Kitt and caboodle
Megacom Games dumps pit stops and qualifying for neon-drenched drifting. And a talking car
Neon-drenched drifting and a talking car in Power Drive 2000
Power Drive 2000 is, in its developer’s own words, his first “real game”. The Toronto-based
James Greb has worked on casual and mobile games for the past ten years, but now he’s turned his attention to the arcade racing genre and the decade in which he cut his gaming teeth.
“Growing up during the 1980s, videogame graphics definitely left something to the imagination,” Greb says. “The graphics could be considered similar to words in a novel – they gave me a foundation to form an image in my mind. The style of movies and television in the ’80s influenced the way I imagined those games might actually look, and Power Drive 2000 is really my childhood imagination come to life.”
It’s an intoxicating aesthetic that taps deep into the feel of the decade, recalling the likes of Ridge Racer and OutRun as readily as it does classic kids’ animation Pole Position and the Airwolf intro. Set in the far-flung future of the year 2000, the game features 25 tracks and six twists on racing, including an option in which you have to outrun a police helicopter, and Vaporiser mode, which lines the track walls with a game-ending laser fence.
Power Drive 2000 is part of a gathering wave of retro-themed, single-focus arcade racers which also includes The 90’s Arcade Racer and Drift Stage, but Greb doesn’t feel like he’s competing with those games so much as contributing to the rebirth of a once hugely popular scene.
“I think we’ve entered some sort of zeitgeist in gaming,” he says. “Arcade racers have been absent from the gaming scene for quite some time now, replaced by ‘realistic’ racing games that don’t have their own flair or style. I’d assume most of the developers working on games like Distance, The 90’s Arcade Racer and Drift Stage grew up playing the same type of games I did – I first heard about Drift Stage during their Kickstarter campaign, and that’s what prompted me to start showing off my game. I’m really excited that fun racing games are making a comeback.”