Overdriven Reloaded review

Overdriven Reloaded review


With more and more Indie games on our beloved console, we also get treated to an expanding library of retro game options. Overdriven is one such option in the shoot ‘em up genre. The premise is simple, fly straight up and avoid the uncountable shots coming at you all the while shooting the enemy in return. Step into the cockpit and prepare for a launch as we boost into the galactic bullet hell.


  • The sound design is good with a fifteen-song soundtrack. Most of which I enjoy listening too, but there’s something for different tastes.
  • The game offers that nice retro gaming feel. In general, the game is tough, you know like back in the good old days, and it emulates the shooter genre pretty well.
  • Since this is a retro game, let’s throw in an age-old cliché; this game really is easy to learn but hard to master. You need to be in the zone to keep dodging all bullets.
  • The graphics are mostly well done and colorful. Some stages are quite ugly though, I’m looking at you, turbulence stage. Actually, I’m trying not to look at you.
  • Playing this game solo is slightly better for learning the game and trying to understand what’s going on. Having said that, couch co-op is a blast, and you will likely do better with as you can divide the screen between yourselves and it’s just more fun that way.


  • The difficulty doesn’t scale very well. Sometimes a stretch can be quite hard while the following is really easy. The same with bosses, some later bosses are actually much easier than earlier ones. I would have liked to see a more even increase in difficulty.
  • There are a lot of modes in the game, but most of them are pretty much the same. You’ll do the exact same thing, but there will be a modifier in place, like no player health bar. After seeing the extensive menu with modes, this felt like a bit of a letdown. The mini games are different enough though, except “The Line,” which just adds a line at the bottom that the enemies can’t cross.


  • This one is pretty much a deal breaker for me. While it’s not so bad in the beginning stages, in later levels, you will really understand why games come with a photosensitive warning. All bullets are pretty bright, to begin with, but then the screen starts flashing white frequently for no apparent reason. As you really need to concentrate and stare at the screen to be able to avoid all shots, this led my playing partner and me to experience physical pain in our eyes from the brightness. This could have easily been avoided by giving more thought to the graphical design and leaving out the inexplicable bright flashes.
  • I enjoy a good story and there is a hint of a storyline here, but it is executed so poorly that it would have been better just to leave it out altogether. There is this weird automated voice spewing nonsense at the start of stages and frequently when you are shooting already, making it very hard to understand what is being said. Whenever I did manage to pay attention, it wasn’t very

Overdriven Reloaded: Special Edition [Score 6,0/10] delivers an old-fashioned vertical space shooter to our modern consoles. For those that can handle the focus and frustration tolerance needed for this type of game, it would be easy to recommend Overdriven, especially at the low price point. However, the real eye discomfort we experienced during a long play session is not to be taken lightly, and sadly this does bring the score down by a whole point for me. This will obviously vary per person and setup, but note that this may very well apply to you too.

Dev: TOMAGameStudio 
Played on: 
Xbox One | LifeisXbox received a digital Preview code, provided by the developer.