Drift Zone Review
The racing game genre has a little something for everybody, from casual fare like Burnout to more serious titles like Forza Motorsport. Awesome Industries’ Drift Zone certainly falls into the former camp with its over-the-top skids, but does it make for a solid title?
Drift Zone Review
Drift Zone does exactly what it says on the tin – players are given the chance to drift their car around a set area, accumulating points and getting cash along the way. Depending on your performance (which is judged by a leaderboard and three star setup), players can then unlock the next track and do the same thing over again. The grind is most certainly real, and the fact that the game kicks you back to the title screen after each individual section makes for a serious exercise in patience.
It’s not like there is a lot to do in this game. Drift Zone is a modified port of the mobile game of the same name, and with that comes gameplay that was originally designed for touchscreen devices. Options include Circuit Drift (which has players hitting checkpoints and getting points), Classic (which has players drifting along a specific section of the track), and Freestyle (which has no limits). Though there is split-screen support, there is not much variety between these modes.
No matter which mode you choose, players are out on a track and have to drift their way across a specific area. There is a speed bonus available for those who drive fast, but most of the game will have you getting into a drift almost right away. However, the physics in this game are downright broken. Cars handle like tanks on ice – it takes a while to build momentum, and everything feels slow. Fans of Ridge Racer’s over-the-top drifting mechanics will be shocked to see how Drift Zone handles drifting – the slightest turn will have players going every which way. It’s grossly exaggerated, and though the main objective of the game is to drift, it feels like you lack control when going into one of these maneuvers.
Cash can be earned in the game, which can then be spent to overhaul a number of rides. A lack of licensing rights mean that the cars available are nondescript, which makes everything feel generic. Though the body, paint, suspension, and tuning can be tweaked for each one, the differences are minimal. Paired with the fact that there is a ton of stuff to unlock, and you can see that this game can feel more like work than entertainment.
Drift Zone’s concept is basic enough as it is, but the broken physics and repetitive nature make it an exercise in patience. Fans of arcade racers are better off playing one of the classics.