If I were to tell you that an awesome new flight racing title hit the Playstation Network Store and Xbox Live Arcade earlier this week, you’d probably say, “What game is that?” It’s a true shame this title hasn’t received any media attention, but Skydrift is really a great game.
So what is Skydrift? I’ll put it bluntly. It’s airborne Mario Kart. That’s all there really is to explain about it. Skydrift is NOT a flight simulator. It’s pure arcade-style racing fun. Did I already mention it’s like Mario Kart gone airborne? In Skydrift, you’ll have the opportunity to play with eight airplanes, six of which have to be unlocked through campaign progression, that each has different statistics.
Each level contains topsy-turvy obstacles and even waterfalls and lava-flows. Everything looks nice. For you, the player, that’s probably the least you should be worrying about. Remember how I said Skydrift is like “Airborne Mario Kart?” What’s the goal in Mario Kart? To blast any and every opponent racing ahead of you. Once that’s completed, you take their position within the race. Frankly, the identical principles apply for Skydrift, with very different power-ups, of course.
In Skydrift, there are six power-ups. A rocket, machine gun, shield, plane repair, air-mine, and shockwave blast power-up. If an opponent grabs a debilitating weapon before you, you better hope they aren’t inclined to use the weapon on you specifically. There’s quite a deal of strategy when it comes to using power-ups. I’ll keep it basic. If you are falling behind, your best power-up to grab is the rocket launcher or the machine guns. If in first place, grab the air-mine or the shield to protect you from being inevitably destroyed subsequently losing your place in the race. If there’s a missile locked onto you, let’s hope you are in the possession of a shockwave bomb. Launching the shockwave bomb will instantaneously save you. It’s relatively straightforward. It’s definitely not a difficult concept to grasp. The only difficult thing to get use to, like all flight-games, is the plane controls. I definitely recommend using an airplane with good maneuverability.
Speaking of maneuverability, I don’t know why, but I seem to have had some issues with the levels. Although they’re beautifully designed with wondrous landscapes, the boundaries aren’t exactly set clear for the player. I know what you’re thinking, “It’s a racing game! Of course you can’t go anywhere you darn-well please!” That’s not exactly what I meant. There are directions you can definitely fly your plane to that aren’t “shortcuts” in the slightest, but you can’t seem to fly in the direction, ending up crashing your plane and losing your position in the race. There’s also an issue where, when you crash and respawn, you’re already flying into a wall crashing your plane all over again. Crashing two times in a row isn’t a satisfactory feeling. This seems to be an issue that plagues all racing games.
Unfortunately, since this title isn’t really known about, I couldn’t locate an online match against human players, so there’s nothing I can directly say about the multiplayer but it’s the same shindig as the single-player campaign. I would expect a game like this to have split-screen multiplayer, but that wasn’t the case in Skydrift. With an empty multiplayer lobby, and no split-screen, you’ll probably be playing this title in your lonesome for quite some time.