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Friday, August 19, 2022

Hot graphics selling Zorg Entertainment's AG DRIVE

The first thing I ever heard about Zorg Entertainment was about a year and a half ago, a few beers deep at game company’s rooftop where a racing game was being demoed, making the graphics all the more impressive. At the time, I heard there were just two guys behind the project which seemed amazing. But with Zorg Entertainment‘s AG Drive out on the market today, you can see that the polish and graphics haven’t gone anywhere. The company boasts the game engine is able to render over 15 million polygons every second at solid 60fps, even on older iOS devices.

To be honest, the game feels more like a PlayStation 2 game on your iPhone more than anything. It’s got a “console game” polish from the graphics, voice acting, and pumping music in the background (soundtrack by Aritunes), but something about the menus, database of parts, and F-Zero style racing gives it a throwback feel – growing up with a PlayStation I almost expected a “press X to continue” sign after races.

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The racing is fun and can be tense, probably thanks to the neck-and-neck AI and pumping robot music. Winning races unlocks more racing events and gives you some cash to spend on upgrading your ship. The game does allow in-app purchases, but I haven’t found any way to actually to so after 10 or so races, which I suppose is a good sign. It should be noted that AG Drive is opening up at a $3.99 price point, and also has some subtle in-game advertising for Battery (the energy drink of choice for Finland’s youth).

According to the company AG Drive has had a lot put into it, with the development started in 2012 by Petsku Zorg & Timo Saarinen.

“I first envisioned the world of the future 17 years ago and met programmer Timo Saarinen, who shared my love for F-Zero and the Wipeout games,” Petsku Zorg, Creative Director and Co-Founder of ZORG Entertainment explains. “We begun to dream of a racing game so bold, so huge and epic in scope, we’d need cutting edge technology and spectacular efforts to pull it off.”

The two worked at Finnish game studios like Housemarque, Remedy, Bugbear, and others, but found themselves with the right hardware technology in 2012 to start working on AG Drive. “Sometimes, it felt like a dream. But other times, not. There were many seriously tough times and hardships due to lack of funding, resulting in many setbacks, etc. In the end, when all is said and done, it was definitely worth it,” Petsku concludes.

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