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The House of the Dead: Overkill™­- The Lost Reels review (iOS / Universal)

April 29, 2013

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10 word description: On-rails first person shooter. 2 chapters + 1 via IAP. Various weapons.

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10 word review: Wonderfully gratuitous action. Fantastic controls. Feels short, but definitely fun.

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You will like this if you enjoy: House of the Dead games. On-rails shooters, e.g. Time Crisis or, on iOS, Rage.

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The good news: The controls, by which a game like this succeeds or fails, are extremely good. The default virtual pad to aim is responsive, reliable and never lets you down. The tap-to-shoot option, unlocked when you complete the initial two chapters, is so good it feels like a cheat. The action is relentless and a hell of a lot of fun. There are loads of weapons and they can all be extensively upgraded at a cost that is balanced well enough to make you want to work for it without feeling like an IAP pay-wall. Performs well on older devices – e.g. 4th gen Touch.

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The bad news: The fact that the third chapter and two of the 4 playable characters in a fairly short game are only available as an IAP is rather irritating. An option to acquire it all with a large amount of in-game cash would at least reduce the negative feelings this creates. The swearing in the cut-scene dialogue is rather too gratuitous and unnecessary. Boss fights are anticlimactic and don’t match the visceral entertainment of the rest of the levels.

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Arcadelife verdict: I really like this game, not just because it surprised me by being so much better than I expected but because it is really such a lot of fun. It has its shortcomings, for example being short, and the IAP for the third chapter is just taking the piss. The gameplay, most of it anyway, is a finely distilled bloodbath that has you switching from satisfying long distance headshots to jump-scare close-up panic shooting from one second to the next. The secret areas, power-ups, large shop of weapons, upgrades and score-boosters, high-score chasing and quest for a perfect run on every level keep you coming back for more and more.

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Arcadelife rating

Presentation – 9/10
Visuals – 8.5/10
Controls – 10/10
Content – 7/10
Fun – 9/10
Final rating – 9/10

GROOVY

Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.00
iTunes link
Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (iOS 6.0.1)
4th gen iPad (iOS 6.0.1)
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