Amstrad Action


Overlander

Author: GBH
Publisher: Elite
Machine: Amstrad CPC464

 
Published in Amstrad Action #37

Overlander

Take one nice green planet, remove the ozone layer and what do you get? A desert world where the population is forced to live in huge underground cities so that they're not exposed to the lethal solar radiation. The only people who travel from city to pity are the Overlanders, who drive around in custom-built cars and travel between cities for fun.

A dashboard occupies the lower third of the screen and the rest, is taken up with the road. Information on your weapons systems, speed and fuel is shown on the dashboard and the road has a view of your car from the rear as well as any bad guys or obstacles in your way.

Your car can be equipped with a wide range of equipment to help in arriving at your destination. They include missiles, bulletproofing, turbo chargers and so on. All cost, and some are very expensive.

Overlander

With your car equipped, you set off for your destination and then you encounter the Surface Dwellers. They live to kill, and Overlanders are the only thing that they can get. Surface Dwellers are split into gangs that employ various tactics to destroy you. 'Kamikazee's (their spelling) are suicidal motorcyclists: roadhogs try to push you off the road, crawlers use shotgun emplacements and wrecked cars and offroaders are heavily armed and drive armoured trucks.

The graphics are lacking in colour, but the 3D perspective road moves quite smoothly and quickly towards you. There are no tunes in the game, though there's an excellent one on the title screen. Sound effects are abundant and serve their purpose.

At first it just looks like Out-Run without the colour, but with speed. After extended play, however, you discover an element of strategy involved in deciding which weapons to arm yourself with and which cargo to choose. Not brilliant, but definitely not awful either.

Second Opinion

Overlander

From an objective standpoint, this game has little content, but you try avoiding a cherry blossom biker at 160kph. I'll be coming back to this game after I've got over the nervous breakdown caused by frustration.

First Day Target Score

Complete the first mission.

Green Screen View

A little trickier than colour, but still OK.

Verdict

Overlander

Graphics 56%
P. Road moves smoothly towards you.
N. Lacking in colour.

Sonics 59%
P. Great title tune.

Grab Factor 64%
P. Gratuitously blasting away at things is fun.
N. Kamikaze bikers are very annoying.

Staying Power 58%
P. First route is just a little too tricky to complete.
N. Plenty of routes to complete in a quest for the high score.

Overall 81%
Not mind-blowing stuff, but fun.

GBH

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