Let me start this review by saying that despite the terrible name, #Drive is probably the best car racer I’ve ever played in my life. This former mobile exclusive title takes the world’s simplest concept, adds a ton of features without inflating the overall experience, and tops it all off with tons of style and a rewarding gameplay loop that leads to a very engaging experience.

A step beyond absolute drift.

In #Drive, you choose a car and a level, and then it’s obvious: you drive until you crash or fill up your tank, while trying to beat your best score. It’s the perfect combination for a car racer: you don’t have to accelerate, because the game does it for you automatically. Pay attention to steering, drifting and braking, and try to avoid cars and other obstacles. You should also try to collect cans to fill your gas gauge, keys to repair your car and bottle caps to increase your points.

It sounds simple, and even if it’s true, that doesn’t mean the game isn’t fun. #Drive constantly rewards you with different types of currency that you can use to unlock new cars, garage upgrades, and new levels. It takes a while to get the cheapest (and worst) cars, but once you get the hang of the initially slippery controls, which are more a result of the mess of the original cars, you quickly become hooked on this reward system.

#Drive even has a rudimentary but decent photo mode.

You can’t just brake whenever you want, because the cold gauge is activated when you brake, so you’ll have to rely more on the controls than anything else. In the first levels, you can easily stop to pick up pickups, while in the next levels you can place cans and keys in more difficult and boring gas stations. Since you get the same score in each level, you can take your time honing your skills in the first levels before venturing into the more challenging ones. I really appreciate that although #Drive is extremely difficult, it is also very forgiving.

All the cars are low-poly versions of true classics, as are other retro racing cars like Art of Rally and Horizon Chase Turbo. In addition to a few favorite models like the Mini Cooper, Toyota AE86 and Jaguar XJ220, #Drive is filled with all sorts of pop culture vehicles. These include the Reliant Robin and Peel P50 from Top Gear, the pickup from Breaking Bad, the DeLorean from Back to the Future and the Cadillac that looks a lot like the Ecto-1 from Ghostbusters. You can also unlock a “cool” version of each car by paying two thousand extra bottle caps, which make them go a little faster and earn more points per mile.

Dude, shut up for a second.

# The record’s soundtrack is also a highlight # Each level has an infinitely twisted but well-composed melody that fits perfectly with the overall theme. The California track is a bluesy song with a slight country accent, the British one sounds like 60s garage rock, and the German one sounds like something Kraftwerk could have easily composed.

Unfortunately, the sound department is hampered by the only voice actor in the game, the man who drives your car. That man doesn’t know when to shut up. If you pick up an object, he spits out a sentence, and if you miss one, he says something too. If you decide to do nothing at all, he will still decide to say something. It was funny at first, but I got tired of that voice, which reminded me more of the optimistic James Gandolfini.

In the desert, we don’t remember His name.

I really like the minimalist artistic style of #Drive, not only in the cars, but in the whole design. His routes are varied and pleasant to look at, from an old road in the California desert to a snowy landscape in the UK. You can even go to Mars later. While it is a fairly elegant game, the visual department suffers from a few problems.

Because it’s an auto-runner, it gets a little repetitive after a while. If you absolutely want to improve your previous record on a certain level, you will have to look at the same scenery for minutes on end. This is also hampered by the game’s limited lighting effects and the very narrow space between characters. Finally, #Drive suffers from inconsistent frame rates, and oddly enough, this is more noticeable in docked mode. The game actually works much better in portable mode, which surprises me.

Bottle caps are the main bargaining chip of the game. No, it’s not in the same universe as Fallout.

#The disc may suffer from some technical problems, but the gameplay is fine. The controls are a perfect blend of simplicity and complexity. It is streamlined, elegant and rich in content. It manages to reward players who have a slow pace, as well as a very useful progression system. After a few staged scenes, you can always afford something new. It’s the best car racer I’ve ever played, and it’s an easy one to recommend to Switch owners and car enthusiasts.

#Drive has a nice low-poly art style, but it is hampered by limited lighting, repetitive backgrounds and inconsistent frame rate. It works better in portable mode than in connected mode. # Driving is a lot more complex than the average motorist, and that’s a good thing.# It will take some time to get used to the different features, the occasional chassis hiccups, and the smooth steering of the original cars you have in your garage.
The soundtrack may be great, but the voice work can get a little boring after a few minutes. Despite its simplicity, #Drive achieves three very important things: an engaging game loop, tons of content and a reward progression system.
Final verdict: 8.5

#Drive is now available on mobile and Switch.

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A copy of the #Drive was provided by the publisher.

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