House of the Dead Overkill: The Lost Reels is a first-person shooter from SEGA, the creator behind hot titles like Sonic Dash and Godsrule: War of Mortals. As a new entry to the classic House of the Dead franchise, this mobile version is now able to offer players a thrilling on-the-go shooting experience through multiple levels playable in several different modes with touch controls specially tailored for smartphones and tablets. However,repetitive gameplay, somewhat unwieldy controls, and unskippable shooting scenarios that you must complete before unlocking new ones make it hard for the game to hold the same appeal as the franchise did back in the 90s.
What happens to an undead mutant when you land a headshot on it? What?! — there are some undead who have learned to throw swords and other objects at you? You’ve got to check it out in House of the Dead Overkill: The Lost Reels! It will acquaint you with and require you to handle all sorts of infected beings in the shoes of Agent G. There are fat bald zombies, small-headed female zombies, brawny male zombies, and also nude zombies, each with various ways of threatening your life, including axing, clobbering, and grabbing onto you.
Two game modes challenge you with different levels of difficulty. As you can imagine, the story mode, as is the case in Enemy Strike, strings your action together with cutscenes. One such scene features a man calling for your help when he is surrounded by zombies. Survival Mode focuses more on unleashing waves of undead to test your shooting skill to the extreme. In Story Mode, you can directly enter the first “movie”, Papa’s Palace of Pain, which is composed of four levels and a boss fight at the movie’s end. The second movie called Ballistic Trauma is unlocked after you have played through the first, but the third, Naked Terror, must be purchased. Luckily, every movie is lengthy enough that you will be able to get a whole lot of shooting fun even if you are not willing to pay extra. You don’t have to worry about a shortage of things to do, since even the first movie may take a handful of hours from you before you notice. Sometimes, you may find it annoying to do the same shooting scenario several times in succession before unlocking the next level, but fortunately the persistently approaching zombies create a tension to help drive away the boredom to some extent.
The game plays out with a really simple goal: shoot each and every one of the undead that rushes your way. Leave one untouched and when it reaches you it will attack unceasingly. Six strikes and you will be dead as a doornail. If they are getting too close, you are in trouble, because there will be no time for you to reload if you run out of ammo before finishing them off. I would rather waste a few bullets than take the risk of being clobbered to death.
There is a cornucopia of upgradable guns available in the game, such as the minigun, magnum, shotgun, and submachine gun. Some are more powerful but may consume more bullets than normal guns, meaning you have to reload them more often. Shooting zombies in the head earns a Headshot bonus; killing them mid-attack earns a Block; and taking them down at a distance earns a Sniper bonus. These bonuses can bring you, which you can use to purchase and upgrade a wide array of useful things like weapons, gadgets, and consumables. Virtualor accelerometer control method allow you to take aim in different ways. The former asks you to move the aiming reticle with the touchscreen, while the later allows you to control the position of the aiming reticle tilting your device. Whichever control method you choose, you’ll become very familiar with the trigger icon in the bottom right corner.
House of the Dead Overkill: The Lost Reels is able to provide endless shooting thrill, but its challenging levels and a little repetitive gameplay may put some off after a few hours.