It’s sleek, it’s beautiful, looks great in the dark and loves to get it on fast and hard with no pretense for small talk whatsoever. If Nova Drift were a woman, it would be my dream date. Heck, it would be my dream wife. Succeeding where other Asteroid-clones have failed, Nova Drift by indie developer Chimerac and Pixeljam takes the very simple thrust and gun gameplay that these games flourished on and places it squarely inside a kaleidoscope of gorgeously rendered graphics.

Don’t think this is simply Asteroids with better graphics, it’s more than that. This is a fully over-the-top shoot-at-everything-kinda-game. The focus is on the visceral pleasure of destroying all the bad stuff while grabbing power-ups that enable you to equip your ship with RPG like elements. Graphics aside, the allure here is being able to power up your ship with a slew of weapon combinations to create the ultimate killing machine.

There’s no story per se, but it has something to do with you, a Bad-Ass pilot trying to survive an onslaught of attacks from asteroids and wave after wave of enemy ships. By design, there are a lot of things floating around in space that’s trying to put a major hurt on you. The tactics required to survive is to obtain power-ups to enhance your current arsenal. Once you get the hang of the RPG type builds, the game goes from extremely hard to incredibly easy in no time. As long as you’re powering up, it’s very difficult to die – unless you’re doing something really stupid like sitting still in the middle of the screen.

Control is obviously best suited for a gamepad, although you can use the keyboard/mouse combo. Graphically, Nova Drift looks as good as any of the classic shoot ’em up space games out there — which is to say, really damn good. So good, in fact, you’ll wish the developer had made a deeper game to take advantage of the great looking visuals and soundtrack. But they didn’t so we’ll just have to wait and see what Chimeric/PixelJam’s next project will be. In the meantime, what we’re left with is a near perfect game to pick up and play when you feel like blowing things up. It may not do much more than that, but what it does do, it does brilliantly.

PROS
– Great graphics and sound
– Simple playability focusing on lots of action
– Well done revamp with an RPG flair

 

CONS
– Will leave your hands/fingers numb after a few hours

OVERALL
– A visually stunning and neat looking arcade shooter. Who knew space could look so pretty!

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Very Good

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