Source: Antic Vol 5-11 1987-03
- Tag Archives Atari ST
Publisher: SEGA (Arcade, Saturn, DC, 3DS), Activision (Amiga, CPC, ST, ZX, C64, DOS, MSX), Asmik (PCE)
Developer: SEGA AM2 (Arcade, Saturn, DC), Activision (Amiga, CPC, ST, ZX, C64, DOS), New Frontier (MSX), Copya System (PCE), M2 (3DS)
Platform: Arcade, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, MSX, PC Engine, Saturn, Dreamcast, 3DS
Year: 1988 (Arcade), 1989 (Amiga, CPC, ST, C64, ZX, MSX, DOS), 1990 (PCE), 1998 (Saturn), 2001 (DC), 2016 (3DS)
Power Drift was a kart racing arcade game that came out in 1988, four years before Mario Kart on the Super NES. The game made uses of 2D sprite scaling for 3D effects much as the Super Nintendo would later do. Power Drift was somewhat similar to Outrun and Super Hang-On which were out around the same time.
Power Drift was ported to a variety of home system, mostly computers. I know that in the U.S. it was officially released for the Commodore 64 and DOS based PCs. It was also available for the Atari ST and Amiga but these may have been European only releases. It was also available on other popular computers in the U.K., the PC-Engine in Japan and much later, the Sega Saturn also only in Japan.
The original home platforms did not have sufficient power to scale nearly the number of sprites that were used by the arcade version so they often became quite different games though some versions were good in their own right. For example, the Commodore 64 version was quite a decent game despite the limitations of that system compared to the arcade game. While the Atari ST and Amiga had prettier graphics, the frame rate was abysmal and the playability was not as good. I suspect the later Saturn version was better than arcade perfect. Versions were also planned for the Mega Drive/Sega Genesis and Mega/Sega CD but were never completed.