I am slowly working my way through a backlog of games I need to cover. Partly due to my ADHD and also part down to an ever-increasing amount of wonderful titles that steal my time. Absolute Drift took a chuck of that time when it came to the Switch.
This isn’t my first time around with Absolute Drift, so this will be less about mechanics and gameplay and more about why I like this game and the main developer Dune Casu.
If you’ve not heard of Dune before then I implore you to check out his work. Absolute Drift is amazing, but he is also behind the wonderful art of rally. Both of these titles are incredible works. Games you can absolutely lose yourself in for hours upon hours.
If you want to hear my thoughts on art of rally then here is a video for you.
Absolute Drift is the game that first made me aware of Dune, in all fairness I didn’t actually care who he was, I just knew I like this wonderful game and wanted whatever he was serving up next. But what makes Absolute Drift so special in my eyes?
It takes the concept of drift events, gymkhana, etc and simplifies it down to the core mechanics whilst still somehow allowing you to appreciate the complexity and skill of the real-life counterparts.
The game itself manages to put you into a zen-like stated at times, but also somehow be as frustrating as hell. The difficulty options are so well tuned, you can go from throwing your car around levels with barely a thought to losing control should you breathe a bit too heavy.
The is a happy medium of course, but the game really wants you to be the best you can be. The structure of each event, along with the overworld challenges make for a wonderful time. I found myself getting lost in the playground of spins, doughnuts and drifts, forgetting I even had challenges to complete.
Those challenges and events are well structured too. It can be easy to complete a single task or two, but you really need your wits about you to get the full set ticked off. But the brilliance here is that the game allows you to do this at your own pace and doesn’t belittle you for taking your sweet time.
You do need to unlock new areas and in truth, this gets more difficult the further you go, but never to the point where you feel like you hit a wall with progression.
Visually Absolute Drift is stunning, with a toned back minimalistic aesthetic with a muted colour scheme. Your objectives are easy to spot through this thanks to the red markers really standing out. Whilst I think art of rally is a much better looking game, Absolute Drift still holds up and has a style all its own.
Whether you pick this up on cheap via Steam or pay extra for the console versions, you absolutely must add this to your library. For me, it has mental health benefits too. Thanks to the mix of aesthetic and game design coming together in such a sublime way.
Absolute Drift offers up a wonderful bit of escapism and makes you feel good when you beat the various tasks on offer, without ever making you feel crap about not being able to progress. I cannot state how important that can be at times. I am all for difficulty, but games that will stop you from experiencing the most of what they offer because you are not good enough… Well, they are problematic.
Absolute Drift doesn’t have this problem and instead invites you to get better whilst giving you the option to just stay in your comfort zone. Whilst this originally came out in 2015, I can thankfully say this is one of my games of 2020 thanks to the Switch port.