
Single race: which is the same as in singleplayer
Fox and hounds: A deathmatch mode where you attempt to destroy as many of the other players as you can using a bomb or the flame shot.
The graphics and sound were very advanced for their time and were praised by the media. The graphics allowed 300,000 polygons on screen at one time while the sound was able to recognise when you moved inside and altered to for echos, making a more immersive experience.