The hit PC drifting game Absolute Drift finally arrives on the Switch at last. This self proclaimed zen game is something really special and presents a welcome challenge. Get ready for precise driving and lots of crashing/practice in this arcade style driving game focused entirely on the automotive art of drifting. Do you have the finesse to be a truly zen driver?
While Absolute Drift may appear simple at first, it's surprisingly challenging and sophisticated. Your goal is to make your way through what seems to be a toy car track in your drift car, completing various tasks and courses as you do so. There are a variety of approximations of real life cars to choose from, which will certainly appeal to gearheads.
The driving mechanics are something quite special. Most racing games that have a drifting component make the experience really exhausting and complicated but Absolute Drift goes in a wonderfully different direction. Holding a slide in most racing games (Need for Speed and the like) feel either impossible or cartoonishly easy but it’s simple and responsive in Absolute Drift. It's still challenging and practice definitely makes perfect but once you get a feel for it, even the trickiest maneuvers will become child's play. The best way to describe it is a driving game that plays like a "SoulsBourne" title; you'll crash a lot (a whole lot) but get a little better each time.
Lastly, the offset overhead perspective is a little odd at first but once you get past the initial awkwardness it feels natural as well. Absolute Drift is like what you imagine while playing with Hot Wheels as a kid, arcade driving in its purest form.
Most of the levels are designed to help you hone your drifting skills: instead of racing other cars, you have to complete various tasks on each racecourse that correspond to a different skill you'll need to develop to master this game. The overworld has a surprising exploration element and rewards you for completing all the hidden tasks with new areas to explore and cars to drive.
Graphics / Art Direction
The graphics and art style match the "zen" theme this game employs perfectly. Absolute Drift looks like some kind of surreal toy car track and this aesthetic is just as simple and effective as the rest of the game. It gives you just enough and nothing extraneous.
Final Score: 85%
Absolute Drift is something special: it breaks the mold of most driving games and what you wind up with is a game that's fun and challenging but never feels unfair or overly technical. The simplicity is where it really shines: the controls, graphics and concept are all bare bones and better off for it. In a nutshell, Absolute Drift is the epitome of "less is more".
Thank you for checking out our Absolute Drift Switch review, thank you to Game Drive NL for providing the review code and thank you to our $5 and up Patreon Backers for their ongoing support:
- Andrew Caluzzi (INCA Studios / Camped Out)
- Bel Cubitt
- Jon Crispe
- Matthew Sandstrom