Review – Skydrift Infinity

We know (and appreciate) that THQ Nordic loves to remaster/remake and re-release cult hits from the PS2 and PS3 era of gaming at a rapid pace. Typically with hilarious puns on their titles, such as Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning and SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated. The thing is that these games were known and loved by many. Skydrift Infinity isn’t exactly what we can call a re-release of a beloved classic. To be fair, I didn’t even know it was a remaster until I did some further research, only to find out that it had originally been released for the PS3 and Xbox 360 literally a decade ago. Does this mean this isn’t a game worth taking a look at? On the contrary, as Skydrift Infinity ended up being a pleasant surprise.

Skydrift Infinity

It’s like Diddy Kong Racing, but with 300% more violence. Me likey.

Did you like playing Diddy Kong Racing back in the day? Did you specifically like racing with the airplane? Good, because Skydrift Infinity is basically that, but a bit edgier, a lot prettier, and a bit more, uh, violent. Pick an airplane and race around a handful of circuits, whilst picking up powerups and weapons to either destroy enemies in front of you or defend your airplane against incoming attacks. These items range from your typical machine gun and homing missiles to more esoteric choices such as a shockwave. There are other events besides a traditional race, such as arena brawls (which Diddy Kong Racing also featured) and races devoid of items, but filled with rings which give you a boost whenever you pass through them.

Considering the fact Skydrift Infinity is available on more powerful consoles, I wasn’t expecting the Switch port to run as well as it does. I was expecting for a competent 30fps with a drop or two, but I was immediately greeted with an option between a performance and visual mode. The former letting the game run at a stable 60fps at all times, whilst still maintaining a respectable resolution and visual fidelity, especially for an indie released in 2011. Not only that, but the game features simple and intuitive controls, with the only moderately complex mechanic in it being learning how to perform “air drifts”. Yes, those are a thing here, and yes, they increase your boost meter. Look, this wasn’t supposed to be realistic, so just roll with it, okay?

Skydrift Infinity Blur

Skydrift Infinity’s motion blur effects are actually pretty good, despite what this picture might suggest.

To be fair, I was beyond surprised with its robust presentation and controls, considering its small price tag. However, that doesn’t mean Skydrift Infinity is devoid of issues. There were two things in particular which bothered me quite a bit. The first one is the minuscule amount of tracks, just half a dozen of them featured in the final game. Granted, there are mirrored variations and different modes which result in different layouts inside each track, but they do get repetitive after a while. The other main issue is the sound design. While the soundtrack itself isn’t bad per se, and the game features a lot of voice acting (namely in its tutorial), everything sounds beyond muffled and compressed. You can ignore it on handheld mode, though, but it sounds way too ugly on docked.

Skydrift Infinity Machine Gun

Gotta love the machine gun.

In short, considering its very small price tag, I was beyond delighted with Skydrift Infinity. It is a robust racing game with great visuals, controls, and which offers a ton of replayability, considering its average-at-best amount of content. I may not have heard about it when it first came out ten years ago (let’s be honest, did anyone?), but I’m glad I got to finally play it years later on a portable that feels much more suited for its arcade gameplay loop than any other system in the market. THQ Nordic, please keep on remastering these hidden gems. I wouldn’t mind discovering what else I have previously missed out on during the PS3/360 era of gaming.


Graphics: 8.0

It runs surprisingly well on the Switch, featuring both a visual and a performance mode. The latter has the game running at 60fps while still maintaining a respectable resolution and graphical fidelity.

Gameplay: 8.5

Skydrift Infinity is an excellent mixture between arcade-like racing controls, kart racing item usage, and borderline war-like combat controls. Learning how to perform “air drifts” (sounds dumb, I know) is crucial in order to win races.

Sound: 6.5

The soundtrack is decent and the sound effects are loud and over-the-top, but Skydrift Infinity‘s overall sound design is heavily compressed.

Fun Factor: 7.5

It’s a bit light in terms of content, namely the amount of racetracks, but it’s incredibly fun in small doses. A perfect fit for a portable like the Switch.

Final Verdict: 8.0

Skydrift Infinity is available now on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Switch.

Reviewed on Switch.

A copy of Skydrift Infinity was provided by the publisher.