Reviews - Updated on April 9, 2022

We’ve seen quite a few turn-based tactical games more or less like chess. One of the most striking examples is Into the Breach, where we fight various alien creatures. Overland is in many ways similar to the creation of Subset Games, but it is not so much about combat as about survival. And the main task here is not to find and destroy, but to grab something useful and run away (more precisely, leave by car).

The last road flies

The authors of Overland clearly do not rely on history. What happened, why there are a lot of strange monsters around, crawling out of the ground and reacting to noise, nothing is known. Our main goal is to drive as many miles as possible on a long highway, looking in different places along the way to find gas, weapons, first aid kits, a new, cooler car, repair kits to fix a car or a trader to exchange.

You can also pick up fellow travelers, meet the camp of survivors or go on a rescue mission. The latter usually take place at night, when there are especially many monsters. Survivors must be looked for by yourself, because they do not stand in the line of sight and do not wave their hands. Although no one forces you to save: if you want, on the contrary, rob the camp or attack the person you meet.

We are not homeless, but we survive

On the map, we choose which point (and they are randomly generated with each new passage) to go, focusing on how much gasoline is required for this. Or, if you have enough fuel, you can immediately go to the exit from the region to go to the next one.

Directly “points of interest” are very compact, just like in Into the Breach, locations full of enemies, rusty or still functioning cars, garbage cans and obstacles. The characters get out of the car and shuffle in turn-based mode, with the ability to take two actions per turn.

Overland game review

And how to get here? Overlaid, demons!

The main thing at the same time is to find a repair kit for repair, some kind of weapon or a valuable item, which you can then exchange with a merchant. Or get to a garbage can, a rusty car skeleton, a generator or a gas station and pour gasoline into a canister to refuel later. The problem is that the characters can only carry one item with them – or two if they have a backpack. In the car, too, do not put everything – the place is limited. And you can increase it if you tear it off from another wheelbarrow and put a basket for cargo on your roof.

Therefore, sometimes it is better not to drag everything to yourself, but simply to get into a new car – especially if it is a more spacious van or truck.

succeed, kill, carry away

In Overland there is no dependence on hunger, disease and thirst, there is no crafting and pumping. The main gameplay challenge is associated with restrictions on almost everything – the number of moves, gasoline, space in the inventory and the car. Yes, and for a while – the longer we mess around, the more monsters gather around. In addition, they still react to noise, and if someone is hit, then the enemies will begin to arrive more actively and surround them from all sides.Overland game review

Sometimes you can take your dog with you or try to pass without inviting anyone.

Cars from a couple of blows light up and explode on the next turn. Also, with each attack, weapons become unusable. Therefore, most often it is better to avoid a direct fight or push the reptiles to neighboring cells. And here they are allowed to turn on the generators and distract the monsters on them.

That is why the main thing in Overland is to plan your actions competently, almost like in chess, in order to quickly get to the right stick / canister / car, search it, get back closer to your car as quickly as possible and leave. In this case, you first need to start it, which again will raise noise. And very often there are road signs, boxes and other obstacles on the way to the exit. From contact with them, our car quickly breaks down and catches fire, so we first have to clear the way. Particular difficulties with this arise in locations that lead to a transition to a new region.

Chance also affects the chances of survival – both when generating “points of interest”, where there may be more or less useful, and when determining which character we will get and which fellow travelers he will come across. Each survivor has several skills – someone is throwing further, another is initially available with a backpack, the third has a knife, not a flimsy stick. However, in Overland, luck still does not affect our fate so much – competent planning of each step is much more important.

Dying like this with a song! And with a spark.

***

Of course, in all these restrictions, some artificiality is felt. Survival, where the hero, even with a backpack behind his back, carries only two items? The processes of picking up things, storing them in a car and exchanging them with other characters are implemented very inconveniently. And on halts between crossings, the heroes only exchange a couple of phrases – they don’t allow you to exchange something, use a first-aid kit and delve into your inventory.

But otherwise, Overland leaves only positive emotions, which are only enhanced by a stylish picture and very atmospheric music. So if you love survival games, but are tired of the boring mechanics inherent in the genre, then Overland is definitely worth checking out.

Pros: interesting tactical mechanics, reminiscent of Into the Breach; many characters with different skills; stylish graphics; nice melancholic music.

Cons: inconvenient inventory; there are frankly artificial restrictions.

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