Jun 29, 2012
The creator of MiniSquadron is back on Android with their endless racing game, Forever Drive. The object is to score as many points as possible, racing against a ticking time meter through track after track, trying not to hit the wall or other vehicles, as they reset the combo meter that increases speed with each successful pass of a vehicle. This is only half of the game, though. The other half is that all the tracks in the game are user-generated through an in-game editor. Players can make their own tracks, and earn rewards for having them be raced often, by making good, highly-rated tracks.
This is a port to Android from iOS, and interestingly, the main change has been in the structure of the game. Now everything is unlocked by coins that can be earned based on in-game performance, or bought with in-app purchases. This compares to the iOS version which had super XP tokens, cars, and colors to buy with real-world money. As well, there are new final boosts that can be used for that one push across a heck point to keep a run going. Nothing is hidden behind level gates any more. It’s simpler and may just be more effective. Otherwise, the core game is the same.
The game is a ton of fun because it enables players to get in to that trance state where they just keep on trying to go on and on, fighting for dear life for high scores. The visual style has that neon futuristic look to it, but the different color schemes keep it looking dynamic. The track editor is extremely easy to use as well, allowing anyone to make a course with no difficulty.
The scoring system is flawed, where on some tracks high scores can’t be obtained unless the player has been doing well from a previous runthrough. Having tracks that are user-created does mean that the amount of content in this game could hypothetically give it replay value that lasts forever, but it also means that trolls who want to design flawed tracks also have their content show up. There’s nothing that can end a great run like some track that obscures the player’s view with objects placed in the track, or with turns that are painfully wrenched around each other. The editor software should prevent this, and while tricks can be voted up or down, or even reported, it still seems like something that could be prevented in the first place. The game could also do a better job at explaining how it works with its combo system to new users.
Forever Drive has flaws, caused partially by its reliance on user-generated content, but it’s still extremely novel and can be incredibly addictive when given a chance.