The Drifter: A Heart-Pounding Adventure Game
When it comes to point-and-click adventure games, we often imagine a relaxed experience, sipping a hot drink while contemplating our next move. However, The Drifter breaks this stereotype by immersing players in intense, high-stakes situations right from the start.
Developed by Australia-based studio Powerhoof, known for their multiplayer games like Crawl and Regular Human Basketball, The Drifter takes players on a thrilling journey. Despite their focus on multiplayer games, Powerhoof has also released free classic-style adventure games, such as The Telwynium and Peridium, showcasing their talent in the adventure genre.
Dave Lloyd, the programmer/designer behind Powerhoof, has always been drawn to adventure games. “The first game I ever did was an adventure game, like 20 years ago,” he recalls. Having experimented with adventure game mechanics in Peridium, Lloyd realized that he could inject a fast-paced, heart-thumping element into a typically slow-paced genre. This realization became one of the core pillars of The Drifter’s design.
In The Drifter, players must navigate life-threatening situations, using whatever tools they can find to escape. Within minutes of starting the demo, players find themselves trapped in a boxcar being shot at, and shortly after, dumped in a reservoir with a weight tied to their ankles. These intense sequences create a sense of urgency rarely found in traditional adventure games.
However, The Drifter isn’t solely focused on adrenaline-inducing moments. The game also incorporates more relaxed sections, such as engaging in a deep conversation with a friendly character by a burning bin. Players must explore different locations, gather information, and collect tools to solve multi-step puzzles. Lloyd emphasizes the importance of balancing these slower, puzzle-oriented sections with the fast-paced, high-intensity moments.
Lloyd drew inspiration from the works of filmmakers John Carpenter and David Cronenberg, as well as authors Michael Crichton and Stephen King. The game’s protagonist, Mick Carter, returns to his hometown for a funeral and finds himself entangled in a mysterious and unexplainable occurrence. As players unravel the murder and delve deeper into the story, they discover a supernatural element, with Carter able to come back from the dead but at a dark cost.
Players can try out a demo of The Drifter on Steam, and Powerhoof will showcase the game at PAX Australia in the Indie Showcase area from October 6th to 8th. With its unique blend of heart-pounding action and classic adventure elements, The Drifter promises to deliver a thrilling and unforgettable gaming experience for adventure game enthusiasts.