SkyDrift

SkyDrift_cover
6.0 Overall Score

Written by on November 1, 2011 in [, , , , ]

 

SkyDrift, from Digital Reality, is an action flyer that sort of resembles kart games except you’re in a plane. You race against seven other planes and collect power-ups along the way to cause havok against your opponents, or to repair and protect yourself from the others. Flying over various terrain, you maneuver, dodge, and speed your way to the finish line.

Unlike other aerial combat games for the 360 in which you try to complete missions and advance through the story, this game presents you with a “campaign” that has no story and you just race over the same courses over and over again completing different race types in a level to advance through to the final level which uses a combination of the different race styles presented throughout the game.

At the beginning, you start with a limited number of planes to choose from, as you progress through the game additional plane types and skins for these planes are unlocked. Unlocking the other planes and skins basically requires you to finish so many races within each level, winning, and playing or winning so many online races.

 

Once you get started in SkyDrift there’s a handy tutorial that teaches you about all of the power ups, how to boost, and how to play the game in general. The announcer reminds me a little of the Mr. Feeny character from Boy Meets World but I’m fairly certain it’s not the same guy (no indication of such on the Internet Movie Database). Other than that, there’s no other interaction, unless you play online and listen to the trash talk of other players.

The game play is fairly simple, you fly, boost to go faster, and pick up the power-ups to shoot down your opponents or prevent them from putting you down. The game kind of feels like a slow version of Quantum Redshift for the original Xbox. If you’ve never played that (or heard of it), then Nintendo gamers might feel like it’s Mario Kart in the sky, but without the fun characters. Your opponents in the single-player “campaign” are always the same, and they don’t really have any characteristics that differentiate them from each other. Basically it’s like flying against seven clones of yourself, except depending on the level of difficulty you’re playing on, they’re just better at avoiding cliffs, rocks, and the ground than you are.

There are three racing modes: Power Race (with power ups), Speed Race, and Elimination. Power Race is essentially how I described the game above, you collect the power ups and either use them against your opponents or convert them into boost to fly faster. Speed Race introduces rings that you fly through to make you go faster. There aren’t any power ups, so hitting the rings and using your boost correctly is essential to getting ahead. Finally, there’s Elimination. This mode starts a countdown clock about a minute into the race and when that countdown hits zero, the plane in last place at that time is destroyed eliminating them from the race. Power-ups are used in this mode, though. So shooting down a plane just ahead of you when you’re in last place to get ahead of them is fairly satisfying.

 

Online, the racing is the same. You basically choose to go into a quick match, or custom match and you’re on your way. The competition is better and the matches are a bit more fun. It doesn’t appear to be very popular, though as I’ve spent a long time waiting for anybody to show up to race against. Using coordinated session through the various message boards, forums and game achievement tracking sites is a definite recommendation.

Overall, the game play is pretty mundane, especially in single player, but if you enjoy Kart style racing, then this game can scratch that itch.

A review code for SkyDrift was provided to TMG for the purpose of evaluation and review.

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Author: Erik Johnsen View all posts by
A married gamer that spends time editing many of the articles you read right here at The Married Gamers. Erik sometimes reviews Xbox One games and writes articles, but spends his available free time from work or hanging out with his family hunting achievements for a higher gamerscore.

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