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Drift Mania Championship 2

For: Android   Also on: iPhone, iPad

Wrong turn

Product: Drift Mania Championship 2 | Developer: Ratrod | Publisher: Ratrod | Format: Android | Genre: Multiplayer, Racing, Simulation | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: Europe
Drift Mania Championship 2 Android, thumbnail 1
Anyone who played Codemasters's otherwise stellar console racing game GRID will remember how that title took a terrible turn for the worse in the drift levels.

Cars swerved around like they had soap on the tires, the rear end would spin out at the slightest provocation, and just staying on the track was a Herculean task.

Drift Mania Championship 2 is that one design flaw turned into an entire game, with a few more problems under the bonnet for good measure.

Off track

Apart from an anachronistically text-heavy tutorial for a racing game, first impressions of Ratrod Studio's sequel are swish enough.

A dramatic, live action video of racers 'drifting' their way to a race meet oozes class and the actual tracks in the game are rendered in sharp HD that could give current gen games a reasonable run for their money.

Bizarrely, though, the cars - traditionally the stars of any racing show - have boxy, indistinct looks that even adding a few decals can't really polish up.

The sense of disappointment grows the moment you hit the track and find yourself wrestling with a clumsy handling model that manages to hamper your every twist and turn with massive oversteer and understeer.

In a game almost entirely geared around drifting, we'd expect a focus on dramatic cornering and a physics model to match - but these cars are nearly impossible to drive with any sense of control.

No matter how much your tinker with the settings or plough money into upgrading your ride, tilt steering is either too sensitive or too sluggish. A virtual wheel proves more reliable, but when you combine it with the other on-screen buttons - like the manual handbrake and the throttle - pressing everything at once is a task only for genetic mutants with extra hands.

Around the bend

Crucially, the drifting itself feels wrong. Yes, you can slip and slide with relative ease, but powering out of an extended drift by jamming on the throttle - as per every other racing game - simply doesn't work.

Yes, you get a sizeable Campaign mode (unlocked by completing point and skill challenges, as getting a Gold just isn't enough for Ratrod Studio), briefer Tournaments including head-to-head races, and a multiplayer Challenge mode, but with such a flawed driving model none of them appeals for long.

Drift Mania Championship 2 looks the business and is crammed with content. It just corners like a bad dream.
Drift Mania Championship 2
Reviewer photo
Paul Devlin | 10 October 2012
An ambitious effort at creating a full-featured, console-style drift racer quickly runs out of gas due to woefully untuned handling
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