The Drone Racing League (DRL) has come a long way in the past two years, from ramping up funding for its second season and setting a Guinness World Record for the fastest drone, to deciding on having its upcoming championship finale in Saudi Arabia. The DRL keeps pushing things forward. Most recently, it conceived of a bizarre and seriously fun competition called Drone Games, in which DRL meets Amazon’s The Grand Tour. What exactly does this newly invented challenge look like? Well, just picture various drone games, some car racing, and a healthy amount of explosions.
The DRL’s video quickly reminds viewers that everything presented is performed and commandeered by professionals, on closed courts, and that this should not be tried at home. It’s good advice, especially when you see how intense these drone games actually get. Fortunately, we can all sit back from the comforts of our homes and watch Amazon Prime’s The Grand Tour season 2 premier safely come December 8. It definitely looks like something to look forward to.
Let’s take a look.
The first game is called Cut and Run which is essentially the old Mario Kart Battle Mode challenge in which each team drives a car adorned with three balloons, and loses once the balloons are successfully picked off by the other team’s weaponry. In this case, of course, that weaponry is relegated entirely to an unmanned aerial vehicle and is piloted from within the opposing team's vehicle via first-person view goggles, just to add some extra nausea.
Game number two is Drone Darts, which is exactly what it sounds like, each team has to maneuver its drone over a building and slam it into a dartboard lying on the ground. The closer to the bullseye, the more points that drone attack is worth. Once again, FPV goggles are in play, here.
Next up is Corn Hole, which has each team frantically race its drones after a car with an open sunroof careening around an empty lot. The goal is to get as many drones into the moving vehicle as possible. Now, that may not sound as fun as some of the other games, so slightly stronger motivation was given to the pilots here. The winner of Corn Hole gets to blow up the losing team's car. I don’t know about you, but I suddenly just became a much better pilot.
Personally, drone racing itself isn't as enticing as a show like this seems to be. There's genuine camaraderie, a sense of mischief, and a good amount of creativity in developing these challenges on display. I'll absolutely be tuning in to this on December 8, and am curious where it will take this next.