The Drift Challenge came out on the Steam platform on January 29th, 2021, and, well, was way nicer than I expected for 99 cents.

It was developed and released by Vencious Games and is currently in early access right now, which means a couple of things. First off, based on what’s available in game now, the price is likely to go up. What’s available now is something called Free Drift mode that gives you the chance to learn the controls, earn some money, and raise your level, in the five different areas of this game mode. Each level has different challenges to complete, which earns you a big cash reward when you do. There is also an online multiplayer mode, which I explored by myself because apparently no one else is playing this right now. At least not at the same time as I am. On the level select screen, the promise of a career, challenge, and free roam mode are supposedly in development.

What early access also means, is that it’s far from a perfect game at the moment. At the start, I couldn’t get my controller to work, and was forced to use just the keyboard. After backing out of the first level, my controller was suddenly working, which made the gameplay much easier. It also means there isn’t much to do between only the two game modes, which isn’t too bad because the driving itself is very fun, but I am looking forward to the prospect of having more ways to play and progress. Supposedly before I had purchased it, they had already made adjustments to the drifting to make that more smooth, and they have added a link to their Discord so you can connect with the developers to let them know what you think and what improvements they can make, which shows they definitely want to do more with this game, and I’m very excited about that. With that in mind, the game already has a lot to offer for being only 99 cents.

The level design looks great and is actually pretty smooth, though there is definitely an end to each level that you can drive off of and fall forever. There are multiple cars to choose from, but you need money to unlock those and currently there are not many ways to earn all of the money required. I assume the career mode will help with that when it’s released. There is also a bonus, Cash Drive, where you have a minute to drift into as many cash blocks as you can, but you can only do that once every four hours. There is even an upgrade system for each car, where you can purchase a better engine, suspension, tires, rims, and body color, though I’m pretty sure those last two are just cosmetic.

For a game that’s in early access, I’m pretty pleased with it, especially for it’s current low price, and I’m very much looking forward to future additions, though those aren’t necessarily a guarantee. Starting this week, I’m going to introduce a rating system for the games I play, mostly based on how much fun I had while playing. I will take into account things like story writing and gameplay, but this is more about how much fun I can have with a game that cost me $2 or less. So that being said, I’m giving The Drift Challenge a 4.5/5. It was fun to play, and it also has a lot of promise.