Commodore User


Overlander

Author: Mark Patterson
Publisher: Elite
Machine: Commodore 64/128

 
Published in Commodore User #61

Overlander

In 2025, the destruction of the ozone layer has finally come about, providing some nice chunky post-holocaust plots for a computer game. The only means of transport between cities is via the old freeways, now controlled by roving gangs of anarchic rebels. The only people foolhardy enough to attempt to traverse the roadways are the overlanders - providing the price is right.

At the start of the game you are given two missions to choose from, one paying more than the other because of its greater difficulty. Half the mission pay is handed over to you before you set out in order to buy those little extras that make a journey safer. Fuel, of course, tops the shopping list and eats the largest portion of your cash. Money can now be spent turning your already hot car into something that makes Knight Rider look like a dinky toy. Turbo units, battering rams, wheel blades, rockets and flamethrowers are but a few of the large amount of items available.

Each of the unsavoury gangs who haunt the road have their very own ways of dealing with unwanted visitors, the Kamikazees (ugh) think it most honourable to commit hari kiri with your bonnet. The Road Hogs do their darndest to force you off the road and Crawlers litter the rout with fences and cars while taking pot shots at your vehicle from the sides of the road. At the end of every road the Offroaders wait in their heavily armed vehicle. You have to wipe them out to complete the level.

As driving games go, this is not very good. The road seems to fall short of the horizon by a good distance and the hills update very jerkily. The car steers well in comparison to Road Blasters but still slides around a bit too much to be realistic. Gun turrets pose the only real threat but it's severe enough to strip you of your remaining lives.

Overlander is the best of the drive-a-long shoot-'em-ups but still fails to make the major league. A few graphical enhancements in the road layout and cars would have made this far superior to what it is now.

Mark Patterson

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