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Game info


GenreArcade Racing
Developer / PublisherPsionic
Media2 x disk
Reviewed byndial
Overdrive is a good polished top-viewed arcade racer. It's arcade style graphics and gameplay are its main advantages, but in the race for first place, it was not a genre classic, rather than another Micro Machines-style racer without offering anything radically new to the genre! The game was release only for the Commodore Amiga and PC (MS-DOS) computers.
OverdriveThe main aim of the game is to get your character up through the league ratings until he achieves the top rank. Only the most skillful of drivers will achieve this, but those who manage it will be in for the race of a lifetime! The harder the race is, the better the prize you receive. At the start of the game you are given a certain amount of cash so that you can pay to enter each race (20 in total). You will race through settings in the snow, across dusty sand tracks, through muddy roads, around city tracks and finally on high speed racing circuits. Prior to any race you need to qualify and aim for a better position on the grid in three time laps. Believe me, it's hard to get a good position, and if so, then it's still difficult to win the actual race! Well the good thing I guess is that, qualifying is good here in order to become accustomed to the track and to where the bends are. Various items can be picked up around the circuits which significantly enhance your vehicle, such as handling (depicted with a steering wheel), extra speed, cash, repair and fuel pads. Of course there are various hazards such as oil (which will spin your car and loose speed) and others. Vehicles vary from 4x4's, Buggies, Supersports and Grand Prix cars. Each car is completely different, both in handling and max speed and acceleration. You should always check your fuel gauge also, as on later tracks you will not have enough fuel to go the complete race distance and it is vital to watch out for fuel power-ups or it will be game over!
Ok, controls are sometime over-responsive and awkward indeed! It seems to be impossible to even do a simple thing like straighten up your car, but once you're spent ten or so minutes practicing on one of the tracks, things will begin to come naturally. In general, Overdrive is a fun game to play as long as you master its controls, offering some fast action, variation and excitement. Horrendous disk accessing is probably the only flaw here (this is a 3 disks games, which requires several times to swap disks before racing!) but I can live with that.

The graphics are great offering (in particular) bright colors and smooth designs of the tracks, but nothing to become overexcited about. Sprites (cars) move fast and smooth and screen scrolling is particularly fluid.
Music tracks are really pleasant and well composed! There are several quality music scores during race selection, loading screens, end of race score and even a little tune when you lose a credit! SFX are plenty too, offering sampled engine sounds, breaking sounds as well as quality arcade style speech as you run over the turbo pads or spin out on the oil!
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Intro/Menu music:  In-game music sample:
Gameplay sample
Some videos belong to (indicated); others not
Hardware information

Amiga 500/500+

Amiga 500/500+CPU: Motorola MC68000 7.16 MHz
MEMORY: 512KB of Chip RAM (OCS chipset - A500), 512 KB of Slow RAM or Trapdoor RAM can be added via the trapdoor expansion, up to 8 MB of Fast RAM or a Hard drive can be added via the side expansion slot. The ECS chipset (A500+) offered 1MB on board to 2MB (extended) of Chip RAM.
GRAPHICS: The OCS chipset (Amiga 500) features planar graphics (codename Denise custom chip), with up to 5 bit-planes (4 in hires), allowing 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 color screens, from a 12bit RGB palette of 4096 colors. Resolutions varied from 320x256 (PAL, non-interlaced, up to 4096 colors) to 640x512 (interlace, up to 4 colors). Two special graphics modes where also included: Extra Half Bright with 64 colors and HAM with all 4096 colors on-screen. The ECS chipset models (Amiga 500+) offered same features but also extra high resolution screens up to 1280x512 pixels (4 colors at once).
SOUND: (Paula) 4 hardware-mixed channels of 8-bit sound at up to 28 kHz. The hardware channels had independent volumes (65 levels) and sampling rates, and mixed down to two fully left and fully right stereo outputs
The Amiga 500/500+ (default) color palette
12bit RGB 4096-colors palette
(32 to 4096 colors on screen)
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