Overdrive is a 1993, nicely polished top-down arcade racer with arcade style graphics and sound, but tough gameplay! The game was released only for the Commodore Amiga and DOS computers.
STORY / GAMEPLAY Since this is a racing game, there's no actual story! The main goal is to race your way through the league until achieving the top rank. Only the most skillful of drivers will manage this, preparing for the ultimate race! The harder a race is, the higher the prize granted. At the start of the game, you are given a certain amount of cash so that you can pay your participation in each of the 20 total races. You will drive your car as hell through a variety of snowy, dusty, muddy and sandy settings, around city tracks and finally on high speed circuits. Prior to any race you need to qualify and aim for a better grid position in three timed laps. Believe me, it's hard to get a decent grid position and even if you do so, it's still difficult to win the actual race! But these pre-races are needed to get accustomed to each tracks bends, curves etc. Various items can be picked up around the circuits that can significantly enhance your car's performance like i.e handling (depicted as a steering wheel), extra speed (turbo), cash, repairs and fuel pods. Of course there are numerous hazards around like oil leaks (that will make your car spin and lose valuable speed) and others. The game's vehicles vary from 4WD SUVs to Buggies, Super Sports and Grand Prix cars. Each car is completely different both in handling, max speeds and acceleration. You should always check your fuel gauge, as on later tracks you will not have enough fuel to cover the full distance and it is vital to watch out for fuel power ups or it will be game over! OK, sometimes the controls are over-responsive and awkward! It seems to be impossible to even do a simple thing like lining up up your car but once you spend ten or so minutes practicing on one of the tracks, things will become better. In general, Overdrive is a fun game to play as long as you master its controls as it offers some fast action, variation and excitement. Frustrating disk accessing is probably its only flaw (this is a 3 disks games that requires several disk swaps before racing!) but I guess we can live with that.
GRAPHICS / SOUND The graphics look great (this is Team7 anyway) offering bright colors and cool track designs, but nothing to become over-excited about. The sprites (well, the cars) move fast and the screen scrolling is particularly smooth. As for the sound, Overdrive has some really pleasant music during race selections, loading screens, the end of a race and even includes a brief tune when you lose a credit! The sound effects are plenty too, with sampled engine and braking sounds as well as an arcade quality speech every time you run over a turbo pad or spin out on oil leaks!
In-game music sample:
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