Driving Forwards Is For Squares: Drift Stage Alpha Demo


In the futurecity I’ll one day build around pedestrians, cyclists, and trains, cars will be confined to enclosed roads high up in the sky, forever screeching around corners for our entertainment. It’ll look a lot like Drift Stage, really. We’ve cooed over its pretty style of recreating a 16-bit 2D racer style in fine 3D, and now we can play it. A one-track “early alpha” demo is out now, and I have enjoyed driving sideways in it.

The demo’s set in Sunset City, this here lurid skycity:

It’s a simple time trial, with three ghosts of different skill to race against, as well as your own personal best. I liked it! Getting the hang of drifting was tricky but satisfying. Drifting just feels cool. I’m not one for racing games usually so I’m not sure how much I can judge it, but something about the movement coming out of the drift feels a little clean; I’d like my drifting to be dirtier. The full game will feature more settings and tracks and cars and all that.

And! The demo also has a photo mode, where you can pause the game at any point and fly around the world to take snaps of your car frozen mid-drift. So you can show everyone how cool you look.

Developers Super Systems plan to launch a Kickstarter funding Drift Stage later this week.


  1. tofusheep says:

    been interested in this since i saw the first screenshots and videos here on RPS and i have to say i am stoked!
    the videos can’t really capture the real “live” look when you actually play it, hard to describe, i just love the artwork and design and feel.

    might finally have to give away my Kickstarter virginity… :-O

  2. iainl says:

    I have to agree, it snaps out of oversteer far too quickly at the moment. But the game looks ace, and there’s already enough nuance to be interesting even now.

  3. tanith says:

    Hey, this is fun. Thanks Alice.

    I told myself I’d only post this comment after I’ve beaten the novice time and after a few rounds I managed to do that although I failed miserably the round after and quit the game.
    Maybe this is my first step to become the bestest drifter everywhere, like this guy Takumi from Initial D?

  4. Henke says:

    Highscore: 1:24:768


  5. RARARA says:

    Their previous game – SkyRogue – had bonus Luftrauser skins for the aircrafts.

    Now DriftStage needs a skin for the protagonist’s car in Hotline Miami.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      “Has”, actually. SkyRogue is still unfinished and in active development – least it was when I checked the other day. And if anyone reading this isn’t particularly into cars wot go fast (sideways), but loves what they’re doingwith the art style, SkyRogue might just be for you.
      It’s also some of the most satisfying flying around at the moment, once you get to grips with it.

  6. SamGad says:

    1:19.699, boom!
    That expert ghost is a bitch, to beat.
    Great, simple, game. Shall throw money at it on Kickstarter!

  7. Pockets says:

    … is it just me that’s worried they’ll get sued for using real cars and it’ll get wiped out? :(

    I don’t know what Lotus, Toyota or BMW are like for licensing but they’ve got a Ferrari and that’s just asking for it.

    • buzzmong says:

      Nah, artistic impression will mean the licence hounds can’t do anything, as long as they don’t use the brand name(s).

      • Pockets says:

        They’ll have patents applying to designs. Ferrari regularly sue makers of replica kits even if they don’t include the badges. I did a bit of googling and it looks like as these cars are all from 60s-80s then the patents have expired by now.

        • alms says:

          Patents never expire, or that’s what my friend Mr Firm told me (he’s totally a person, I swear).

          Anyway, lots of games out there featuring unlicensed but very recognizable designs.

          • Kaeoschassis says:

            For example, nearly every game with guns. Right, that’s TOTALLY not a M1911, sure.

        • SooSiaal says:

          Rockstar has been doing this for years with gta, never seen any news about them getting sued by car companies

  8. Pockets says:

    Given it a play and between the keyboard controls feeling a little stiff and the general lack of physics (I don’t want to say “realism” because it’s obviously not that sort of game, but it doesn’t feel like a stylised driving game, it feels almost more like Wipeout than say, Need For Speed) I was kinda disappointed.

  9. Wedge says:

    Ironically the limitations of gif made this look much better than it does in reality. The whole 2d looking textures with no lighting thing was fine back when we were doing HL1 mods but there’s capacity for so much more these days (see, Return of the Obra Din).

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      I don’t want to accuse you of missing the point because your comment reads like that’s not the case. It seems like you GET the point, you just don’t… think it’s a valid or viable one? I think this looks utterly gorgeous as it is, and I honestly think complicating its visuals would steal some of that away. Just me?

  10. buzzmong says:

    The video has made me realise that there aren’t enough games that are purple.

    • Premium User Badge

      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      Use a purple desktop and never worry about your icons blending in again!

    • neckro23 says:

      Play through Saints Rows 3 and 4. After that, you’ll be sick of purple.

  11. SamGad says:

    Interestingly you can play the reverse timed, if you spin the car around.
    Timer works purely on crossing the line, doesn’t seem to matter which way you’re going…
    Hurray for a bonus reverse track!
    I’d assume the ghost will even run the reverse track too, but I can’t beat my fastest lap to test the theory…

  12. tofusheep says:

    the kickstarter for drift stage is live!