Bears Can’t Drift!? Review

Nothing is better than getting together with your friends to play some split-screen co-op.

From Super Smash Bros. to Mario Party there’s games out there for everyone to enjoy with their buds. Bears Can’t Drift!? is a fun and unique racing game that you can play with friends and features tons of levels that will have you up playing them late into the night. With just a few things done differently it could even be well on its way to becoming one of the new best racers out there.

In Bears Can’t Drift!? from Strangely Named Studio, you play as a bear who’s ready to put his pedal to the metal and race his heart out. With three difficulties, three different game modes and twelve tracks, your bear, whom I affectionately call Bear-y, has plenty to choose from when it comes to gameplay. You can play on your own or with up to three friends in each chaotic race or time travel seeing who comes out on top.

The gameplay for Bears Can’t Drift!? is what you may expect; while in your kart you can accelerate and brake as well as drift (contrary to the name of the game) and throw items at your opponent’s to knock them off course. There’s four different items that you can pick up as well as having the option to combine two together to create a super item. If you pick up a fish, for example, your bear gets a huge bazooka that shoots fish rockets onto the track. If you grab a bee, you drop of large bee hive on the track that will slow down your opponents. The items are put a little too frequently on the map making it really easy for everyone to constantly have items, but it does add to the ridiculous frenzy of the game.

On a more technical end, Bears Can’t Drift!? is gorgeously designed with multiple brightly coloured levels and smooth character animations. You can tell that a lot of time and effort went into the beautiful level design. My favourite level is the one that has a Japanese feel to it, where there’s bamboo strewn throughout the course as well as trees slowly losing their leaves and dazzling pagoda buildings. The winter level is equally as pretty with a snow covered course, thick falling snow and icicles hanging here and there. Everything in the game simply looks great as well as playful and fun.

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Bears Can’t Drift!? features three modes including Single Race Mode, Time Trial Mode and Picnic Mode. The first two are pretty self-explanatory, and Picnic Mode is where you and your friends will drive around the course frantically trying to find picnic basket,s grabbing food as quickly as possible so that the other players get hungry before you do. You use the item on the map to keep them from the baskets but have to be very careful to not get hit yourself.

My biggest issue when playing Bears Can’t Drift!? was that for half of the game I had no idea what was going on. There isn’t any kind of tutorial at the beginning to tell you what to expect or any hint as to how to unlock different levels or different characters. The game throws you in expecting you know the controls, the point of each game mode, and how everything is going to work without giving you any instructions. Even after putting quite a lot of time into the game, I’m still not completely sure what I’ve been doing. That isn’t to say that I haven’t been having fun; the game is enjoyable, but simply having something to tell me “you need to three star this level to continue” so that I wasn’t just mindlessly driving around would’ve been nice.

Overall, Bears Can’t Drift!? is a really fun multiplayer racing game that would be fun to play at a get-together with friends. With only a few minor kinks to be ironed out, it could really stand up next to a classic like Mario Kart. Just a little more direction at the beginning of the game would be helpful so that players know what they’re getting into. Pick up Bears Can’t Drift!? if you love chaotic racing games to play with your friends, and this one is worth it for the gorgeous designs and adorable characters.

Bears Can’t Drift!? is available on PC.