Bring me to the Main Page   Bring me to the Reviews Index

Power Drift logo  Format Gold

ACTIVISION £24.99 * Mouse, Joystick or Keyboard

Power Drift Forget the Ferraris and the Porsches, what you really want is a little buggy to sit in. Give it plenty of poke in the shape of a rear-mounted engine with a top speed of 244kmh and do not bother with namby-pamby seat belts and roll cages and you are on your way.
Welcome to Powerdrift, Activisionís conversion of the popular Sega coin-op. As if you had not already guessed, it is a driving game! There are a few subtle differences between Powerdrift and other racing coin-op conversions, not least the absence of a time limit. None of this rushing to reach the next checkpoint as the seconds tick away. That does not mean yoy can just take your own sweet time though: it is still a race.

Twelve competitors take part in each race, but you start in fourth position. Quite simply, the idea is to finish each race, but you start in fourth position. Quite simply, the idea is to finish each race in one of the top three places to qualify for the next stage. Each race is four laps of the track and there are five tracks to each course, with five courses to choose from.

The tracks tend to increase in difficulty as you progress. For example, the first couple of tracks will tend to have fewer and gentler bends while the later tracks will become much more difficult to negotiate and quite a challenge.
As well as bends there are other hazards, including suspended log tracks with no barriers on either side, so it is very easy to get the line seriously wrong on a bend and go plummeting into space. Then there are the jumps that can only be cleared if you are travelling over a certain speed.

Last but not least, there are the other racers, colliding with any of whom causes you to go into a spin. Not mucn time is lost as you are almost immediately back in the race, but your speed suffers and it takes a couple of seconds to get back up with the pack.

Fail to qualify and you can use one of your five continue credits to have another bash, Incidentally, and rather entertainingly, if you come in first for all five races you may get the chance to drive the motorbike Super Hang On or fly an F14 from Afterburner round a bonus track.
Andy Smith

Amiga Format, Issue 5, December 1989, p.p.61-62

GRAPHICS AND SOUND
Very fast and very colourful, it is so fast, in fact, that it sometimes gets a little confusing as to where you are supposed to be going. But after a couple of laps of each course, you will know them well enough. The jingles are standard coin-op fare, and the sound effects are fine for the job required.

JUDGEMENT
Wonderful stuff. As challenging and as addictive as you would expect from a hit coin-op but with much more gameplay depth than usual. A first-class racing game with all the essential ingredients to keep you in the driving seat.

GRAPHICS 9
SOUND 6
INTELLECT 3
ADDICTION 8
OVERALL 90%



Power Drift logo

Activision
Price: £24.99

F Power Drift inally we see the first of Activisionís biggies for Chrimbo, a conversion of an extremely fast race machine. So how has cartie-racing legend Power Drift fallen into the 68000?
Not very well, as I expected. The problem lies with the machine. When an arcade programmer has an idea, he is given the hardware to carry that idea out. No matter how good a programmer is, the Amiga 500 hardware is not going to improve, and so the new breed of arcade games are too difficult to carry across. Powerdrift is one of them.
Activision did try, and to be fair they have not done an awful job. What they have done comes as close as you are going to get. Unfortunately due to the limitations of the machine a few sacrifices had to be made...

The game is simple in design. Five courses, five stages to each, four laps of each stage. Come in the first thee and progress to the next. As you race through the courses the bends get tighter, the jumps get bigger and the opposition gets tougher.

It is the courses that made the arcade version so impressive. Not satisfied with straight race along the ground and the occasional hill, Powerdriftís courses are full of tight bends, bridges, hills, jumps and dips. What this results in is a very packed screen, as you race under bridges, jump over bits of courses and even stop and watch cars racing elsewhere on the track, a feat only accomplished once before, in the Digital golden oldie Integrations T.T. Racer.
The way the road was constructed in the arcade, and the system employed in the Amiga version, is by laying down strips of graphics, one behind the other to create a 3D image. The Amiga version contains less strips which makes the track look very broken, and also leads to some very confusing circumstances. For example, when you pass under a low bridge, all the strips blend together, and you end up with a screen full of colour, rather than a cartie race track.

The game is fast, but at the sacrifice of smooth scrolling. If you remember OutRun Amiga you will know what I mean. There are plenty of times where you just cannot tell if the road branches left or right, or indeed which part of the road you are supposed to be racing on. This ruins what could have been a good conversion, but how are you supposed to enjoy a racing game when you cannot make out where you are meant to be racing?

There are one or two graphical touches thrown in. For example the way the viewpoint pans across the course before setting in the normal position. The special courses have been kept in too, on which you race an F-15 Afterburner style along and then the Super Hang-On bike Ė a feature taken from the arcade original.
The soundtrack is good, but limited. The usual growl and squeals accompany your racing and there is some nice sampled speech that counts you in and also provides an audible lap counter.

A fan of the coin-op might enjoy this, I personally do not. It is nice to have a fast game, but when that speed means a loss of gameplay, then I would rather have a slower game.
Tony Dillon

CU Amiga, November 1989, p.p.36-37

SOUND
GRAPHICS
PLAYABILITY
LASTABILITY
78%
79%
75%
78%
70%


Power Drift logo

Activision, Amiga £24.99

Power Drift T he 64 version rough-rode its way onto the cover of Issue 55 and zoomed away with a Sizzler for its troubles. Following up the rear we have the Miggy Drift written by Super Hang On programmer ZZKJ.

It plays much the same as the 64 version with a off-road buggy to drive, one of 12 rough-neck characters to choose from to drive it, and five courses to race around (each containing 5 circuits). In each race, you must finish in the top three to proceed to the next circuit.

Other than graphic and sonic differences Amiga Power Drift does boast some extras. The track you are about to race on spins into view, there is some speech here and there and, most useful of all, you get four continue plays.

Zzap, Issue 57, January 1990, p.71

Phil King With its neat presentation Power Drift appears to be a good conversion. But as you get to harder, more graphically complex levels the graphics and gameplay start to get messy and confusing, spoiling the playability somewhat. Fans of the coin-op might appreciate the programmer's bravery, but others will wonder why he didn't keep it as graphically simple as the C64 game.

Robin Hogg While Power Drift is technically very impressive with its extremely fast layered graphic effect, sometimes it is just too ambitious. Masses of (admittedly excellent) graphics are flung left or right at a considerable rate and occasionally you are left trying to follow a road that has disappeared in the collage of graphics hurtling at you. This does not happen all the time, but when it does, it is extremely disorientating.

PRESENTATION 81%
Neat intro sequences, five continue-plays, plenty of options.
GRAPHICS 75%
Good roadside graphics and layered effect but too often it becomes messy.
SOUND 70%
A number of above average pacy tunes and some clear speech.
HOOKABILITY 68%
The first levels are playable enough...
LASTABILITY 62%
... but later levels are made even harder by confusing graphics.
OVERALL
65%
Nowhere near as playable as the C64 version.