Overlander (Elite) Review | Amstrad Computer User - Everygamegoing

Amstrad Computer User

By Elite
Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Computer User #49


The year is 2025. The ozone layer has been destroyed by propellant gases in aerosols, with terrible consequences for all life on the planet. Mankind has taken shelter in vast underground cities, linked by long and dangerous highways, which are patrolled by maniacs in heavily armoured cars.

You might think that with such an ecologically-minded introduction this game would be all about repairing the ozone layer and getting mankind back on its collective feet again. No such luck - Overlander is Pole Position with some added gratuitous violence.

You play the part of a futuristic delivery service, ferrying packages between neighbouring cities. You can choose between legal and illegal cargoes, but the more expensive the cargo, the more incentive for the bad guys to attack you.

With 50 per cent of the money up front, you can refuel your car and buy several additions like a turbo charger or disc brakes. You can also choose from an array of weapons, with prices depending on their effect.

Several different gangs are intent on stopping you completing the journey, including motorcylists that will crash into you deliberately. Some of the meanest surface dwellers drive around in armour-played trucks. And imagine tearing round a corner, down a hill avoiding a roadblock only to be shot by a machine gun post on the side of the road.

Destroying the bad guys is a matter of shooting them with one of your many weapons, or bumping them off the road into a passing obstacle.

Eventually you will reach the next city, where you can ctock up on fuel and weapons. Then it's back to the driving, and another busy day behind the wheel.

The graphics are monochrome and unremarkable. As you travel through the desolate countryside at 160mph the road twists, turns, rises and falls over steep hills. You pass occasional trees and wrecked cars on the side of the road, but the ultra violent radition levels ensure there are no bunny rabbits or hedgehogs to run over.


Overlander adds interest to the passive road racing theme by use of the Elite-like trading and the buying of extra equipment for the car. It certainly adds some variety to the otherwise tedious driving stages.

Unfortunately, the Amstrad just can't move memory around fast enough: The result is that the gameplay is slow and unexciting.

Adding some excitement to a slow game is always a good idea, but killing people on a busy motorway isn't really my idea of a good time.