Tell ya what, I’m glad I’m not the only one that enjoyed Skydrift when it came out back in 2011. This Digital Reality-produced aerial racing game had a spirit akin to Diddy Kong Racing (well, the flying levels), while at the same time creating its own vibe with battle tactics and some wonderfully designed courses.
Now that game has returned with Skydrift Infinity for a new generation of players to enjoy. And just like the original, it’s still a good dose of arcade racing fun, though its lack of content keeps it from competing with the big boys. No matter – if it’s quick aerial flying excitement you seek, this game is well worth its $15 price tag.
The game begins with you selecting which plane you want to fly. There are various types here, though obviously a level plane – nothing too big nor too small – is your best bet. From there, you’ll nail down the basics, including the power-ups you’re going to use (ranging from missiles to mines, running the usual gamut) to mastering tight turns, which can save you in a pinch. Then you’re off to the races, taking on both AI and human opponents as you attempt to become master of the sky.
Skydrift Infinity doesn’t really have too much content at the moment. That could change with an update, but what’s here isn’t too shabby. There are six tracks in all, wonderfully designed and featuring all sorts of paths to take, both internal and external. They offer a great deal of variety as well, including mountain landscapes that are fun to zoom past, as well as a fiery factory that makes you wonder just what kind of bastard CEO set the thing up to begin with.
Not to mention the game got a nice upgrade for this generation. It now runs at a beautiful 60 frames per second across the board – even on Nintendo Switch! – and doesn’t lose any of its speed in the heat of battle. It’s a swell-looking game, though the speed can sometimes make it confusing to navigate really tight spaces. Better practice up if you want to avoid crashing. (There’s also a quality mode, but, really, performance is what counts here.)
The sound is pretty good, with an announcer that keeps you informed of who’s in the lead (and who’s not), and some enjoyable background music. The plane noises are very cool as well, with each one sounding different from the rest. We’d have to check with an aviation expert to see how authentic they are, but we’re not in any rush.
Where the game shines is its gameplay. Skydrift Infinity is a hell of a lot of fun to play, with planes that are easy to handle, yet tough to master. The power-ups throw a lot into the mix as well, especially when you unleash them at just the right time. The difficulty settings are just right too, as the game becomes progressively harder, but not to the point that you’re suddenly going head to head against Maverick from Top Gun or something like that. This game handles progression just right.
As for the online racing arena, it’s not bad. Granted, it’s not jam-packed with opponents like you’d find in, say, Overwatch. But there’s some competition here, and the game connects to them pretty nicely. Just be prepared to wait a bit until you get friends into the mix.
I’m glad Skydrift is getting a second chance on the market with Infinity. The original game was a blast, and this remaster of sorts captures all that energy like lightning in a bottle. It’s a must-play for anyone that likes a good racing game or wants an alternative to Mario Kart for a little bit. It’s light on content but makes do with what it has in a truly satisfying way. Hit the skies and go buzz a few towers. (Or mountains.)
Streamer and Cosplay Enthusiast