A minimal-looking aesthetic that fits the Switch perfectly, Absolute Drift is a delight to get absorbed into. You won’t master it straight away, but when you get the hang of it you’ll be hooning about in no time.
It’s like this — Absolute Drift: Zen Edition is undeniably a good game, but I can’t say it’s for everyone. It’s a bit like baseball vs. golf — one is all about hitting that ball as hard as you can and running like the devil’s after you, whereas the other is all about keeping track of things like terrain, wind speed, and 42 different clubs while you plan your varying strategies. Sure Absolute Drift: Zen Edition is a driving game, but it’s the golf of driving games; if you’re more of a batting cages kinda player like I am, this one might be more of a swing and a miss, no matter how pretty it is (and it is pretty). However, if you’re more of a golfer, this is absolutely a hole in one — it just depends on which stick you like to use to whack a few balls, really (that’s a sentence I wrote and I’m sticking to it).
Absolute Drift: Zen Edition is easy to pick up, but can be tricky to master. Once you get the hang of the drifting, there is plenty of enjoyment to be had with high scores to chase, even without an online multiplayer component.
While it took a long time to reach Nintendo's hybrid console, Absolute Drift's gameplay is a great fit and great value for those looking for a new challenge on their Switch. It's playable in short or long bursts and is simultaneously relaxing or challenging. While those looking for an in-depth racing experience are better off waiting for Gran Turismo 7, Absolute Drift: Zen Edition is a great minimalist experience available for good value.
Although I would have liked for that Zen to have come into play way earlier than it did, once everything clicked, Absolute Drift became worth picking up for a quick race whenever I have a spare moment. Just don’t expect to reach that level of driving skill quickly… if at all.
Absolute Drift is the kind of game that can quite easily provide a good hour or so worth of entertainment on a rainy day. Our fear with this one, however, is that the learning curve is so brutally steep, it may put you off before you even properly get into it. If you do manage to power through, though, it’s a genuinely relaxing, satisfying experience. It’s just a shame the game is hampered by poor design choices and crippling technical issues.