Drift21 fills a very specific hole in the gaming market. Drift21 is a driving simulator with an emphasis on drifting specifically, and fully customizable vehicles currently in early access. That’s it! That’s the whole game. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it certainly cuts down the number of people this game can actually appeal too. This is very much an experience for racing fans, and even at that the emphasis on drifting may push the average racing fan away. Drift21’s main content is for fans of in-depth drift mechanics, and car enthusiasts as gameplay is split between drifting levels, and a main garage area in which you can customize your car and purchase new parts. Trying to appeal to a niche audience helps give Drift21 a sense of identity and purpose, but is that enough to make a compelling game?
Overall, the drifting aspect is enjoyable for what it is. At first, I was worried playing on controller was going to ruin the experience, but the control scheme feels nice which is really all you can ask for at the end of the day in drifting game. Although other modes are available, such as a newly added multiplayer mode, time trial is definitely the mode that suits Drift21 the best. There is a decent selection of courses to chose from, however some require upgrades to be made to the car in the garage. The drifting feels good and the course selection is adequate, but that’s about all there is to say about it. As someone who is not a huge fan of racing games, let alone one focusing just on drifting, I was becoming uninterested with the repetitive gameplay. An average video game fan could probably get at maximum five hours of enjoyment out of Drift21, but by that point I would find it surprising anyone who aren’t there for the gameplay could keep going. Racing for a high score on each stage is enjoyable, but even that becomes repetitive quickly.
The other big aspect of the game is the garage. Sadly, this part is not my cup of tea. Every single part in the car is not only fully customizable, but mandatory upon purchasing a new vehicle. I am not a car person, so I was pretty lost. Although tutorials were available to make installing the car parts easier, text boxes can only help so much. The garage is probably very enjoyable for car fans, but that’s the issue once again. The extremely in-depth car system is only able to appeal to so many people. Once I hit a point where I had no idea what I needed to put in my car, and the game was telling me I required certain parts to continue I started to question why I was even playing in the first place as someone who doesn’t care much for the car medium. Also, the sensitivity in the garage is ridiculous! Some of the hitboxes to add parts into the car are extremely small. I had to switch to mouse and keyboard just to put in some of the car’s smaller parts. Perhaps car fans will have a good time with this section of the game, but it’s certainly not for me.
There is very little to say about Drift21. Sure the graphics are nice, and the sound design is good, but neither of those are important unless you’re a fan of the gameplay. If you are not a fan of drifting, and car maintenance then there is no reason to purchase this game. Although I am definitely more likely to recommend this game to a of drifting or car maintenance, I sadly am not even sure about that. It’s hard to tell what the drifting aficionado what think of Drift21’s mechanics. The games $25 price tag may be too high based on the amount of content actually provided, of course all of that is subject to change as this game is still in early access. Overall, if you like drifting and cars, this may be your game, but be ready because that’s all this game is. As far as everyone else goes, I see very little reason to pick up this game especially at its price tag considering the vast number of other games at a similar price of higher quality.