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ELITE £19.99 * Joystick

Originally released a couple of years ago on just about every format except the Amiga, Overlander follows in the footsteps of games such as Roadblasters and Fire and Forget - it is a 3D driving game with a generous helping of the old blast-the-enemies-to-bits with your on-board weapons.

The plot places you in the future as a driver in the year 2025. CFCs have destroyed the ozone layer, so that the human race has had to take refuge away from the suns harmful ultraviolet radiation in huge underground cities. Because of the vast distances between the cities, the only way of getting from one to another is via the old freeways. These roads are not the place for normal citizens, due to the radiation above ground and the violent mutant beings living on the surface.

Whenever a trip is necessary, the government sanctions the use of the Overlanders - mercenaries with extremely powerful vehicles at thei disposal. The reason for the trip does not bother them - - they only want the money so they can improve their cars.

You are one of these drivers taking on a government funded mission. Half the money is given up front to give you some cash to add some kit to your car. Add-ons range from $100 flame bombs to $10,000 lean burn engine, but a stock of fuel is needed before you can go anywhere and that costs money too! Do not worry too much though, since dosh can be topped up by blasting the overground mutants with your on board cannons or any other weapons you may have bought.

If you manage to reach the end of the level, the other half of your fee is paid and you are given another choice of missions.


Whereas the sound is the usual run-of-the-mill boppy bassline and drum machine effects, the graphics are much more impressive. The depth-cued shading gives the game a realistic quality and the nicely drawn open desert wastelands have a suitably desolated feel, in fact the appearance in general is very atmospheric. Even the selection screens have been beautifully designed, with small but perfectly formed symbols to represent the options. One more thing - why do not more people use the Amiga's overscan mode? As Overlander definitely benefits from its use.


The obstacles and enemies on every level fall into a definite pattern, so that you can learn just what lies ahead and remember how to tackle it next time. Not that you will get through straight away though, it is going to take a good few goes before you start beating the roads!


This type of game was all the rage a couple of years ago, so why has it taken so long for Elite to get an Amiga conversion together? Probably because the programmers wanted to do it properly and to be honest they have produced a good looking and playable game. It is not exactly an innovative idea and hardly breaks new ground in technical expertise, but it does provide the driving, shoot-em-up addict with a high quality fix of blasting action. Fans of Roadblasters should put aside their disappointment at the official conversion and try this for size, but casual players should check it out carefully before slapping the money on the counter.

Die Highway-Killer sind los:

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Eigentlich hat ja schon niemand mehr gegbalubt, daß dieses Rennspiel jemals auch für unsere "Freundin" herauskommen wird. Aber zu guter Letzt ist die Amigaversion nun doch noch erschienen!

Wir schreiben das Jahr 2025, die Menschheit hat inzwischen in den Untergrund verzogen. Die einzige Verbindung zwischen den unterirdischen Städten stellen die Highways dar, auf denen die "Overlander" fahren. Sie transportieren alles, was ihnen in den Weg kommt, um Geld zum Auffrisieren ihrer Kisten zu bekommen.

Tja, und außerdem gibt es da natürlich noch die bösen Gangs, die die Straßen terrorisieren.

Beim Spielen wird sehr schnell deutlich, daß der Automat "Roadblasters" hier als Vorbild gedient hat.

Overlander ist ein ganz passables Race & Shoot-Game, die Grafik ist recht ordentlich und hat sogar 32 Farben, die auch richtig zur Geltung kommen. Verschiedene Aufträge und elf Extras versüßen das Spiel, mit genügend Knete können sogar Extraleben gekauft werden.

Die (düstere) Musik ist gut, die Effekte spärlich aber akzeptabel.

Leider hat das Game auch seine Schattenseiten - die Level sind viel zu lang und werden mit der Zeit langweilig; man bekommt keine Levelcodes (also immer wieder ganz von vorne!), es gibt weder eine Gangschaltung (wäre mehr Abwechslung) noch gar so luxuri ose Dinge wie abspeicherbare Highscores!

Trotzalledem: wer schon immer mal ein Autorennspiel mit Baller-Action wollte, wird mit Overlander nicht schlecht bedient. (mm)

Overlander logo

Elite, £19.99

It's the end of the world as we know it. What has happened? Global thermonuclear war, another ice age, little green men coming from the planet Zitt? No, it was underarm deodorants! Yes, the CFC gases from smelly aerosols have finally destroyed the ozone layer.

So what do you do? Sit in the sun getting skin cancer? No, instead you drive a super-fast car and are paid to transport dodgy goods from city to city. To liven up the journey other motorists try to ram you off the road or just shoot you! It's just as well there's a shopping centre nearby where you can buy essential stuff like turbos, battering rams, flame bombs, and rockets.

Phil King So, Elite have finally converted the dire C64 game. And why the long wait? Well, apparently it's been completely redesigned and reprogrammed - but you'd hardly notice. The undulating road's quite good, but other than that the graphics are bland and badly animated with poor collision detection. Complementing them perfectly, the simple roadblasting gameplay will drive you mad with boredom.
Scorelord It's been an unbelievably long time in conversion, and the 32 colour palette doesn't add that much to the ST game. Basic roadblasting gameplay seems dated now and it's toughness doesn't help either. But perseverance will get you to stage two, where slightly different graphics and a large range of add-on equipment add a bit of depth. Although some of the obstacles are impossible to dodge at high speed - forcing you to remember the route - it's still quite enjoyable, relatively inexpensive and more violent than Turbo Out Run!