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Game Info:

Overlanders
Developed by: Run-Down Games
Published by: Run-Down Games
Release date: May 23, 2019
Available on: Windows
Genre: Racing
Number of players: Up to five online
ESRB Rating: Not rated
Price: $24.99

Thank you Run-Down Games for sending us a review code!

When I first saw Overlanders, it brought back memories of the Star Wars: Episode 1 Racer game that I loved playing on PC and on the Nintendo 64. The concept of hunting and racing seemed intriguing so I looked forward to checking this game out. The excitement quickly faded after barely getting glimpses of the monster to hunt and bots that are difficult to overtake even on the easiest setting. In order to upgrade your racer and have a chance of succeeding, you’ll need to play online (nobody is ever on) and earn in-game money to purchase loot boxes and power-ups. A recent update separates the online and offline campaign upgrades, but I always try to look online in hopes of finding someone at my (poor) skill level. If nobody joins the game you’ll be pitted against bots.

The controls are rather wonky with the mouse being required to navigate menus even if you have a controller plugged in. The game’s interface will show the appropriate button scheme for keyboard or gamepad depending on which one you’re using.

Highlights:

Strong Points: Interesting combination of hunting and racing
Weak Points: Nobody to play online with; loot boxes; unbalanced difficulty levels; partial controller support
Moral Warnings: Mild violence

Like many kart racing games there are random power-ups scattered throughout the racetrack. They’re usually lined up and taken on a first-come, first-served basis. If you’re in last place as I usually was, the only ones left are the ones you have to go out of your way for. Power-ups include shields, force-field traps, missiles, rockets, speed boosts, and money. Out of all of the power-ups, the speed boost seems to be the rarest. In the latest update, the developers adjusted the drop rate of weapons. Though I have yet to land an attack on the monster boss, missiles work pretty well in slowing down opponents in front of me.

Unlike most of the racing games I’ve played, there are no set number of laps that must be completed. The race does not end until the boss is defeated. Until its health bar is depleted, the track will continuously loop. Be sure to pay attention, as there may be shortcuts and hidden paths worth taking to gain an advantage.

Overlanders
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 66%
Gameplay - 12/20
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 5/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 4/5

Morality Score - 90%
Violence - 7/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 8/10

In total there are fourteen tracks ranging from easy, medium, and hard. In order to unlock the next track you have to earn a specific position (usually top three) on the previous one. The tracks have a nice amount of variety and detail. You’ll be racing through sandy deserts, snowy mountains, and lush forests. The variety in daytime and nighttime tracks is also appreciated.

The background music is decent, but forgettable. There’s not much variety in the sound effects as the boss always makes the same death gurgle when defeated. Violence is a given since you're tasked with defeating other racers and a giant boss by any means necessary.

Though Overlanders offers a unique concept, it fails to deliver. Hopefully, the balancing issues and controls get tweaked and the multiplayer community picks up. Until then, I recommend holding out for a sale before picking this game up.

About the Author

Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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