Art Style: Digidrive is a fast-paced reflex-testing puzzle game. A remake of a Game Boy Advance title originally released as part of the bit Generations series, the game now includes touch controls and improved graphics. What makes Art Style: Digidrive truly appealing is its intuitive nature which has players directing coloured arrows representing cars through a four-way intersection. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it?
In order to fully grasp the dynamics of the game it is necessary to carefully review the instructions or at the very least watch the demo video included in the software. This game is unlike any other puzzle game I have previously encountered, making it both refreshing to play and challenging to master. Read More…
The gameplay is straightforward once you understand the mechanics of Art Style: Digidrive. Coloured arrows - red, black and white - will zoom through a four-way intersection. When they reach the centre, you choose which direction to send them using the D-pad in Standard mode or by tapping the side of the road on which you want to turn with the stylus in Touch mode.
Both the Standard and Touch modes offer three game variations: Endless, versus the computer and versus a second player connected via local wi-fi. In Endless mode, the goal is to propel the “core” as far as possible before a spike reaches it. For every broken chain you will lose a bit of distance bring the core closer to the spike which gradually moves closer. Bronze, silver and gold medals are awarded for reaching certain distances that vary depending on the difficulty level selected. Harder difficulty modes will be unlocked as you progress.
Sending five matching-coloured cars down a given road will colour the road and make a fuel cell appear. The colour will gradually disappear if no additional matching-coloured cars are added; when the colour is gone you will lose the fuel cell. Fuel cells grow as you prolong the coloured streak. The larger the fuel cell, the further it will propel the core. If you accidentally break your colour streak you will lose the fuel on a given road. However, if other fuel cells still appear on other roads, the fuel from the broken combo will be split among remaining cells.
“Trigger cars” represented by flashing arrows will appear on the road at random times. You will also have some in stock which are released by pressing the A button. Direct one down a road with a fuel cell to set off the fuel and propel the core. In Touch mode, trigger cars will only appear randomly and you will need to tap your fuel cells to set them off.
Building fuel cells on all four roads activates Overdrive mode. In this state, cars will be moving much faster. The mode will end as soon as you send the wrong coloured car down a road or when the colour of one road completely fades. The longer Overdrive mode lasts, the further it will propel the core.
In versus modes, whether against the AI or a friend, the mechanics are essentially the same, though there is no spike to worry about. Instead, the game plays like a tug-of-war; if you propel the core to the top of the screen you win the battle, and lose if the core falls all the way to the bottom. Here items are introduced which players activate using the shoulder buttons in Standard mode or by tapping on an icon in Touch mode. Using your fuel will award you with items like “double stock” which doubles the fuel you accumulate and “autoguard” which temporarily protects your core when it is almost at the bottom of the screen.
Art Style: Digidrive is amusing and original, but does feel a bit redundant after a while. It mainly appealed to me for its reflex testing qualities, but it is best played in short bursts. While reaching high scores will likely require considerable play time, I didn’t really see myself playing the game for that long in a session. This is mainly because in order to beat the default high scores, a game will need to last for at least half an hour which can be difficult to manage on a handheld.
+ Original Concept
+ Tests Reflexes
+ Multiple Control Schemes
- Confusing at First, No Tutorial
- Gameplay can get Repetitive
Game Forward Score: 3/5
Nathalie Caron > Game Forward
Art Style: Digidrive (DSiWare) Quick Facts:
Release Date: Nov 16, 2009
Price: 500 Nintendo DSi Points
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)