Bears Can’t Drift is a kart racing game, developed by Arran Langmead and published by Strangely Named Studio. The game bares (no pun intended) resemblance to similar kart racing games such as Lego Racers and Sonic All Star Racing. I wouldn’t go as far to say it is a Mario Kart clone, but it’s a kart game nonetheless.
The kart racing gameplay is as you would expect. Tight controls and simple to learn. Bears Can’t Drift does it’s map choosing process a little different to other games, you are dropped into an open world, where you have to drive up to teleportation devices to transport yourself to the race course. The open world is a good place to get to grips with the controls and to test the power ups. The race courses are nicely designed and have a fair share of shortcuts for you to find.
Each course has three different modes for you to play. The first one is your standard race mode which is the same in every kart game. The second is a time trial mode, again, you can find this in any racing game. The third mode is probably my favorite mode in Bears Can’t Drift; Picnic Mode. In this mode you drive around the course (in any direction) and pick up items of food for your bear to eat. The first to fill their bar up will win. I especially like this mode because as you eat more and more food, your bear’s character model will actually grow in size. This was a really nice addition as the developers could easily not have added this feature in.
The graphics on show in Bears Can’t Drift are playful and colourful. The stylized cartoony art looks gorgeous and the character models again look as cute as anything. The same can’t be said for the sound department though. The game does have a soundtrack playing in the background, but the sound effects are very poor. The noise of the karts is almost silent, there doesn’t seem to be any ambient sound when driving around the tracks either. I would really liked to have heard some banter between the characters when driving round. The graphical style is definitely the game’s strongest feature.
Bears Can’t Drift is certainly not a challenging game. When playing single player, the AI provides no challenge whatsoever. I am not sure why but they just seem to potter around the track at half speed most of the time leaving you to just whiz off with ease, and more often than not, you will lap them a couple of times on the same course. The only mode which gives you some sort of challenge in single player, is the time trial mode. This is only because you are competing against yourself to beat your best time though. Theres almost no point even bothering to play the single player mode simply because if offers no challenge.
Where I got most of my time and enjoyment out of Bears Can’t Drift, is playing with my girlfriend on split screen. You still run into the same problem of the AI posing no threat at all in the regular style races, you still get the banter between the players and the competitive nature. The picnic mode is even more fun in multiplayer too, as you will often find yourselfs trying to locate the other to take all of their food!
I would only say it is worth picking up Bears Can’t Drift if you plan on playing with friends. The game is nowhere near as fun and compelling when playing on your own. Even for the low price of $9.99 the single player is not worth it. If you have friends over often, Bears Can’t Drift will be a great little title to load up with them.