Every ’80s kid dreamed of making their own video game as they slammed on buttons and jabbed at D-pads. Most of us grew up, got jobs, and forgot about those dreams. Not Chase Pettit and Charles Blanchard, though.
The basic mechanics of Drift Stage are pretty clear just from the title, but just to cover the basics, it’s a racing game with a heavy focus on drifting through turns. The more drifting you do through the turns, and keeping your car under control, the better you’ll do in the race. So it’s pretty straightforward, mechanically, but what about how it looks? Ah, that’s where the real joy comes in.
The aesthetics are what really sell this game. First of all, although it’s a full 3D game, the images are gleefully pixelized to better create that sense of 8-bit nostalgia. Secondly, they go all out with the ’80s theme: Everything is splashed in Day-Glo colors, the cars are knock-offs of the most bitchin’ cars of the era, and the score is heavy on the synths and light on the other orchestration. You’d be forgiven for thinking this is an artifact straight from the era itself, not unlike the legendary Hotline Miami.
The ’80s Live!
It’s a little inspiring that two guys are taking the time to realize a game like this. Granted, it’s not the most complex of games, but so what? Complexity doesn’t make it boring or fun, and being able to whip around S-curves in a neon wonderland is appealing just on its own merits. All they need to do is include local co-op play and they’ve got a contender for Game People Are Most Likely To Play On The Couch. Now, can you guys add a few Ferraris to the mix?
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.