Drift Runners brings back memories of years in my youth spent playing Rock ‘n Roll Racing on the SNES. It’s a retro influenced isometric racer.
As a rule I detest isometric games. I spend more time trying far too much time trying to work out which key will move me in which direction. Unfortunately the disparity between key locations and world orientation is normally enough to make me give up, long before I’ve given the game a proper chance to shine.
Thankfully there’s an exception, much like Rock ‘n Roll Racing, Drift Runners sidesteps the traditional control issues that isometric games have by giving you a forwards key and then rotating the vehicle around it’s centre point to turn. Unfortunately this is the sort of thing only racing games can do as isometric games can be a lot of fun once you get in to them.
As you can tell from the name Drift Runners actually models itself after the increasingly popular sport drift racing. I must admit I get the impression this is an American sport as I only learnt about it recently (via the entertaining, albeit slightly bizarre, “Hogan Knows Best” repeats running on TMF in the UK).
To make things more interesting Drift Runners grabs the drifting and racing elements of the sport, and then added lumps and bumps, and physical obstacles to bash and crash through.
Visually Drift Runners is slightly below par. The vehicles look and move well but the environment and interface are a little rough around the edges. The interactive elements help make things more interesting and the looks don’t detract from the fast frantic gameplay in any way.
All told Drift Runners is a fun little toy that will happily waste your lunch break for you.