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[Beyond PlayStation] 80’s Overdrive Review

[Beyond PlayStation] 80’s Overdrive Review

Looking for a fun arcade-style racing game on Nintendo 3DS with some mild sim elements here and there? Then check out our 80’s Overdrive review!


Racers like Gran Turismo, Burnout, Need for Speed and The Crew may be the top racers to play of this generation, with a ton of sim elements and physics-based gameplay mechanics, but back in the 1980’s we had awesome racers like the beloved OutRun, a game which I absolutely adored playing. 80’s Overdrive feels kinda like OutRun at some points, which is great, but it also does its own thing, easing players into the experience with an easier set of starting races, gradually increasing the difficulty and allowing players to select which races they take on as they go.

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The goal in the game, as expected, is very simple you race against a set of opponents, and winning races earns you big money, even if you come in 2nd or 3rd – anything lower won’t help you in the long run. As you win races you will rack up some much-needed money to improve your current ride’s stats, repair its damage or to add fuel to its tank (you know, because cars use gas!). Along with that, if you save enough you can even buy a new car with better overall starting stats, so that you can kep up with your opponent’s improvements to continue to win races.

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Unlike most modern racers in which its you and your opponents racing on a track, in 80’s Overdrive you’re riding on long stretches of road with ordinary people driving their ordinary car drivers, so you’ll need to not only worry about your opponents but also about other cars and even obstacles on the road that will damage you and considerably slow you down. Crashing once in a race might be enough to make you stay out of the top 4 spots, thus costing you the race, unless you’ve upgraded your car enough as to be able to catch up with your opponents – or if you had a big enough lead over the rest as to recover.

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The controls work great, being tight and responsive, which is always needed for a racing game. You can use the D-Pad or the analog stick to control your car, but I found that the D-Pad works better for moving around the road and the regular folks driving their cars (to work, to school, or maybe they’re going home?), but your mileage may vary – at least you have the option, right?

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The game offers three modes for you to play. The first one is Career Mode, and it’s the one in which you’ll spend most of your time. It is here where you’ll race your car around trying to win enough to gain the money needed to improve your car or to get new ones. Each race costs a specific fee for you to enter, and the higher the entry fee the higher the prize you can win.


After completing the first set of races, which work as an extended tutorial, subsequent races will start to offer you some extra objectives to complete for some bonus cash. These include things such as collecting boxes of merchandise, causing X amount of damage, or finishing a race in a specific slot, and if you can do them while also aiming at winning the race (except for the ones that ask you to finish in X or Y slot), they will be more than worth the extra effort.

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Along with Career Mode, you can try out Time Attack Mode, which plays similarly to how you would take on a game like OutRun. You’ll race for as long as you have enough time left in your overall timer, and reaching checkpoints will allow you to increase your timer to keep going. How long can you go? This is a very fun mode that leans more towards the arcade side of things, and it’s definitely appreciated for this game.

The final one is the Level Editor Mode, which will provide you with many hours of fun! For this mode you can pick a race theme, the length of the race, chose the number of bends, hills and more. Once you’re happy with your creation, you can share with the world the races you have created by providing others with the specific code for your race. This one adds a ton of replay value to the game since you could end up making a ton of tracks or playing the tracks that others have created for years!

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80’s Overdrive is a colorful, fast-paced an fun arcade-style racer that feels right at home on the Nintendo 3DS. It’s Career Mode is robust, and its progress system will keep you busy as you try to win enough money to upgrade your ride to keep up the pace with your opponents before you upgrade to a new car that can

The graphics are very beautiful, the younger players will not appreciate the classic pixel art games of the 1980’s but 80’s overdrive is done exceptionally well, the attention to detail is pretty incredible, tiny details like track side objects shadows of other players and so on, it’s tiny details like that make’s racers look and feel authentic regardless of resolution. I encountered no bugs or glitches, the controls are smooth and tight, the music is brilliant. Overall a pretty decent racer and that is coming from someone who isn’t a huge fan of the racing genre, I’m more of a karting or buggy kind of racer haha. Would love the game to make the transition to the Nintendo Switch, Imagine the game in portable mode on a bigger screen, Some day I hope that happens. 80’s Overdrive won’t appeal to the hard core racers, but it’s a pretty decent game so why not give it a chance?

This 80’s Overdrive review is based on a Nintendo 3DS copy provided by Insane Code.


Review Overview

Very fun and colorful arcade racer