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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?

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

Any plans on rolling out Linux support?

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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

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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

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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....

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Awesome! Thanks for posting this.