Drift Runners 2
Have you ever watched The Fast and the Furious? Do you own an Initial D card? Have you considered drifting into your parking lot? If you answered 'yes' to any one or all of these questions, then Drift Runners 2 is for you.
Made by Long Animals, Drift Runners 2 is a surprisingly deep racing game. Use the [arrow] or [WASD] keys to steer and accelerate, and [X] or the [spacebar] to activate your turbo when applicable. It's played from the top-down perspective, the better to see the track ahead and control your drifts to get lined up for the next one. You'll spend the majority of your time skidding around corners: the first track even has an achievement for drifting through an entire lap without hitting the walls. Drifts gain you points and speed boost energy. The more drifts you chain together, the higher your score multiplier. Score and achievements get you new cars, upgrades, and track unlocks.
The controls are satisfying, and it's easy to put your car into a skid to beat your competitors around the corner. The early tracks are simple enough, but soon you'll find yourself having to rely on skill and timing your boosts perfectly to beat out your fellow drifters. The difficulty ramps up quickly; admittedly, I'm pretty bad at racing games, but I found myself having a hard time making that crucial switch from 4th to 3rd place. Part of it is the downside of the drift-ready controls. It's actually sometimes too easy to end up in a drift, and often I'd find myself skidding into the wall before I had time to realize that I was in last place. You'll likely find yourself restarting tracks a lot, trying to get a higher ranking or that essential last achievement.
On the upside, the game saves your progress from session to session, so you can revisit your drifting career again and again. It'll take a long time, even once you've perfecting your drifting skills: there are 25 tracks, each with at least one achievement to work towards and a corresponding bonus level, for 50 in total. There are 10 cars to choose from, as well, with four levels of upgrades for each one. Needless to say, here's a lot of depth to this game. You can even use your own MP3s for the soundtrack if you get tired of the upbeat racing themes.
Overall, Drift Runners 2 is a fun, fast-paced drifting simulator that knows what it has to do and does it well. There's enough customization and variety within this game that it'll keep you working on it for a while, and the gameplay is different enough that it'll appeal to gear heads and casual gamers alike.