Occasionally a situation arises where no matter how you’re feeling, you wind up with a big smile on your face. That was my experience when I first learned of Bears Can’t Drift!?

bear03Bears Can’t Drift!? is an indie kart racer that hits all the right notes. BCD channels the best parts of retro racers like Mario Kart and Diddy Kong Racing, with the addition of a modern look and feel. The racing is incredibly tight and fast-paced. Power-slides are essential for turns and corners, which also proves that bears can in fact drift! The aesthetics are cartoonish and quite charming. The high quality textures and cute bears look like they were pulled straight from a Pixar film.

Now let’s take a look at the numbers. BCD features 12 tracks, spread across 3 hub-worlds. They are forest, arctic and ruin themed worlds. A 4th hub brings these worlds together. It’s currently unknown if this hub will feature any addiction tracks. There are 3 game modes, race, time trial and picnic. Picnic lets you harness your inner Yogi Bear, by collecting food and returning it to your picnic basket before your opponent can do the same. 8 playable bears are promised for the game’s final build. Single player see you battle it out against 11 AI opponents, and of course a 4 player split-screen mode is included.

There are 4 pickups available, including rockets, boosts, mines and shields, which are all modelled on cute animals. Collecting two of the same item doubles the pickup’s effectiveness. For example, collecting a salmon will grant you a rocket for the salmon launcher, but collecting two will enable a salmon mortar strike. The scope of the pickups is quite limited when compared to other kart racers, although these 4 items do cover all the necessary requirements.

Bears Can’t Drift!? Is designed by Strangely Named Studio, who are a small team of developers based in Southampton, UK. BCD is currently available on Steam’s Early Access, where it nears completion. There are still a few features missing from this build, you can only play as the generic bear from the promotional material for example. The sound design is also incomplete, as most SFX are yet to be added. We’ve reached out to Strangely Named Studio about the inclusion of online matchmaking and leaderboards, although they are yet to reply.

Bears Can’t Drift!? is coming this Autumn (Spring for those in the Northern Hemisphere) to both PC and PlayStation 4. You can trial the game now on Early Access. Stay tuned to Play Nice Play Now for a more comprehensive look at Bears Can’t Drift!? when it’s released.

Michael Vane is a freelance writer who is coincidently nicknamed Bear. You can follow him on Twitter at @DrVane

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