DriveCrazy Demo Lands on Steam, Lives Up to Name

A kei truck is a small, sturdy, versatile workhorse of the Japanese transportation industry, designed to be efficient and reliable in just about any situation.  Like pretty much every type of vehicle it’s got a dedicated fan base, so of course they get modified for rally racing.  During one race, however, things get a little out of hand when a flying saucer is hit by a meteor and plummets towards Japan, setting off a chain of events that results in one driver being chased across the country by missiles, gun turrets, and giant bears, all while dodging collapsing buildings and the occasional pool of lava.  There’s probably a perfectly logical explanation tying this all together but when you’re driving this fast it doesn’t really matter.

Before talking about the demo too much, though, there’s a small matter to lead with- DriveCrazy is not, as driving/racing games go, actually good.  The handling is terrible and in-game art can kindly be described as serviceable at best.  On the other hand, DriveCrazy is proof that you don’t have to be good to be awesome.  There’s a sense of playfulness in every second of the demo that never lets up, with one ridiculous situation leading to another as the kei truck blasts through wide highways, narrow city alleys, across train tracks, and turbo-boosts into a giant bear’s paw.  Humor in games can be hard to do, and frequently comes across as an attempt at meme generation, but the DriveCrazy demo manages to walk the line of exuberant goofiness.

The basic gameplay is that you’re driving a kei truck as fast as possible from start to finish, racking up points for drifting and destruction while trying not to lose too much speed bouncing off the walls after misjudging how to approach a ninety degree corner.  The opening level of the three in the demo is fairly standard, dashing through city streets and country roads to the rally’s finish line, and then the flying saucer arrives and the time for normalcy is gone.  Falling buildings (“falling” is maybe a bit kind seeing as they just slide out from the side) block the roadway, missiles chase after the truck, and enemies show up to try and blast you off the road.  Thankfully the kei truck is nearly indestructible and can ram anything, including platforms shooting energy beams, plus it’s gained not only a good nitro boost but also, for some reason, the ability to drive on the sides of buildings.  It doesn’t have to make sense if it works, and despite a number of issues that would sink a lesser game, like invisible walls or too-small directional arrows, but the momentary annoyance is swept aside when you find a secret route or perfectly dodge a missile.

DriveCrazy feels like a lost budget title from the end of the PS1’s lifespan, when anything could show up and frequently did.  The demo is on both Steam (found here) and (over here), so if  your day need an injection of high-energy ridiculousness then DriveCrazy has you covered.