Opinion: #DRIVE Is A Perfect Example Of A Great Indie Game

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Games are plentiful on the Play Store. No matter your tastes there's usually something for you to sink your teeth into. This includes indie games, though not all indie games are created equal, and indie games, really, are the bread and butter of the content library on Google Play, quite simply because there are so many more indie dev studios out there publishing games to the platform than there are from major publishers like Square Enix, Capcom, SEGA and more.

This means that you are highly likely to find a really good indie game to spend some time with, but it also means that you sometimes (or most of the time) have to wade through tons of horrible games that should be skipped for one reason or another just to find that one excellent title. There are games that either offer no replay value and are way too short to give a good experience. There are games that don't function correctly and constantly seem to have issues for the gamers that play them.

There are also games which, while being somewhat enjoyable still feel a little bit lackluster, perhaps because they were rushed out and just don't have enough features. Then there are games like #DRIVE, a picture-perfect example of how great indie games can be, not just on Android but really on any platform. The fact that it's available on Google Play simply illustrates that games don't have to come from big-name publishers to be good. Not that this is any big secret of course, but indie games don't always get the recognition they deserve.

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#DRIVE deserves the recognition it gets. Serving up playful visuals, #DRIVE is an indie game homage to classic 1970s road trip and action movies. This is a racing game but instead of gameplay akin to any of the Asphalt titles or the literal deluge of drag racing options at your fingertips, it's an endless racer that lets you see how far you can get just like an endless runner.

You have your pick of 38 different vehicles each with varying stats like speed, acceleration, grip, and a "coolness" factor, though you start the game with the '86 Das Holzwagen, the game's version of Volkswagen hatchback. You'll need to play the game to unlock other cars, and you can also unlock different colors for your vehicles too, if you fancy a bit of customization on your ride.

Controls are simple enough but they will definitely take some practice to master, and you will want to master them if you hope to reach untold levels of distance. Speaking of which, you can see how far you've gone with each of the cars you've played with on the vehicle selection screen, which is a cool little detail that doesn't really change things when it comes to gameplay but if you enjoy your stats then this will give you a feeling of accomplishment.

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In addition to offering up a larger number of cars to drive with there are a handful of different tracks to drive on as well spanning from dusty desert roads to snow-soaked villages. Ensuring that you add some flavor to your runs and don't get too bored with the backdrops each time you decide to play.

Though the main goal in this game is to get as far as you can there are more than a few little nuances that enhance the gameplay. Collecting bottle caps for example is a task on each run that you'll want to familiarize yourself with. These are #DRIVE's main in-game currency, and you'll use it for everything from upgrading the stats of your first car to unlocking new cars and new paint jobs.

You'll also have a damage meter and a fuel gauge to pay attention to. Run out of gas and you'll end your run. Take too much damage and you encounter the same thing. The good news, is that there are gas stations along the track as well as garages that you can stop at to either fill up your tank or fix the damage, but to reach these destinations you'll have to break at the right time and make sure to stop at the correct location. This also takes some practice, but it can help you immensely.

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Postcards are the second in-game currency to be aware as these are how you can unlock additional maps like the Tofuyama map in Japan or the Holzberg map in Germany just to name a couple. The game of course has leaderboards and achievements to acquire as well, so there's plenty to accomplish in this game to keep you from getting fed up with it.

Overall it's easily accessible and easy to play, and gives the right amount of challenge that won't scare away players while also keeping more seasoned players engaged. It's pure fun and a shining example of what indie games should aspire to be, especially on Android. If you haven't checked #DRIVE out yet, which officially launched on the Play Store back in late March, now is the time to give this gem a shot. It's free, and if you love it you can get rid of the ads for a one-time in-game purchase of $3.49.