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Specific tags for the title's features


Similarity & Review


Multiple Sources


Compared to VS. Not a review!

Similarity Scale

Percentage of possible points earned scored -1 to 1 in tenths in 60 categories

Genre Controls Modes Progress Builds Stages Content Aesthetic Vibe

Nova Drift


Different. A great pick if you you want to pull the trigger in space. Despite not sharing all the features, it can really scratch the "over the top" survivors-like itch with beautiful neon screenwipes. More asteroids influenced than "twin stick" influenced. I personally find the drift physics quite engaging once I've gotten going. Really fun game.

Arena Shooter Asteroids-like Bullet Heaven Bullet Hell Content Rich Mowing Game Roguelite Top Down or Isometric Wave Shooter Wave Survival
8.2 Combined Ranking Score
21/72 Ranking Position
1386/1600 Total Points
9.8 Final Review
96% Steam
9.7 Scale
10.0 Vibes
9217 Steam Reviews
393/400 Review Points
6.6 Similarity Score
83% Diagnosis:
993/1200 Comparison Points
88% Genre 6.1/8 genre
54% Simple Controls 0.5/7 move
88% Survival Modes 3/4 modes
88% Power Progression 3/4 level
100% Buildcrafting Depth 5/5 build
57% Stage Features 1/7 stage
91% Content Breadth 7.3/9 stuff
88% Aesthetics 4.5/6 style
91% Gameplay Vibe Check 8.2/10 vibe vibe

Nova Drift Ranking Notes

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Scaling and Review Notes

Personal Hours Played: 20.1

Every game ranked was played, but also scaled based on research, talking to developers & your feedback. The priority with the scale's initial design was to compare similarity on relatively objective features - so it doesn't claim to include reviews of the depth and clarity you'd get at a games journalism site, nor the intensive time played you might get from player reviews on steam. We try to incorporate and link all of that along with a 'review scale' that checks for bugs. See the heatmap and breakdown! Time played noted so you can take any notes with a big grain of salt! I can't get to high level gameplay in 850+ games so I heavily research every game. Over 80 game creators let me interview or survey them! I Hope to go back and refine. Please argue or submit your own scores and reviews to be incorporated with credit into the notes and score numbers.

Added or last checked on 10/13/2023

This one came out before VS but has been refined throughout the boom. An excellent space shooter (the creator says they're not space ships but biomechanical life) which is themed with leveling like VS and over the top combos, but also does rely on trigger and propulsion and a blink ability which we'll call a dodge in the VS-like rating. The cargo trains essentially fill the treasure chest role. We'll call the ship gears selected on starting the run a "character" select.

So it may satisfy build crafters, but not zen one handed players (though it really got me into its own zone). Not exactly a twin stick shooter - it's a "drift" style game in the vein of Asteroids. Still in early access somehow, will apparently have a campaign too on release. Don't take my lack of notes as a lack of enthusiasm, I don't have many complaints. Try this one!

This is one of my favorite games on the list and unfortunately just doesn't have full review notes because I put in most of my time before it was "research." I fully intend to come back and shove 100 hours into this title, though, so I will make more notes.

I can't believe it's still in Early Access lol but let's let him cook.

Nova Drift Similarity Scale Heatmap

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Measured in 60 categories via likert-scale style options -1 to 1 in tenths, how does this game compare to Vampire Survivors. This allows 1200 total "points". It's easier to have a point of comparison and we just picked Vampire Survivors since it's the most popular and commonly referenced game in the subgenre. For detailed methodology read the explainer. For in depth examples at score value, see the scoring guide and for term definitions see the key.

6.6 Similarity Score
83% Diagnosis:
993/1200 Comparison Points
Rogue-lite 1/1
Auto-Fire / Auto-Battle 0.1/1
Real Time 1/1
Top Down or Isometric 1/1
Direct Control of Single Avatar 1/1
Arcade Style 1/1
Bullet Heaven A (Many Player Bullets) 1/1
Bullet Heaven B (Few Enemy Bullets) 0/1
One Handed Play (w Controller) 0/1
Move Only -0.5/1
No Dash 0/1
No Trigger -0.8/1
No Special Move 0/1
No Aiming 0.8/1
No On-Aim / On-Fire Movement Penalty 1/1
Timed / Boss Ended Survival EA/1
Endless Mode 1/1
Organic / Unannounced Waves 1/1
High Enemy Count (Horde) 1/1
Level Up on XP Gain Event 1/1
Streamlined Level Choices (Simple UI) 1/1
Currency Based Meta Unlocks 0/1
Goal Based Meta Unlocks 1/1
Build Crafting 1/1
Weapon Combination / "Evolution" 1/1
Interesting Item / Weapon / Ability Synergy 1/1
Broken / Invincible Builds Possible 1/1
Explorable Map -1/1
BIG Maps -1/1
XP on Ground 1/1
Health on Ground 0/1
Temp Powerups / Items on Ground 1/1
Treasure Chests and/or Loot Events 1/1
Vendor / Merchant on Run 0/1
Enemy Variety 1/1
Bosses / Elites 1/1
Many Interesting Characters 1/1
Many Challenges 1/1
Multiple Stages 0/1
Difficulty Modifiers 1/1
Bestiary / Lore 0.3/1
Achievements 1/1
Secrets 1/1
Retro / Pixel Art 1/1
Damage Numbers 1/1
Lofi Charm 1/1
Bumpin Music 1/1
Fun Writing 0.5/1
Subtle Humor 0/1
Panic & Zen Duo Vibe 1/1
Over the Top 1/1
"One More Run" / Short Runs 1/1
Difficulty Ramp 1/1
Fun Ramp 1/1
Low Price 0.2/1
Technical Check 1/1
Controls Check 1/1
Fun Check 1/1
Feels like VS 0.7/1

Nova Drift Review Scale Heatmap

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The review scale is judged from -1 to 1 in 10 categories, with 200 possible "points" earned. Steam review positive percentage is worth another 100 points, and a "ten point" pure vibe review number adds extra subjectivity. Converted into points, that's 400 points total. The points aren't used directly in the ranking, though, which averages the three number scores for the final review score listed in the game line above.

9.8 Final Review
96% Positive Steam Reviews
9217 Steam Reviews
10.0 Pure Vibes
9.7 Review Scale
393/400 Review Points
Not Buggy 1/1
Not Janky 1/1
Good UI 1/1
Controller and Deck 1/1
Lots of Content 0.8/1
Good Theme 0.9/1
Good Graphics and Sound 1/1
Fun Feel 1/1
Unique Twists 1/1
Vibe Check 1/1

Metacritic Scores

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This title has metacritic data! The "fuck the man" score is adjusted so each person's review is equally weighted, regardless of critic or fan status.


8.0 Converted 10 Point Score
1 Number of Critic Reviews


- User Review Average
- Number of User Reviews


8.0 Direct Average
8.0 "Fuck The Man" Combined Mean

Nova Drift Tag Cloud

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More sortable taxonomies and categories associated with the game (genre tags are available in the main game table line!) We've just started adding tags to enable more sorting options, this section will get more filled out as we go!

Release Tags

Directitch.ioMacSteam DeckWindows PCEA

Sorting Categories


Genre and Control Style Tags

Arena ShooterAsteroids-likeBullet HeavenBullet HellContent RichMowing GameRogueliteTop Down or IsometricWave ShooterWave Survival

Aesthetic Tags

2DArtyGeometricNeonRaveRetroVector InspiredVivid

Setting / Story Tags

AbstractShip (Air/Space)Space

Control Styles


Game Mode Tags


Features and Extras

SoundtrackSteam AchievementsSteam CloudSteam Leaderboards



Game Features

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Listing various features we've got info on.


  • Local: No
  • Online: No
  • Player Count: 1
  • Leaderboards: ?

Steam Features

  • Steam Cloud: Yes
  • Steam Achievements: 40
  • Steam Leaderboards: Yes
  • Steam Workshop: No
  • Steam Trading Cards: No

Extras, Etc.

  • NSFW: No
  • Demo Available: No
  • DLC Available: No
  • Soundtrack Available: Steam Bandcamp SoundCloud

Marketing Blurb

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Some description of the game and its features from the creators.

"Nova Drift distills the mechanical depth and strategy of an ARPG into classic arcade space combat. Control an endlessly evolving bio-mechanical ship, face legions of strange and deadly foes, and ride the wake of a dying star across the void."

"Nova Drift is a 'rogue-lite' space shooter that melds a classic arcade experience with modern action-RPG elements like theory-crafting and deep player choice." "Cunning and creativity are rewarded as you chain upgrade modules for powerful synergies, reminiscent of deck-building games."

Run Times & Speedups

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Average Run Time: 20m

Run Time Notes


Speed Settings


Home » Nova Drift

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