Gameplay 7
Graphics 8
Sound 7

80’s Overdrive harkens back to an era where neon colors, synth music, and fast cars were all the rage. Players can make their way through a 37 race Career Mode while purchasing new cars and upgrades along the way or hop into the Time Attack mode for a race against the clock. Unfortunately, the track editor is a little lacking, but tweaking all the variables does result in some interest tracks. While the game can be a bit of a grind and has its fair share of frustrating moments, it’s still a blast to play, and something fans of the genre will enjoy.

Gameplay: Race as fast as possible while dodging traffic, cops, and obstacles.

Graphics: The pixel art is vibrant and detailed, and there are plenty of track themes.

Sound: Sound effects are a little harsh, but the soundtrack is great

Summary 7.3 Great
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Summary 0.0 Terrible


Developer: Insane Code | Publisher: Insane Code | Release Date: 2020 | Genre: Racing / Arcade / Indie | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Some things belong together, such as neon colors, synth sounds, and sports cars. 80’s Overdrive by Insane Code combines all of these into a 2D pixel art racing game aimed squarely at retro enthusiasts with fond memories of titles like Out Run and Rad Racer. The game was initially released on the Nintendo 3DS but certainly doesn’t look out of place on PC.

When starting up 80’s Overdrive, players are presented with three different choices. Career mode is the best starting point as it challenges players to 37 races that become progressively more challenging. Time Attack is more akin to the spirit of the genre and sees players try and make it as far as possible before the clock runs out. Reaching checkpoints adds some time to the clock, as does driving dangerously close to other vehicles on the road. Last up is the track editor, which is basically a series of variables that can be adjusted to generate new tracks.

The cars in 80’s Overdrive are all based on coveted sports cars from the eighties, but with slightly tweaked names to avoid legal issues. For example, instead of a Ferrari Testarossa, players can slide behind the steering wheel of a Testosterando or take the DeLoan for a spin instead of a DeLorean. There are six cars in total and an unlockable seventh for players who can complete all the races and beat the mysterious final opponent.

The goal in career mode is to get a podium finish as there are no rewards for not finishing in the top three. It not only costs money to enter a race, but players must also pay for damages and fuel afterward. This means that players can lose money even with a podium finish if they are not careful about avoiding other cars or obstacles. Unfortunately, there is usually civilian traffic on the roads during races, and they have no qualms about driving erratically or side-swiping your vehicle. Even worse, some tracks have police patrols, and they are even more determined to end your race if you pass them. A single crash can make it impossible to win the race in later races, but thankfully, there’s no penalty for restarting and trying again.

Finishing a race rewards players with some cash, which can then be spent on upgrading their vehicle or purchasing a new one. The engine, steering, and bumpers of all the cars can be upgraded to improve their speed, handling, and durability. In addition, players can purchase nitros, which can be used twice per race for a short speed burst, and a radar, which warns of nearby police cars. Finally, players are sometimes presented with optional challenges by a shady-looking character to make things a little more interesting. These range from picking up packages en route, to beating specific racers or damaging their cars. Completing these usually results in a nice wad of cash, so they are worth accepting.

Visually, 80’s Overdrive looks like a high-resolution pixel art game, with vibrant colors and the type of sprite scaling that was popular in Out Run, Hang-On, and other retro arcade titles. The action is viewed from behind your vehicle, and everything looks very sharp and clear. 80’s Overdrive also runs very smoothly, making it a pleasure to speed through the forests, deserts, cities, mountains, coastlines, and other areas. However, the number of lanes can increase and decrease, making it trickier to dodge traffic and police cars. The lack of a map also makes it hard to see where you are in relation to the other racers. Another minor gripe is that sometimes the other racers on the track display an emoji above their cars. These are humorous, but unfortunately, they can also obscure your view of the road ahead. Overall, though, the interface is quite clean, and only the corners of the screen are dedicated to information such as your progress in the race, position in the race, damage taken, fuel left, and speed.

80’s Overdrive nails the eighties atmosphere with a synth-laden soundtrack featuring the likes of Vectorwolf, Karolis, Agnst78, and more. Players can choose one of the 18 tracks to listen to at the start of the race or cycle through them while driving. The sound effects, such as tires screeching and car horns, are a little loud but can be toned down. The game is an arcade title through and through, so players expecting “realistic” handling will be disappointed. The controls work fine for the most part, though, and weaving through traffic can be immensely satisfying. It’s a little unfair that the police only target your vehicle, and some of the other cars on the road are downright malicious in the way they will swerve in front of you, but this is to be expected from the genre.

It’s a good thing that there is no penalty for restarting races in 80’s Overdrive, as without it, the game would have been an even bigger grind than what it already is. Going from first to last and having to pay for a ton of repairs after a crash is not a lot of fun, so restarting is usually the most sensible option. Races are divided into short, medium, and long tracks, but none of them feel too long. Completing all the tracks and unlocking the Penetrator 8080 also makes playing the Time Attack mode a lot more fun. There’s no damage in Time Trial mode, so players are free to focus on getting as far as possible.

Overall, 80’s Overdrive is a nice homage to the eighties and a title that fans of Out Run, Rad Racer, and similar games will enjoy. It can be frustrating at times but listening to the music while getting into “the zone” and completing a perfect race is a great experience. It’s a pity that the game does not have any multiplayer options, as this could have further increased its longevity. While there are plenty of minor issues to nitpick, there’s enough here to keep fans of the genre busy for quite some time. 80’s Overdrive is not the first game to be influenced by classic eighties arcade racing games, but it is one of the better ones.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit
  • Processor: Intel® Core™ i3
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Compatible with OpenGL 3.x
  • Storage: 300 MB available space

Related posts

Moons of Madness

Moons of Madness

Moons of Madness is a story-driven horror title where players control an engineer fighting for his life and sanity on Mars. After what was supposed to be a fairly routine mission goes horribly wrong you are left trying to salvage the situation as the odds continue to mount against you. Although the focus in this game is very much on the story, it also features some nice puzzles and the threat of death will keep you on your toes. Gameplay: Thanks to some decent puzzles Moons of Madness is more than just a walking simulator. Graphics: The game features plenty of nice visual details. Sound: Decent soundtrack, but it is the voice acting that really stands out.



Step into the stealthy boots of a master assassin and eliminate your foes through violence or cunning in this immersive first-person title. Eliminating your enemies with deadly gadgets or supernatural powers is a blast, but playing as a silent shadow that is never seen is arguable even more fun. Dishonored might not have the most original storyline, but the amount of freedom it gives players makes for a very memorable experience. Gameplay: There is a lot of freedom to be as violent or stealthy as you wish. Graphics: Great art style and plenty of attention to detail. Sound: Stellar voice acting despite some repetition.

Not The Robots

Not The Robots

I wasn't sure if Not The Robots would live up to its wacky concept but it turned out to be much more addictive than I anticipated. Clearing out a level without taking damage is a rush and the stealth mechanics make for plenty of tense moments. It is not the easiest of games and it has to be completed in one sitting as there is no save feature but trust me it is worth it. Gameplay: Eating furniture has never been this much fun! Graphics: Nothing spectacular but gets the job done. Sound: Good tunes and solid sound effects.

Nightmares from the Deep: The Cursed Heart

Nightmares from the Deep: The Cursed Heart

Rescue your daughter from the clutches of an undead pirate in this enjoyable hidden object game. Or, if hidden object hunting is not your thing, do so instead by playing a couple of solo Mahjong rounds. The Cursed Heart features an interesting storyline, great locations and plenty of puzzles to solve. The only thing holding it back is the low resolution cut-scenes and less than stellar voice acting. Gameplay: Rather easy, but very enjoyable. Graphics: The locations look great, but the cut-scenes plays at a very low resolution. Sound: Nice music and sound effects, but the voice acting could have been better.



MECHBLAZE is a no-nonsense run and gun mech shooter with some great bosses to take down. The game does have a bit of a learning curve due to the controls, but multiple difficulty settings ensure that it is accessible to players of all skill levels. Fans of ASTRO PORT and the Astro Saga universe that they have created will have the most fun with this game, but we also recommend it to anyone who loves a good shooter. Gameplay: Plenty of guns and more than enough enemies to shoot at. Graphics: The enemy designs and animations look great. Sound: Decent, but outstanding.

House of Caravan

House of Caravan

House of Caravan is a first-person exploration and puzzle game set entirely in a small, deserted mansion. The limited amount of puzzles are disappointing, to say the least, and slowly creeping through the mansion opening every cabinet and drawer grows old very quickly. Thankfully, the game can be completed in less than 90 minutes, provided you manage to avoid the bugs and wonky physics. This game could have done a lot more with the story and setting but ended up falling far short in all areas. Gameplay: Slow, tedious, and boring. Graphics: Decent enough, but very dark. Sound: Stilted voice acting and unmemorable music.

Leave a comment

twenty − 10 =