Developer: Strangely Named Studios
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wondered… Can a Wild Bear drift a racing car?
Were it not for Strangely Named Studios’ aptly named Bears Can’t Drift!? I may never have known!
Bears can’t Drift!? is a charming Kart Racer currently available via Steam Early Access for a generous price of £9.99. As you might expect, BCD!? sees you take on the role of a bear racing other bears. Nice and simple!
There is no story to follow in this game, it’s just straight up gameplay. From the main menu you are thrust into a ‘Hub’ level. As the name suggests, this is where you will be spending most of your time during this game. From here, you can access each individual level, change the gameplay mode, change the colour of your bear and add other players – or if you so wish, you can simply drive around at your own leisure!
You have the option to play on of three different game modes at the moment, Single Race, Time Trial and Checkpoint.
Single Race and Time Trial should be fairly self-explanatory. Single Race puts you up against 11 other racers as you complete a basic three lap race over varying race courses. Time Trial is similar, however there are no other racers! It sees you take to the race track on your own as you try and record your fastest laps possible.
This brings us to the final mode: Checkpoint. Contrary to the name, this is not a checkpoint based race mode. Checkpoint is essentially a Battle Arena game mode where you compete with other racers to gather the most picnic baskets with whoever fills their food-meter, and thus become the fattest bear, first being the victor. Think something along the lines of Mario Kart’s Balloon Battle, but instead of just destroying the other racers balloon, you take it off them.
There are 4 different pickups provided in each game mode too, your standard speed boosts and weapons to cause trouble to your opponents. Nothing too different here in this, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing – there are only so many items you can have in a kart racer!
Each of these modes can be played with AI opponents and up to three friends, with BCD!? supporting up to 4 player splitscreen. As of writing this review, this is the only form of multiplayer as developers Strangely Named Studios have yet to add in an online multiplayer mode. It is worth noting however, that this is still a game in development. With this in mind, it is highly possible we might see this feature added in the future. Bears Can’t Drift!? still makes for an extremely fun party game however, thanks to its addition of local multiplayer – something that until recent years seemed to be dying a slow death.
Bears Can’t Drift!? was developed using the Unreal Engine 4, one of the most powerful and visually impressive game engines on the market. As such, this game looks incredible. Even running on my mid-range gaming PC, this game looks better than most of other games currently sat in my Steam library.
Overall, this game is definitely worth checking out. As mentioned before, this game is far from being finished, but what we do have right now is more than enough to suffice – especially when you consider its cheap price tag.
Splitscreen Multiplayer is where this game shines, and it can provide hours of fun for a group of friends.
I actually had the chance to meet the developer at the recent Eurogamer Expo in Birmingham, UK and he assured me much more was to come!
Overall, 8/10. A must buy if you enjoy local competitive multiplayer.