Higher Than Planes: Drifter

John noticed Drifter, then a barely formed space nugget, when he was constructing the first ever Kickstarter Katchup (returning this weekend). We haven’t mentioned it since then but the time is right for a second look because it’s now possible to order the game directly from the developers, receiving immediate access to the same beta that pledgers have been playing for a while now. Although capable of fighting pirates and the like, Drifter’s ships are the camels of the cosmos, mighty traders charting their courses from star to star. There’s a new trailer below.

I like the video because even though there are long sections in which nothing seems to happen, the music is both futuristic and mellow. It’s saying, relax trader and put your feet up for a while, but probably not there on the flight console because you just hit warp speed without fastening yourself into the molecular safety harness and now you are inside out.

A molecular safety harness is basically a magical seat belt.


  1. Rollin says:

    The first minute of that trailer was so boring it could have been a screensaver.

  2. Gap Gen says:

    Strap in each and every one of those molecules before driving off, says the advert in which a small girl drifts backwards through the cosmos and into the self-repairing stellarwindshield of a spacecar.

  3. Carr0t says:

    It would be nice if a space sim style game (maybe not a full sim, but you get my meaning) trailer showed movement in more than 2 planes. I never saw any of the ships go above or below each other. All the asteroids etc were on the same plane as well. If i’m in space, I expect to be able to go up and down as well as forward/back/left/right…

    • DatonKallandor says:

      You can do amazing Space games in 2D. Conquest Frontier Wars and Starfleet Command say hello.

    • max pain says:

      This seems to be a 2D game (but with 3D graphics, to avoid discussions about correctness of my post).

      • Caiman says:

        That’s exactly what it is. It was originally conceived as top-down, but the dev tried pulling back to the view so you could get a better sense of the size of the galaxy and objects in the distance, and much preferred it.

    • servognome says:

      Have you played Star Control 2? Amazing sandboxy yet mission focused game, one of the greatest of all times. Combat was tactical even though it was 2D, and exploration was beyond almost anything before or since

  4. Cross says:

    This looks very, very light on fun things to do. I think i’ll pass.

  5. Rich says:

    This or kinetic void?

  6. Lazaruso says:

    Looks like an uglier, more arcadey Evochron, which is probably the pinnacle of indie space sims at this point, imo. Not really seeing anything interesting here, sadly. I love Evochron but variations on the lone spaceship running roughshod over a galaxy theme are always nice.

  7. Mo6eB says:

    I’m somewhat bothered by the fact it seems their space is a 2D plane, rather than a proper 3D space.

  8. Shadrach says:

    Beasties ref? :)

    I’m doing 120 plowing over mail boxes
    Radar detector to tell me where the cops is
    Spend another night at the Motel 6
    It’s five dollars extra get the porno flicks

  9. soulblur says:

    Yay for the Katchup returning!

  10. Oozo says:

    Funny, but the vessels-in-outer-space game I backed, “Starlight Inception”, also released a video of in-game footage this very week:

    A lot more work to be done there, too, but I can’t help looking forward to do some space blasting.

  11. Iskariot says:

    Like others before me the first thing I noticed was that the game does not seem to use the Z axis. It feels very 2-dimensional and therefore incredibly limited.
    This does not capture my interest at all.

  12. SuicideKing says:

    This is sad now. Every space game that’s been mentioned on RPS seems to lift something from FreeSpace 2, or X-Wing vs Tie Fighter, and i’m sure Wing Commander fans will add that game to the list.

    Which is problematic because even though the art style may resemble these games, usually i end up concluding that “doesn’t hold a candle to FS2” and move on.

    Picked up Strike Suite Zero and Infinity, played a few mins of Zero, though “oh the intro is like FS2 and sort of like Blue Planet as well”, then “oh doesn’t look as good as FS2 did in 1999”, then “my god, combat isn’t vaguely as fun though it tries to be FS2…just doesn’t handle that well”…haven’t gone back to it.

    WTF, seriously. I think half the reason Volition isn’t making FS3 (apart from the rights being with Interplay and all that BS) is that they’re not sure what to change to make it better, and they don’t want Deep Silver telling them to make it into Saints Row.

  13. nitehawk says:

    He is intelligent, but not experienced. His pattern indicates two-dimensional thinking.

  14. Stevostin says:

    I want to like this but I can’t. The visual, the music, the action, there is nothing to save it. While there’s a lot of competition…

  15. dagudman says:

    Where is the 3D-ness in this game. The spaceship can only move left right backwards and forwards. Where is up and down, or down and up. Who knows which is up and down in space anymore?
    Anyway for the 3D-ness I’ll just play Kerbal Space Program… I hope this is not as boring as it looked in the first 3 minutes and a half of the trailer. Oh wait , there were only three minutes and a half.