Top Critic Average
Gensou Skydrift is one of the few karting games on Switch to come even slightly close to Mario Kart in terms of its racing mechanics, and when it all comes together it's a fun time. Unfortunately, the lack of meaningful single-player content and the fact that the online is dead on arrival means this should be strictly considered a local multiplayer game if you want to get your money's worth.
Technically competent, and surprisingly well done, the simple lack of depth prevents this from doing any better. It can actually be completed in a few hours at max. Having a friend or playing online can extend the fun, yet the lack of content becomes obvious fairly quickly. The developer has promised more updates, which will hopefully come through, as the game has a good base to work with.
Gensou Skydrift feels more like the fan game it actually is than I hoped. The references to Mario Kart: Double Dash are warranted, but it lacks the polish and finesse of that GameCube classic. If anything, Gensou Skydrift shows how far Mario Kart has come, because this might as well be a port of a game from 2003.
Gensou Skydrift is one of the best kart racers released in recent years.
I have to say overall I had a great time with GENSOU Skydrift. The racing was fast, fluid and just a lot of fun. The graphics and artwork are outstanding. The game runs at a solid framerate no matter if the Switch is docked or in handheld mode. I polished off the campaign mode in just a few hours, but I spent about 4 or 5 more playing around on all the tracks with friends and CPU racers. The $23.99 price tag might seem a little steep, but this is a quality racing game. If you’re a Touhou fan I think you will find a lot to love here, and if you’re a racing fan looking for a solid title this might just be your cup of tea as well.
Overall, I enjoyed playing Gensou Skydrift, but it did have some issues. It is quite short, without many modes. It has some technical issues and it’s not great graphically. With that said, I certainly enjoyed that it was more difficult than the average and it is very fun to play against friends, as well as in single player. The skill needed to successfully navigate the courses is what makes it stand out the most to me and certainly fits in with the rest of the Touhou Project series in that way.
Despite all of those couple-thousand-words up there, I think on some level that I kind of hit this one right when I started out. It’s a Touhou kart racer. For the people who dearly want a Touhou kart racer, this provides exactly that, and the reality is that the only really big criticism that’s actually crippling is the game’s length. Everything else winds up landing at the point that this is a game without Mario Kart money or polish trying to be Mario Kart.