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Elite Systems Ltd
1988
Arcade: Vehicle Combat
£7.99
£2.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
None

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74
Chris Jenkins
Chris Bourne

Another budget re-release, and this time one which is actually worth the dosh. When Overlander first appeared its great boast was that the background actually goes up and down as well as left-to-right; this isn't so amazing now, but it does add an extra element of interest to what is basically another cross-county race game, but with GUNS, oh yuss!

Extra oomph is added by the fact that Overlander takes place in a post-holocaust America where ruthless, excitement-loving adventurers (a bit like me - JD) carry cargoes, legal or illegal, across the radioactive wastelands between underground cities. You can earn more dosh for taking illegal cargoes, but all you money goes on buying bigger and more lethal add-ons for your car (a bit like me again - JD). You get to tool up before each journey, using a multiple-choice menu, and naturally you have to choose carefully between weapons, fuel and more powerful motors - it doesn't do to run out of juice in the radlands, but you wouldn't want to be without a flamethrower at the appropriate moment either.

The actual race sections are great, though each stage goes on a bit too long for my liking. The road dips and waves realistically, scrolling is smooth and your car twists and turns in response to your joystick movements. At the bottom of the screen, various displays show your fuel count, speed, weapons status, and proximity of enemies.

Your opponents include maniac motorcyclists, bomb-slinging trucks, armoured cars and roadside gun-emplacements; most of these you can take out with your standard gun, or missiles, but some demand smart bombs, wheelblades or the battering ram. Either way, you get a satisfying explosion and a big points bonus for doing the business.

If you're a fan of dangerous driving and anti-social behaviour (a bit like me - JD) you shouldn't miss out on Overlander - at a budget price, even if you already have something similar like Turbo Outrun or Buggy Boy. It's worth the petrol money.

Label: Encore
Price: £2.99
Reviewer: Chris Jenkins

Big fun race shoot explode crash bang whizz skid pop blast jobbie.

78%
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Screenshot Text

Hit the road, Jack. Watch out for those hill-crest overtaking bids. They always end in tears.

Which of these dodgy cargos will you transport for the stubby-fingered men in shiny suits?