If you haven’t heard of Drift Stage yet, as I hadn’t this morning, then prepare to have your world enlightened. It’s one of the few efforts I’ve seen to make an arcade racer that looks and feels like one, and besides Distance, it’s definitely the only good one. It’s especially telling that the alpha demo only comes with one track you race over and over… and I played it for a half hour. And I want to play it more, the only reason I stopped was to write this article.
As you can tell by the title, it’s all about drifting in order to manage your speed. Every time you hit a wall, you lose some of your speed meter, and can lose a gear if you lose enough meter.
The actual nuances of performing the drifting were somewhat arcane for a little while. You have to let go of the accelerator and brake, which for a while tripped me up because I didn’t realize that after that, you can let go of the brake and start accelerating again. For a while I kept losing huge amounts of speed, more speed than I would lose if I just kept slamming into walls on the sharp turns.
This might be the first Kickstarter I ever back. It’s already $16,000 beyond its goal, but $15 will get you access to the beta builds here. I think that’s what I’m going to do.