The House of the Dead: Overkill was an unlikely addition to the Wii’s line-up, but certainly a welcome one from Sega.
Since then, it’s been ported to PS3 with additional scenes and DLC and now finds its way on to iOS. Well, sort of.
You see, this House of the Dead game is still set in the same locations as Overkill, in fact it takes 3 different locations from the game and its extra content, but it recreates them as cleaner, lighter affairs, even though the zombies themselves fill the hallways in the same way.
There are only a few areas available in this paid app before having to shell out more money for the third and final level. The same goes for the characters, with only the 2 male leads available from the start. Still, in its defence, the iOS version is geared far more to score attack games where replaying the level over and over is the norm.
The areas seem to be that much brighter than their console counterparts, too. Whether this is so that they’re easier to see or make better backgrounds for the zombies to appear in front of, the feeling of grim and grotty B-movie locations has completely gone, replaced by a regular shooting gallery set-up that wouldn’t look out of place in one of Sega’s other lightgun games. That’s not to say it looks awful, far from it. There have been some obvious compromises, but overall it still manages to impress.
Zombies themselves are less impressive, with only a few character models being repeated over and over in any one scenario. They do animate well, though, and still come at you as limbs are blown off thanks to your trusty shotgun. The difference in their speed and attack method helps to mix things up a little, though doesn’t quite make up for the limited number of different zombies on offer.
Control is where a lot of lightgun titles on iOS fall down, often resorting to motion controls with the accelerometer, and OTD:Overkill The Lost Reels has the same issue, but it also uses a virtual stick and cross hairs option by default which turns out to be a whole lot better. All you do is aim and fire with the button on the lower right of the screen. It’s pretty responsive, even if the cross-hair detection seemed a little off when aiming.
The game is short, the 2 levels will be over before you can say ‘I killed another zombie’ and the stumping up of more cash for the final level is a sting in the tail, but those who like their score attack games will be encouraged to keep coming back for more thanks to Game Center support and the Survival mode, which pits you against ever more dangerous waves of enemies in a small space.
House of the Dead: Overkill – the Lost Reels is short but instantly playable. It’s a very cut down version of a much loved game and doesn’t offer much in the way of longevity, but with some clever controls and replayability thanks to the focus on score attack it’s still worth a look for fans of lightgun games.