Mar 19, 2012
When it comes to handheld gaming, nothing beats the first-person shooter. We all cut our teeth on iconic arcade shoot-em-ups, and recreating those on Android devices is a treat.
Overkill from Craneballs Studios brings those arcade days back. Overkill is an old-school FPS in a modern, handheld package. Working on the well-used premise of a mercenary in a civilization that has collapsed, this action title required me to dispatch everyone I ran into.
The gameplay was straightforward. I got to take on a bevy of well-armed opponents that popped out from doorways, windows and shadowy passageways with a choice of artillery. It took a short while for me to figure out sights and reloading, but I got it down well enough. Depending on the player’s level, the graphical environment changes, adding new elements. For example, I started off shooting in what looked to be a shot-out warehouse; moving on, the game has outdoor and nightime UIs.
The options were straight to the point, allowing me to pick option like blood, crosshair availability and sound. Weapons are upgradeable by cash earned through performance, or — gasp! — real cash via In App Purchase (there are other ways to get “Overkill Medals” as well, like installing games from partner developers).
I found the little things interesting. For example, the periodic minutiae about guns and their origins was great for Jeopardy wannabes like me. The game makes Tips and Tricks available, and collects your stats and achievements as well as an overall leaderboard. All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by Overkill. In an Android gaming world packed with some major FPS ports, Overkill stands out from the pack in its simplicity. No major missions, or strategy. You just blast through waves of opponents. It hearkens back to simpler times, and is a fun game to own. I’d like to see multiplayer come to the Android port (like it is on iOS). For a game that is ostensibly free, Overkill shines when it comes to allowing the user adjust input.