Atari took the arcades by storm one year beforehand with it's Roadblasters release. It also came with a competition for anyone to beat all 50 levels to win a t-shirt. This was 1987 and this was a big deal! It was basically a 3D version of Spy Hunter and arcade junkies lapped it up. As a result of this, it spawned many clones, and when Elite were pipped to the post by US Gold to get the licence for Roadblasters, they came up with Overlander. A 3d shoot em up in a car where you can purchase various weapons and enhancements for your car. Is this Elite's way of showing us that they don't need a licence to sell a concept, or another clone that's going to fall flat on it's face? Read on.
Armed bomber attempts to take you out.
Attack of the killer kamakaze biker.
You play the role of a hired mercenary/glorified messenger boy. The mission is to get from A to B without getting blown up in the process. There are two types of mission you can choose. The Federation or the Terrorists. The Federation will give you an easy ride while you can earn adequite money for the job. While the Terrorists will offer the most money, they will also guarantee that you do, in fact, work for that money! A decent idea really to give one the choice after all, not everyone is a beginner when it comes to this type of game. With this money you can buy the likes of bulletproofing, bazooka's, a leanburner engine for a faster experience, battering rams and all sorts of goodies. Just leave enough petrol money! Sounds like we have an interesting one for our "Story So Far v2" compilation.
Sadly it's not the case. Loading takes an age in blocks. Music isn't the worst the CPC has ever produced however the author doesn't seem to be credited on the main screen. Time to redefine the keys and pick our mission and lets see what we have ahead of us. Our second speccy port of the compilation, however, it's not as dire as the one used on Hoppin' Mad but still the colours didn't have to be so dark. It doesn't move so well either unfortunately as the car moves more nervous than a deer in hunting season (as Dave Wykes once said on his opinion of Carmageddon II) and by the time you've had the chance to steer out of the way from Kamakaze bikes and bomber trucks, it's already too late. This wouldn't be Hutchinson's first slow moving game. Paperboy the previous year was a letdown because of it too.
Bikers don't give up, do they?
This is a shame, because it had a lot of potential going for it. The Speccy port wouldn't have been the worst thing to tolerate (The Untouchables and WEC Le Mans already proved that), but if the car actually moved well and was visible enough to see where it was going, then it would have been another story. Most of the time when you approach a hill, and there's an armoured truck in front of you, things get very muddled up and almost impossible to play. So what was the cause of it? To be honest I'm unsure if this was a rush job, maybe David can give MHH another interview and ask him that one. But as it stands, Overlander just doesn't cut it and it doesn't surprise me that it was bundled in two compilations less than six months after its release. As a budget release this might be worth it, but definitely not as full price.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Some could find this challenging.
Funky upbeat tune.
Slow moving speccy port
More effort would have made this so much better.
THE END RESULT: 67%