🎮 DriveCrazy

2024年 4月 27日
Indie Tsushin 2024 March-April issueThis article was featured in our 2024 March-April issue. Check out more articles and interviews in the full issue.
Title art of DriveCrazy

Did you know that Japanese roads are full of the ultimate sports car? They are two-seaters with a gorgeous, highly durable to withstand rough roads, and designed with an ideal weight distribution by placing the engine in the center of the body. I am talking, of course, about kei (light) trucks. These highly versatile trucks fit into the Japanese class of light vehicles, and are used for all manner of jobs in both commerce and agriculture. But what a shame it is that there do not seem to be many competitions that take advantage of these perfect sports cars. My dreams were finally realized when I got to play DriveCrazy by TubezGamez.

Kei truck parked on the side of the road. Co-driver says, 'Looks like we got away.'

Ah, your good ol' reliable kei truck.

DriveCrazy is less a racing game and more an action game where you go screaming around in your kei truck in all three dimensions. You play through stages by clearing a series of sub missions leading to a huge finale. Despite what you might think, the controls are quite simple and comfortable, and the phenomenal acrobatics and exciting camera work kept me hooked.

Kei truck drifting around a corner of a race course

The controls are quick to pick up and very satisfying to pull off drifts around the opening rally course.

Players start the game by entering a rally tournament with their beloved kei truck, as one does. There, they can get used to the controls while enjoying a high-speed course that pushes the limits of their little truck. The course is tricky, widening and narrowing dangerously at points and frequently switching up road surfaces like a true rally course. This course is a great way not only to learn this game but all street rally games, and teaches players techniques such as how to handle tight hairpin turns and winding roads. Best of all, it is set against the backdrop of the nostalgic Japanese countryside, such as older racing games like the Touge series.

A fiery meteor knocking an alien saucer into the Earth and sending it plummeting down to Japan

...wait, what?!

But just when you get used to this perfectly ordinary racing game, something incredible happens at the end of the stage. Spoiler alert: you witness an alien invasion. And then the metaphorical wheels come totally off, and DriveCrazy starts for real.

Kei truck crashing into a car, sending it flying into the air, while a red laser crosshair projected down from above follows

Don't stop, keep driving!! Aliens are on your tail!

Starting from the next stage, your mission is to escape from the pursuing aliens. The aliens are attacking with everything they've got, and churn up the road and set off huge explosions like it's a Hollywood movie. They also use their mysterious technologies like homing refrigerator missiles and galloping vacuum cleaners that cling to your truck. Being a car game, the scenery whips past so quickly and you are constantly bombarded with strange new hurdles that get more and more outlandish. When I reached the stage with the Godzilla-sized bear, I was screaming with laughter.

Kei truck driving sideways along the wall of a skyscraper

Hit the nitro at the right moment to ramp up from the ground onto the sides of buildings and walls!

It's not only the enemies that are bizarre and outrageous. Your kei truck has been modified to run as fast as any formula car, and you can also drive up the sides of buildings and tunnel walls. If you smash through a window of a building, you can dash haphazardly through the offices inside. Even though the environments are hectic, players will have already learned the basics of the controls with that first rally course. By going over the basics in that tutorial stage, even players who don't normally play racing games should have no trouble driving in later stages. That leaves you free to concentrate on the explosions and alien antics.

Huge bear about to bellyflop down from the sky and onto the kei truck far below

Don't look up!! Keep driving!!

I highly recommend this game not only to those who already like car games, but also those who don't usually play them. It has impeccable timing with its explosions and set pieces, and feels so much like being the protagonist of an edge-of-your-seat action movie. I might even recommend this to people who don't normally play any video games at all, since the controls are laid out like an everyday automatic-drive car, and surely everyone has dreamed of racing through Japan in a kei truck.

Huge kaiju-sized bear beaming lasers onto the ground while a tiny kei truck weaves between its legs

The authentic keitora experience right here!

I apologize for getting a bit personal here, but I first encountered DriveCrazy on itch.io as a work-in-progress when I was just starting out as a game creator. Since then, I have been a fervent support and admirer of this game. It was encouraging to see how they kept adding more and more interesting things with each update. The game has since also been released on Steam in Early Access. Hop in the kei truck cab with me as we blast off into the absurd world of DriveCrazy!

DriveCrazy is out now on Steam in Early Access. Visit TubezGamez's homepage for the latest news and updates. And you can watch us play DriveCrazy on stream!