30th Apr2013

‘House of the Dead: Overkill – The Lost Reels’ Review (iOS)

by Phil Wheat

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Manufacturer: SEGA
Specs: Requires iOS 4.3 or later (iPhone, iPod touch and iPad).
RRP: £2.99
Rating: 5/5

Based on the 2009 Wii hit, The House of the Dead: Overkill and developed by Magic Pockets (who were also responsible for the iPhone/iPod Touch zombie FPS Undead: In the Last Refuge, The House of the Dead: Overkill – The Lost Reels puts fans back into the action with original cast members Agent G and Detective Washington as they fight their way through Bayou City to Papa Caesar’s Mansion in another on-rails arcade shooter.

The game can be played either in Story mode, which sees you fight your way through three levels of carnage or Survival mode, where you face wave after wave of blood-thirsty zombies. Story mode is essentially the same as the Wii iteration of the game, with a graphical update of course, “remixed” for iOS but what makes this new version stand out is the fantastic, and intuitive, control system…

The decision to forgo a control stick overlay in favour of being able to use your fingers/thumb anywhere on the left of the screen means that you can find the position that’s best for you (although this game is so addictive that no matter how you control your crosshair you’re guaranteed to suffer from hand ache at some point). The House of the Dead: Overkill – The Lost Reels also features accelerometer compatibility, and the unlockable Frenzy Tap makes blasting zombies a breeze.

It’s not all perfect however, as there are some collision detection issues – namely in attempting to kill the hordes of zombies via headshots alone (yes I know you don’t HAVE to play the game this way, but it makes for more fun). On a few occasions a clear headshot would not kill a zombie and look more like a chest shot, whereas the opposite is also true: a chest shot would on occasion result in a headshot! It’s a small glitch that won’t spoil most people’s fun, unless you’re aiming (pardon the pun) for multiplier-increasing headshot bonus… Like me.

Killing zombies earns you Ka$h, the in-game currency and you can use the money to upgrade your arsenal through in-app purchases – making your pistol to something that really blasts through flesh. You can also enhance your killing prowess with combo extenders, reload boosters, and other game-changing upgrades.

Despite its few flaws, The House of the Dead: Overkill – The Lost Reels B-movie style action and over-the-top humor will ensure hours of finger-blasting (and finger-aching) fun. If you enjoyed either the Wii or PS3 iterations of the game, you’ll get a kick out of this portable version.

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