House of the Dead: OTLR – Firing Away Again, And Again

2.0 Overall Score
Gameplay: 2/5
Design: 2.5/5
Duration: 1.5/5

Packed with in your face action | Humorous grind house style

Extremely repetitive tapping | Levels blend together | A lot of extra IAP options


The House of the Dead is a popular video game franchise, and for the first time it has come to iOS in the form of Overkill – The Lost Reels. The game is based on the 2009 Wii version, but with brand new alterations, while maintaing the same intense zombie shooting action. There’s never a dull moment as the zombies run right at you filling the first person perspective so that you need to blast them away before they’re right in your face. The zombies just keep coming with a few more popping up each time the screen shifts perspective. It’s an on rails shooter, which means your character moves automatically, and you simply drag to aim, and tap to shoot.
The on-rails style usually makes the game relatively passive, but in this case it’s practically essential with the overload of zombies to gun down. The heart of the game is story mode with three different worlds composed of four levels, with a boss battle each. There’s also a survival mode, and both modes maintain the non-stop action so that there’s always something on screen to shoot. The Lost Reels idea is based on remixing the story, and levels, but also the grind house style design to the game. There’s a film gradient layered on top of the 3D mutants, and blood splatter effects that you’ll witness. The graphics do appear to be a bit rudimentary when considering some other top tier iOS shooters.

The entire game delivers a humorous take on the zombie shooter, and it just feels like a classic arcade game, now at your fingertips. The touch controls work surprisingly well for effortless control for pinpoint head shots. Through all the features, you’re left with the same basic game each time as you repetitively point, and shoot with nothing else to do. The first set of levels present you moving around the same house over, and over, and the levels just drag on with the same three types of zombies coming at you. There’s not a single variation in the gameplay making it a tedious tap fest that grows stale as quickly as the zombie flesh. To make matters worse, weapon upgrades are practically essential, but the game is set-up with some freemium elements to upgrade your weapons. The game is already $5, and yet the third environment is a $2 in-app purchase, and you will need some extra in-game currency to get the weapon upgrades needed to survive.

The House of the Dead: Overkill – The Lost Reels ($4.99, Universal) is a bland, and repetitive shooter that doesn’t deliver anything that’s truly noteworthy or enjoyable. The title is longer than the actual gameplay, making it one to skip.


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