Blur Overdrive review

It may seem an odd choice to license a brand widely considered a commercial misfire for a mobile spin-off, but Blur Overdrive makes smart use of Bizarre Creations’ 2010 IP, translating the game’s showroom sheen and pacey, power-up based battles surprisingly well to touch-based platforms.

Developer AppCrowd adopts the top-down perspective made famous by Codemasters’ Micro Machines and temporarily resurrected by Overdrive’s closest relative, Supersonic Software’s underrated console racer Mashed.

Investing in your car soon boosts it from sluggish to superpowered.

Snaking around the sumptuous stages – more child-friendly than Bizarre Creations’ intricate originals – against AI opponents is performed with a combination of virtual steering wheel and brake. Your direction is emphasised and indicated by a handy arrow projected under your car with your maximum of three power-ups (each lifted from the original game and similarly balanced, leading to some nail-biting rundowns) assigned to tappable slots as you shunt and slam your rivals.

The flow of a race is a little too sedate during the early stages, but this is resolved by the time you’ve invested enough time (or money) in the game’s vast customisation options, boosting your vehicle from sluggish to super-powered.

The UI scales to different screen sizes – though each has its problems.

 

It’s unfortunate, then, that the game’s main problem – the UI – can’t be similarly side-stepped. On larger screens it’s too tricky to successively tap the desired power-up slot as they appear clustered too tightly together, while on smaller screens tracks lose the breathing space crucial to forward planning and clever cornering.

Despite its flaws, however, Overdrive captures the essence of its progenitor, though it also serves as a reminder that the much-missed Bizarre Creations isn’t coming back.

Blur Overdrive is out now for iOS and Android devices.

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