Kitt and ca­boo­dle

Me­ga­com Games dumps pit stops and qual­i­fy­ing for neon-drenched drift­ing. And a talk­ing car

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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.”

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