The story behind Slowdrive (is this a shoutout to the band Slowdive?) is a great premise for a time trial driving simulator, and I love it. A sloth is chillin on a branch in the tropics, when a butterfly lands on the branch and breaks it, knocking the sloth out of the tree. Sloth looks over across the beach, sees an ugly yellow car, and takes it for a spin. This is exactly what I’d do if I were a lazy sloth at the beach. Nothing like a little grand theft auto to start the day. In Florida, there’s a golf course every 10 steps across the entire state. In this place, there must be a time trial course set up all over the land. It’s perfect, and there are even target times to beat on each track (and no old people to get stuck driving behind). The object is to reach the finish line and get the best time. Simple, right? Well it is, until you get at least 1 star rating on each map to move on to the next page. Then the time trial tracks strike back, and you’re pressed for time.
The game is pretty casual, drive a car slowly through the tracks, get a good time, have a good time. It’s not always as easy as putting around the track until you cross the checkered line, sometimes you have to work those corners, cut at the right moment, speed up or slow down at certain points to maintain traction. It’s a strategy game as well if you want to get technical, and if you’re such a smarty pants I want to see you beat the second page with the moving blocks. Suddenly, that pleasure cruise turned into a “I have to beat this track or I can’t eat dinner” kind of game, and now I’m hungry and I’ve got stars on all the tracks so stick that in your pipe and smoke it. Sloth dude doesn’t care if his car falls into the water, and maybe that’s a good thing sometimes, because there are little leaves floating around that are some kind of secret bonus if you collect them. Take it slow and easy, or push the limits of that hideous taxi-looking hoopdie and jump off a cliff. Maybe you’ll land on the track and discover a wicked shortcut, or maybe you’re subconsciously assimilating ocean water because your bodily salinity is getting low and you need to balance out. Don’t sit there like a sloth, sit in a car instead and cruise the tropics, life is great, or whatever.
Download the in-development demo on itch.io. [We don’t know whether the game is in alpha or beta or somewhere in-between. The devs haven’t responded to our contact attempts]
Played it? We’d love to know what you thought about it.