An ode to OutRun, Slipstream is an 80s indie driving game about drifting at right angles to make right turns, outfitted with a wondrous pixelated backdrop. It isn’t exactly original and tracks are pretty bland (you’re either just cruising straightaways or drifting hard) but it is still a cool experience.
There are a handful of cars available but each one controls a little differently. Despite the selected vehicle and its level of control, the gimmick of the game is drifting. Accelerating, then pumping the break, then accelerating causes the car to drift when moving left or right. There are some finger gymnastics involved but there is an auto-drift option available in the options screen. After struggling in the main Grand Tour mode, I switched to auto drift and made a world of difference in my performance although it felt a bit like cheating. In other words, without proper drifting skills, you have no chance.
Even with auto-drift activated, this is still a difficult game. Grand Tour is unique because if you finish one heat, the game just moves right into the next match without stopping. It actually gives players a choice too. Like exiting a highway, the player can turn one way to play one track or take the left exit to race the other. It is smooth transition from one track to the other and the player choice mechanic is appreciated.
Passing your rival and moving to the next track is easier said than done. Often requiring nothing less than perfection, one crash or slip up can cause your rival to gain the better position and never look back. Also, when stationed behind a rival car or an NPC vehicle that is just there to get in the way, an air drift boost will auto trigger sometimes with negative outcomes. During a turn, you might be drifting behind a car, then boost right into another turn due to the slipstream, then crash without having enough reaction time. Even with the simple track design, boosting can actually cause the player more harm than good.
There is also a battle royal mode where the last racer gets booted and a local multiplayer offering so there are other distractions from the main race. Although racing shows its blemishes over time, there is no denying the cool visual theme and 80s soundtrack. The way the assets in the background move makes the game looks 3D and can’t help but wonder how cool this might have been as a 3DS release. Even though its has faults, this is still a driving game that is recommended for novelty alone.
Way More Fun Than: Music Racer
Much More Playable Than: Mini Madness
Don’t Forget About: Absolute Drift
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com
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