Game Octane was given a copy of this game for use in this review. All content contained within the article are the sole thoughts and opinion of the author and has not been influenced or doctored in any way.
This game is simply put: Asteroids on steroids. It takes the simple but addictive arcade gameplay of the Atari classic Asteroids and combines it with fancy upgrades like a leveling system, wave based swarms, skill trees, bosses and challenge modes for those who get a high enough score to unlock them. In fact the more you play the more you unlock including the power ups and skills you can learn on leveling up.
To be fair this game is very simple in design so I won’t be making a large review like I normally do. I’ll let the pictures I took do most of the talking. I will say this though: Aesthetics (music, graphics) are basic but get the job done and quite frankly matches the experience nicely. Gameplay is also simple. You have a thrust to move forward, your analogue controls the ships direction, and you have a button to shoot. The controls are on the triggers for ease of use and this simplicity makes for an easy to jump in, addicting time. Difficulty at first will seem next to non existent but once the bosses start showing up you’ll start to feel the challenge claw at your back. The thing that truly sets it apart though is the leveling up system. Points are essentially Experience and when you get enough you gain a level. You then get to choose from a list of potential upgrades to keep on your ship for the duration of your run. Now is a good time to stress you get one life per run but with shields and hull health you can really make your ship last a while; especially once you master the controls and enemy patterns. That’s really all there is to Nova Drifter. Avoid asteroids, fight enemies in waves, get experience, level up and upgrade your ship. Rinse, lather, repeat. That said it’s doing a lot to expand on the arcade genre with these small but well designed ideas baked in.
Overall I give Nova Drift an A. Just about any PC can play it, won’t take up much space either but man oh man if you got 15 minutes to burn this is a real treat and my new go to for those short gaming sessions.
- Quick to pick up and play
- leveling system and rogue lite systems make for massive repeatability
- It's still a pretty arcadey experience if that's something you aren't into