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OverDrive packs the multiplayer modes of TimeSplitters 2, Overwatch and other video games into a board game

Colourful roster of characters includes a space jellyfish, robot spider and mind-controlling alien.

Remember King of the Hill and Capture the Flag? Upcoming board game OverDrive looks to bring a variety of classic multiplayer game modes to the tabletop in a two-player board game inspired by video games.

OverDrive is the latest addition to Kings of War and The Walking Dead: All Out War publisher Mantic Games’ sci-fi Warpath Universe, which includes miniatures games such as futuristic sports game DreadBall and skirmish game Deadzone.

OverDrive takes the arena-based basketball-style competition of DreadBall and amps it up into six different game modes played by two teams of three characters on its hex-grid board.

The modes draw from familiar video game staples, including King of the Hill - where players must hold control of a scoring area on the board - the tag-style Pass the Bomb, team classic Capture the Flag, the KO-happy Killing Streak, Invade - which sounds a little like playground game British Bulldog, as players try to move their characters into scoring areas while stopping their opponents from doing the same - and dodgeball mode DodgeBrawl.

Mantic described OverDrive as inspired by the arcade modes of multiplayer video games including cartoony classic TimeSplitters 2, team-based hero shooter Overwatch and colourful kid-friendly Nintendo game Splatoon.

The game’s rules are said to be easy to pick up, with the basics boiling down to moving between spaces, slamming opponents and using ranged attacks from afar while attempting to complete the given objective of each mode. Each player gets four activations per turn - each character can be activated up to twice - which alternate between the two teams. Games are estimated to play in an hour, with gameplay said to be kept as fast-moving as possible to mimic the energy of video games.

“We really wanted something that felt a little like a video game in terms of how you learn to play the game, so it introduces new actions as you become more comfortable with the mechanics - a little like learning to use new weapons in an FPS or getting new abilities in Metroidvania,” OverDrive designer Rob Burman told Dicebreaker. “Keeping the core mechanics relatively simple allows us to have unique abilities for the individual Players, so you can learn how to get the best out of each character, without getting bogged down in overly complicated rules.”

The characters - known as giants in the Warpath Universe - feature unique traits, varying in speed and strength. Each giant also has a unique OverDrive ability - similar to Overwatch’s Ultimates - that can be used once per turn. The abilities include the chance to mind control opponents, attack characters and other more powerful moves.

Like the cast of memorable characters in TimeSplitters and Overwatch, OverDrive’s roster includes a colourful selection of playable giants, such as the shark-headed Karadon, robotic spider Skarathron, space jellyfish Synechdoche and tentacled alien The Spawn. Burman confirmed that some of the characters introduced in OverDrive will later be added to DreadBall and Deadzone, with additional characters being added to OverDrive in the form of rival packs. Among the first characters revealed for future release were mecha-dinosaur Kaijudan and space rat Gnaw.

OverDrive will be released this September, and will be heading straight into shops. The base game costs £50 on Mantic’s online store, with the first rival pack expansion, Tigrax vs Shadow, priced at £25.


About the Author

Matt Jarvis avatar

Matt Jarvis

Editor-in-chief

After starting his career writing about music, films and video games for various places, Matt spent many years as a technology, PC and video game journalist before writing about tabletop games as the editor of Tabletop Gaming magazine. He joined Dicebreaker as editor-in-chief in 2019, and has been trying to convince the rest of the team to play Diplomacy since.

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