Drift Mania: Street Outlaws Lite is an exciting racing game where you take tricked out street cars and encourage them to slide, glide, and often spin, around corners.
Top of the range
There are two modes: career and battle.
Career focuses on accumulating as many points as possible through drifting your car through time trials. This feels a little bland as you race around the empty tracks, but only by completing these can you graduate to the next track.
The battle mode has you race against drivers in a three stage tournament. Each stage has you face off against another racer, with first place progressing to the next stage. It’s a bit more lively than the career mode, but is also far more challenging. I found the opposing cars regularly out pacing me as I struggled to keep my car on track around the long, drifting corners.
The light version features three tracks (two of which have to be unlocked), but upgrading to the full game gives access to a further nine courses.
The handling is very slippery in Street Outlaws. Every corner you take with any kind of kink has you spinning out - a point highlighted by the addition of an onscreen handbrake to encourage power slides. This means the basic racing model takes some getting used to... especially if you hope to defeat another racer in a battle.
On the plus side there are plenty of options to tweak your controls. By opening the pause menu, you can select either a slider or peddle for the gas, tilt or a virtual wheel to steer, or adjust the sensitivity of all of the above with a simple slider. This lets you quickly find the best balance for your own play style.
As you progress, you can unlock cars and upgrades. These are essential to get ahead in the battles, but you will notice caps on both in the lite version.
Ads also play a heavy role if you haven’t paid for the full game. Splash screens can interrupt the game between loads, and banner ads frequently gets in the way of menu selections. Still, this lite version does offer a good free taste of Street Outlaws.
Beautiful body work
The game's strongest points are probably its graphics and soundtrack. Crisp tracks and cars look great as you speed and slide through the world. This is especially true when you upgrade your car, adding different paint jobs and bodywork to ensure your ride is unique.
The range of interface options and HUD elements are also well displayed on screen. This, combined with a number of viewing angles, ensures that you always have a good view of the action... unless an ad gets in the way.
A rap sound track and meaty engine noise wrap up the package, meaning this is one game that you will actually want to wear your headphones for, even if it doesn't prompt you too.
Take it for a test drive
Street Outlaws slip-and-slide racing will not be for everyone, but its arcade-style and crisp visuals at least ensure that those who download it will have some fun. And if that fails, they can just listen to the music.