If you remember the old school days of Outrun (Arcade) and Top Gear (SNES), then this game will certainly bring back the nostalgia of the 80s, especially with its really cool synthesizer music.
Developed by Insane Code, graphically, 80s Overdrive is attractive in a very simplistic way with some really nice colours. The environments are varied enough to keep you occupied and the cars are varied and appealing enough to distinguish themselves from their real life counterparts.
The soundtrack boasts some very catchy music and is where this game really shines, with some real 80s feel music. (I wish they had released a soundtrack CD.) The sound effects are your usual retro style audio with a simplistic approach that does the job nicely.
Gameplay is really good, though a bit behind Sega Ages Outrun and Horizon Chase Turbo – the latter two being superior in playability. 80s Overdrive does play a lot on the old school frustrating gameplay, but it’s a good thing to seasons gamers of retro nostalgia. In those times, games were less forgiving than today and the same goes for this title. If you crash, you’ll pay for it. The worst is the traffic, they randomly and unpredictably drive sideways, causing you to crash and lose your position drastically.
A cool feature that I liked is that rivals will have some cool emoticons to tease you with. To keep things interesting, there’s also collectibles on the track that give you bonuses and lastly, a nice touch for variety is the cop car chases where they will happily ram you to a stop.
As you upgrade your cars, you can max them out, so aside from the car models, there’s not much else to differentiate them in the long run. However, you do have to watch your fuel, repair damage and use your turbos wisely. Aside from the career mode, there is also a track editor and time trial mode on offer, but with no multiplayer, 80s Overdrive doesn’t offer too much replayability. As it is the sort of game best experienced with friends online or in a couch co-op.
I love this game because it’s different from its competitors, with its own unique identity. It’s not a substitute, but a companion to the other games in the genre. I love the 80s synthesizer soundtracks and the 16-but pixelart graphics that are very SNES-like. Quite a bit of effort has gone into making this game with very addictive gameplay, making it a true nostalgia trip. This is one for retro fans to pick up and a true gem. It’s on sale and only 232MB in size.
80s Overdrive is well worth the pick up on the eShop.
Shinobi Ryder is a Games Journalist for ICUGamer.com and an independent reviewer at WKDPlay.com. Follow ShinobiRyder @Wkdplay
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