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Thumb Drift - Smashing a tank sideways into a white picket fence

For: iPhone   Also on: iPad

Thumbing a ride

Product: Thumb Drift | Publisher: SMG Studio | Format: iPhone | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0.2
Thumb Drift iPhone, thumbnail 1
Thumb Drift might look like a racing game, but it shares a good chunk of its DNA with the likes of Crossy Road.

This is a simple arcade score chaser with new vehicles to unlock, challenges to complete, and a one-finger control system that's easy to understand and a total pain to master.

And it does everything pretty damn well. It looks good, it's fun while it lasts, and while it doesn't quite have the addictive quality of the best of games, it'll still keep you entertained for a few hours.

What are the controls like then?

Well, as you might expect from the title, you use your thumb to steer. Or, if you're playing on an iPad, whatever finger you feel like putting on the screen at any given time.

Dragging your digit left or right along the bottom of the screen swings out your car's rear end in that direction. In other words, you're drifting with your thumb. Pretty clever, right? Right!?!

You speed down random roads, sliding around as many corners as you can and grabbing coins. When you inevitably smash into a wall and your vehicle disintegrates your points and coins are tallied up and you head back to the start.

There are challenges to complete as well. Some require you to grab a set number of coins, others ask you to drive a set distance. It's all pretty standard endless runner fare to be honest.

The coins you collect can be spent on new cars. None of these handle differently, but they give a nice change to the visual feedback. Drifting cars is pretty standard, drifting tanks is another thing entirely.

And that's about it. There are four different tracks to unlock, but save for the change of scenery they don't really offer anything new. You're still just trying to get sideways as often as possible, and avoiding smashing into anything solid.

The control system is a little tough to get to grips with at first, but once things start to click you'll be drifting with the best of them, and your exploding car will become a badge of shame rather than a funny interlude between runs.

Worth a look then?

I reckon so. It's by no means revolutionary, but it does everything just right. It won't make you rethink your attitude to any of the genres it cribs from, but it's certainly not going to put you off them any more either.

The controls in particular make this one stand out a little more than other simple arcade score-chasers, and the chunky graphics are a treat for eyes a little jaded by pixel art.

Plus it's free, so it's not going to cost you a thing to pick it up and give it a go. And it lets you get a tank sideways, which let's be honest, is freakin' awesome.
Thumb Drift - Smashing a tank sideways into a white picket fence
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 19 February 2016
Thumb Drift is a simple and engaging one-finger racing. It might not have much meat on its bones, but it's still worth a look
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