Genre: squad based tactical combat, roguelike, Mad Max, sci-fi

Release Date: 2015

Developer / Publisher: Convoy Games

Convoy website

Story:

Your spaceship, the humongous Mercury, has crashed on a hostile planet. Your task is to drive through forsaken landscapes inhabited by lunatic raiders in search of parts for repairs. Your convoy consists of an MCV (Main Convoy Vehicle), a lumbering beast that is essentially defenceless in the beginning but can be turned into a nasty piece of machinery at later stages. You start with a few inoffensive escorts that can drive around to protect the MCV and take down enemies. As you wander across the world, making countless foes and a few friends, you will come to lead a gradually more imposing convoy.

Playability: Smooth apocalyptic driving

Convoy’s tactical car combat is smooth and rewarding. Reminiscent of Mad Max, your MCV is a clumsy target for maniacs armed to the teeth. The tutorial quickly shows the simple mechanics of issuing orders to your vehicles: shoot what with what, and move where. The MCV follows a straight course and all other cars, trucks, buggies, vans and drones dance a fiery ballet. The pause button is a clever alternative to what would otherwise have been overwhelming real time or turn based boredom.

Annoyance: Can save game, but cannot load game

Convoy automatically saves progress, but you are only given the option of continuing the game where you previously left. Should your MCV explode into a gratuitous fireball, you will have to start from the beginning and painstakingly upgrade your vehicles and complete all quests and side quests all over again. Convoy rarely rewards recklessness and gambling (usually permadeath is the reward). The first few hours of gameplay will focus on prudently collecting parts and fuel to bulge up armour and health. When you finally get your hands on a super heavy blaster, rocket launcher, rail gun or laser, the driving gets a little easier, but there is always the nagging fear of losing your precious vehicles.

Beauty: Spiky wheels

Heavily inspired by Mad Max, Convoy manages to recreate with rough edge pixels the variety and craziness of a post apocalyptic bestiary of customised wheels. Visuals and sounds are very basic, but somehow you can almost smell burnt rubber and the heat of plasma explosions. The voice over and soundtrack are on the humdrum repetitive side, and the various characters of the story never really come to life.

The Old Video Gamer’s Prattle: The Road Warrior still rides 8/10

Convoy is a short but fun drive through dust and dirt that relies on smooth tactical gameplay and a set of clear objectives. Science fiction aficionados will be delighted to discover hidden eggs at every quest. For the old and casual gamer, a little bit of patience is necessary, but with better weapons, appropriate counter measures and smoother vehicle handling, there will be no stopping the Road Warrior.