Gas, Gas, Gas – Overland

Congratulate me, reader, I bought my first switch game this week and it was NOT Overland… It was Breath of the Wild. I’ve had a Switch for SO LONG and just never bought a game for it because Switch games never drop below $45 but I decided to suck it up and purchase my first switch game.

Anyway,

I am a big fan of the XCOM games, more specifically the threat of permadeath in games, and while listening to a podcast and they were talking about Finji and a game named Overland. It had been in my Itch library for some time now and they convinced me to play it.

This week I learned that gas is the most precious resource, save scum my way through the post-apocalyptic United States, then I bucked up and on my second playthrough, I escorted three women and two dogs to salvation. This week I played Overland.

Overland is a turn-based strategy game brought to us by Finji. Overland was released in 2019 and is currently available on PC and all consoles. It retails for, a not terrible, $20.

The world has ended as we know it. There was a meteor that fell from the sky and then creatures started appearing and people began to disappear. Soon even the most recognized landscapes crumbled under the weight of the unknown enemy that plagues the world.

The game starts out with a rag-tag group of two survivors that are hell-bent on traveling West. Once they find a vehicle and some gas, it is time to set out across America.

Each map has a set amount of areas that the player can visit either to find gas, trade items, relax or even learn more about the lore of the game. Gasoline is essential in Overland because the number of fuel that you have can allow you to visit the areas mentioned above, if you do not have enough fuel then it’s a no-go. Each of the sections is varied enough and rewards the player a majority of the time with a return on their investment of fuel or even weapons.

Destinations, when you arrive, are already littered with enemies, loot, and occasionally NPC’s that you can coerce to tag along. Areas are usually compact with little room between you and the invaders. There are no objective markers, just the survivors either looking for fuel or other essentials. Empty cars, lockboxes, and dumpsters are the trifecta of noticeable loot containers.

Getting in and getting out is key.

The alien invaders are not the real enemy, sound is. Killing an enemy sends out a soundwave that more enemies will hear resulting in are popping up from the ground in a few turns. Note that killing enemies is important on occasion but do it enough and you will spell death for the survivors and they never come back.

Perma-death is a big factor in Overland.

At the end of each section, there is a blockade that needs to be lifted before moving on, which I believe is a true test of difficulty in Overland. There are enemies en mass and it takes a lot of wits to move survivors around, clear blockades, and get back to the vehicle to escape.

These are probably the tensest moments in the game.

Overland is a game that I played twice because I enjoyed it so much. I really enjoy turn-based strategy games and when it was put forth that you want to avoid combat instead of initiating it really got me.

It is a really fun concept.

Passive character perks are fun but I didn’t notice them until my second playthrough and it really didn’t add much to my gameplay. I had a guy on my second run that could fix cars and such without spending action points, and a woman that could search containers without spending points.

They are useful but nothing groundbreaking.

Combat is fine, I guess, nothing really to it. Bonk things on the head and they die and move when it’s your turn.

My first run lasted about four hours, which I thought really went by rather quickly. The second landed somewhere around three hours.

The game looks good, and it really nails the post-apocalyptic theme well and even more towards the end of the game.

The ending was way more poetic than I would have liked but it ended the game.

One grip that I have with the game is that there are “no way back” moments that force you to ruin a run or restart the section, which both do not feel good doing. This moment is when monsters pop up at faster rates making it impossible to escape. It is annoying but it is nothing that is that bad.

Just me complaining.

Overland is a good game

Great?

Nope, just good.

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