Overboard PS1 Review: A Comprehensive Look at the Classic Game

Game Development

Psygnosis developed, published, and released (Overboard! – PS1), also known as Shipwreckers! in North America, in 1997 for PlayStation and Microsoft Windows. The game’s lead developer is Robert C Dibley who is known for racing titles like Need For Speed and others.


While playing you sail around a small ship trying to avoid other pirates on the seas trying to take you down by blasting cannons at you. So, you will be returning the fire trying to blast them away with your cannonballs! However, if you are not careful it will be tough to stay alive while running away from the enemy ships and laser fire that can capsize you quickly.

So, it’s best to try and avoid those fire throwers or the little guys on board the ship will be like nah, I’m out of here and abandon ship! Probably thinking, “This is not, what I signed up for”. Along, with that you will be faced with Huge Piranhas and another foe.

Buy Shipwreckers! on Amazon here.

The game is a simple but, also interesting mix of action and puzzle like gameplay, with the goal of each level being to raise the Jolly Roger(Flag for those non-pirates) over each of the enemy ports and to steal all the booty before going through a warp gate to get to the next area.

As you navigate through each level of Overboard PS1, You will find a maze of traps, enemies, and even secret hiding spots. Causing you to be constantly on guard as enemies attack from below, on the sea, and in the skies. The title is a nod to the people who abandon the ship while playing and decide to jump Overboard!.

overboard PS1

Plot According to the Manual – Overboard PS1

If you take a peak at the manual that comes with the game it says – “The Legend of BlowFleet“Gather round ‘n’ Hear th’ legend.Cap’n Blowfleet ne’er lost a crewman to th’ scurvy, nor a tsunami, nor a creature from th’ depths.

In truth, ‘is pirates were feared thro’ each o’ th’ seven seas. From th’ Windies to th’ Polars, thar weren’t a port nor anchorage which were safe from ‘is plund’rers ‘n’ it be folly to challenge ‘em.
Legend said they were emboldened by Egyptian enchantment, so only th’ bravest mariner would be foolish enough to risk a salty death. But for one tar, Davy Jones’s locker held no dread. That tar commandeered a vessel of ‘igh repute ‘n’ mustered a crew of strong-i’-th’-arm sea-dogs.

That tar took up the Blowfleet’s gauntlet. That tar set sail to pillage ‘is strongholds, plunder ‘is loot, ‘n’ capture ‘is scalp. That tar be you.”

I am not sure what all of that pirate slag means but, you can always search Google, for the answers may-te!  Also, Tar is, it’s English slang for seaman.

Gameplay – Overboard PS1

While playing Overboard PS1, you will start by controlling only chaser cannons and broadside cannons. However, as you play through this PlayStation 1 game there is a lot variety of power-ups. During gameplay, players will discover power-ups such as flamethrowers, burning oil trails, rockets, depth charges, and tesla weaponry.

You can even level up your weapons by finding golden power-ups, which give them increased power and range. Some power-ups can even transform the player’s ship into a speeding paddle boat or a flying zeppelin. The little guys(crew) will jump ship when it becomes on fire to save themselves. The green bottles you will find while sailing around will piece together the game map and ultimately lead you to the treasure.

The game also features a single-player campaign, which is fun and varied. However, the appeal can be a bit stale around the fourth world, not helped by the looping music.

While the music in Overboard! is thematically appropriate and varies from world to world, it may not be well-suited for the longer, maze-like gameplay that the game requires. As players reach the end section of a level, they may become slightly distracted and annoyed by the music as it loops around for what feels like the 20th time.

Check out the 20 Best JRPGS for PS1 Here.

Saving Lives – Overboard PS1

If you happen to get burned alive by the nasty flame throwers found throughout the game. You will end up having to suffer the fate of the infamous long load times of the PS1 console just like the other retro consoles we’ve grown the love.

After you pass the level you are currently on you will be able to save the game onto your memory card but, then you will also, be stuck with the same lives and weapons and not a replenished batch. Having to start the game with zero spare lives really sucks and makes the game a little less fun than it would be had it handed out more. Oh, well.


Overboard PS1 is an excellent retro party game, especially when using the PlayStation’s 4-way-tap accessory. Given the ability to host up to five players in a single deathmatch arena, players can witness the chaos of a battle royale as their friends compete to be the last ship floating, using cannons, flamethrowers, and mines to take each other down. The gameplay is filled with moments of friends being set on fire, sailors being stolen to gain an extra bit of life, and ships exploding and sinking in spectacular fashion.

However, the game’s mechanics for the sea-bound enemies are a little screwy, especially when it comes to tight areas or sea walls in general. Making them easy targets. Enemies have a habit of getting stuck on walls and corners. There are also enemies that spot players and just ramp headlong towards them, disregarding the fact that obstacles are in front of them or just ramming into the player’s side as they obliterate them with cannon fire(funny). As a result, some of the sea battles in Overboard! may become less chaotic and entertaining and instead feel like a series of mercy killings.


Overboard! can be considered a middle-of-the-road game. It’s a sea-worthy, piratically themed piece of entertainment, but it isn’t here to push the boundaries of what video games can be. It’s a dumb but also quirky game that is fun to play, but it’s not what we’d call a must-have. It’s a great game to play with friends and a good game to play when you just want to relax and have some fun. Unfortunately, there wasn’t as much praise for Overboard as the 9 other titles from Psygnosis that came out the same year. and GameStop compared it unfavourably to Sid Meier’s – Pirates!

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