Absolute Drift: Zen Edition

Absolute Drift: Zen Edition Review

Not so fast and even less furious

A.J. Maciejewski

Reviewed by playing a PlayStation 4 on

ESRB Everyone rating

Not every game where you drive a car is about racing. Absolute Drift has you perform stunts to earn points but is the discipline required in order to master its tough challenge worth the effort?

Absolute Drift: Zen Edition screenshot 1
Who the heck left all these tires on the track?

You play Absolute Drift like many other overhead racers such as Super Sprint and BlazeRush. However, going fast will likely cause you to fail miserably. Instead, you must drift with precision while executing actions like barely missing poles, driving over certain lines, and spinning your vehicle in designated locations. I must admit, I was terrible at the events when I first started playing but after hours of drifting around, I'm now officially slightly below average. That's right; it takes forever to learn the subtleties of becoming a pro-drifter. Of course, some gamers will pick it up faster than others and not everyone will find the payoff to be worth it. I can say that I at least found some satisfaction in bettering my skills on the track. Overall, Absolute Drift's simplistic controls make the often steep challenge even more enjoyable to master.

As you can tell by the screenshots, Absolute Drift boasts some very stylish visuals. Most of the screen is almost always white while certain features such as tasks are painted red and hence jump off the screen. In other words, it not only looks snazzy, the graphics also help streamline the gameplay. The soundtrack is great as well with many truly unique electronic tunes that'll keep your toe tapping on the accelerator. When it comes to its presentation, Absolute Drift is one of the smoothest gaming experiences out there.

Absolute Drift: Zen Edition screenshot 2
So many ways to earn points, so little time...

You can jump straight in to Absolute Drift's events and challenge them one by one or discover new content via the open "free-roam" world. I found this world to be the highlight of the experience because it makes exploring in your bite-sized vehicle super rewarding as you unlock further areas, complete simple challenges, and acquire collectibles. The events themselves are enjoyable but they could definitely use more variation. Basically, each one tests how many points you can get. Events either last a certain amount of time or a predetermined number of laps while others are more linear and have start and finish lines. On top of earning points, you can also complete challenges such as "Reach a x10 multiplier" or "Do a 7 second drift". Because of this, there's a significant amount of replay value although the incentive to keep playing wears thin as the repetition starts to sink in.

Considering the events mostly feel the same, you'd hope that there were extra modes to keep you coming back. Unfortunately, I already described basically everything that Absolute Drift has to offer. To clarify, there is no multiplayer in any form which is a huge letdown. Since it's such a challenging game, this also means that casual gamers' enjoyment will be severely limited. It can be extremely frustrating and with no multiplayer or extra content to alleviate that, many gamers will feel too annoyed to pick it up again.

Absolute Drift: Zen Edition screenshot 3
This van is so awesome that it leaves tire tracks in the air

Absolute Drift is a difficult game to recommend. Surely, it has an audience who will love every second of gameplay but if it doesn't seem to fit the bill for you then you'll be better off drifting right past this one.

  • + Challenging and deceptively simple gameplay that's satisfying to master
  • + Cool visuals and music
  • + The free-roam world is great fun
  • - Gameplay gets repetitive with not enough variation or content
  • - Lack of multiplayer
  • - Casual gamers will find it too frustrating
6.1 out of 10
Gameplay video for Absolute Drift: Zen Edition 4:14

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