A downloadable game for Windows and macOS

Buy Now$14.99 USD or more

Nova Drift distills the mechanical depth of an action RPG into classic arcade space combat. Control an endlessly evolving bio-mechanical ship, face legions of strange and deadly foes, and ride the wake of a dying star across the void.

Your ship rapidly evolves as you defeat enemies, allowing you to shape its abilities and weaponry to your desires in a matter of minutes. Unlike many action-RPGs which can absorb hundreds of hours of time, Nova Drift allows you to take a ship build from inception to execution in a single game session. 

Follow the development of the game here.


Features:

  • Create a unique build every run. Games are quick, allowing for rapid experimentation, iteration, and advancement.
  • Cunning and creativity are rewarded as you chain upgrade modules for powerful synergies.
  • Access over 150 weapons and mods as you progress and expand your arsenal.
  • Build to play how you want. Snipe, command a drone army, discharge your shields, charge up, burn enemies with your thrusters, or smash right through them... there's a way to make it work.
  • Unlock modular challenge modes, providing greater risk and rewards. The stakes are high, as death is permanent!
  • Every game is randomly generated, keeping the fight intense and unpredictable. Fight through the campaign or play endlessly.



Nova Drift is a living game. Frequent updates will continue to expand the depth and content of the game world.

Delivered updates:

  • MAYHEM - New Super Mods, Body Gear + Game Mode
  • VIRULENCE - New Super Mods, Weapon, Shield + Body Gear
  • WILD METAMORPHOSIS - extremely rare mods that have a variety of powerful and/or bizarre effects, enhancing the rogue-like and deck-building aspects of the game.

Planned updates:

  • Weapon Gear: Thermal Lance
  • Weapon Mutations: each weapon type will have 1-2 variations



Ship Evolutions:

Mods & Gear can be unlocked, upgraded and combined to make unexpected and powerful combinations: 

Example Build #1: Seeking Cluster Grenade

Grenade + Body: Assault + High Explosive + Splinter Shot + Heat Seeking + Charged Shot

This build focuses on creating as many grenade splinters as possible using the Grenade weapon and sends them tearing toward targets using the Heat Seeking mod. The overlapping blasts from the initial explosion add up to a huge amount of damage at the epicenter, while the seeking clusters handle crowd control.

Example Build #2: Celestial Shield-Bomber


Hullbreaker + Amp Shield + Volatile Shields + Flash Shielding + Emergency Systems + Celestial Lance

This build takes advantage of the Hullbreaker's speed and resilience to crash damage to slam directly into enemies. The fragile Amp Shield is used not for defense, but to augment Hullbreaker's strongest aspects, gaining increased speed and force. The shield will break on impact, but we can capitalize on that using the Volatile Shields mod, which detonates the shield when it goes down, blasting all nearby enemies. Flash Shielding gets it running again quickly while Emergency Systems grant a moment of damage immunity, making charge attacks safer. Finally, Celestial Lance is used to deal burning damage to everything around the ship at high velocities!




Nova Drift is developed by Jeffrey Nielson of Chimeric, a 1-man development team, featuring music and audio by Miles Tilmann of Pixeljam Games.

Chimeric is dedicated to creating light, streamlined games with an emphasis on deep, mechanical interaction and player agency. 

We love player input and collaboration, and welcome any ideas or feedback you may have: chimericgames@gmail.com.

Follow us on TWITTER.

Join the DISCORD community and suggest features, report bugs or just hang out and talk strategy!

MAC USERS: you may have to place the game in the Applications directory for it to launch correctly.


Updated 24 days ago
StatusIn development
PlatformsWindows, macOS
PublisherPixeljam
Rating
(13)
AuthorPixeljam
GenreAction
Made withGameMaker: Studio
Tagsarpg, skill-tree, Space, Vector
Average sessionAbout a half-hour
InputsKeyboard, Mouse, Gamepad (any)
LinksSteam, Homepage, Community, Twitter

Purchase

Buy Now$14.99 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $14.99 USD. Your purchase comes with a Steam key. You will get access to the following files:

NovaDrift_MAC_0_24_5.zip 187 MB
NovaDrift_WIN_0_24_5.zip 188 MB

Development log

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Comments

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(2 edits)

A fun arcade-style shooter with disappointing default controls.

I have a love/hate relationship with Nova Drift. On one hand, I like arcade-style shooters. On the other, the controls almost make me want to not recommend this game. Especially if you play on keyboard.

The gameplay is more Asteroids than the more modern style of twin-stick shooter. On paper, that's not a problem for me. Others who didn't grow up playing classic arcade games will find it a very jarring, perhaps even unenjoyable, experience.

Nova Drift does make up for its gameplay style with otherwise fun mechanics. The action turns from slow-and-methodical to a fight for survival at a moment's notice. RPG elements are added in, allowing for customization and entertaining progression.

Graphically, Nova Drift is vividly colorful without going overboard . It's not in-your-face with cyberpunk neon and more lens flare than a Michael Bay summer blockbuster. The only complaint I have is that there are enemies and bosses who are the same color of the player. I mistook an enemy as a power-up during my first game. While a similar color would suffice, the exact same color does not.

The audio is great. Nothing to complain about.

Now to the elephant in the room: the controls. The keyboard controls, to be quite frank, suck. At least on the default config. They're unintuitive and, while I could get used to them, it felt like I was playing an old DOS game rather than a modern indie game. Granted, you can change the keyboard controls in the settings, but you shouldn't have to.

The controller worked and felt so much better out-of-the-box in comparison. However, to bring up an earlier point, the Asteroids style of gameplay doesn't translate well to a modern game. A twin-stick style of controls would've worked much better. All this coming from a student of the classic arcade cabinets.

To Nova Drift's credit, the game isn't unplayable. Quite the contrary. It's a very fun arcade-style shooter that's looks great and is addictive. Despite its flaws, it's still worth checking out for a gamer looking for a new casual game.

It's a fun game with satisfying progression, but the awkward gamepad control scheme is a deal-breaker. Like another comment mentioned, a twin-stick shooter control scheme would make it much more enjoyable to play. The Asteroids-like screen wrapping feels disorienting to me, and would prefer to at least have the option to turn this off. Also, level upgrades happen too often, so the upgrade screen frequently takes you out of the game for several seconds to decide which upgrade to pick.

Overall, I feel like the game could be much better if it took inspiration from something like Geometry Wars rather than Asteroids.

Is there a list of in-game enemy names and types anywhere?

(1 edit) (+1)

Not yet, but it's a planned feature (The Bestiary)

Any plans on rolling out Linux support?

(+1)

yes!  we recently migrated engines and this is finally supported now.  

Im having a problem as when I tab out I cant re-enter the came and have to force close it and start over

(1 edit)

Hey, just bought this and it looks like a lot of fun! I'm having trouble with the control scheme, though. I can map the buttons for my Xbox 360 controller, but it doesn't respond to either of the sticks, so I can't aim or steer--just shoot and thrust forward.

Ah, I figured it out--I had to turn off the mouse control scheme. The ship was orienting to the mouse cursor regardless of my gamepad input.

I think I would prefer a more twin-stick-shooter style control scheme than we've got (map right stick as if it were the mouse cursor orbiting the player, map left stick to 8-directional strafe/brake), but at least this is playable!

Wow. This seems like a game I need to buy! Reminds me of a prototype I did called "Galacticum" but muuuuch more polished.

i keep checking if...

 like, really can't wait

(+1)

I'll be honest, I went in not expecting much and was pretty floored by how fun the whole thing was. While you might be at the mercy of rng a tiny bit at the beginning, the sheer number of upgrades you get allows you to create any build you want really quickly and it's so satisfying! I might need to turn down the effects a bit next time because that energy lattice can get crazy....

(+1)

Awesome! Thanks for posting this.