Overture
Gameplay 8
Graphics 6
Sound 9

Overture is a game that will challenge your reflexes, and often your patience, to the max. Despite the high difficulty, the game remains thoroughly enjoyable and is only let down by some rather generic visuals. The chiptune soundtrack is great though, and provided you aren’t expecting something with a lot of depth it will keep you busy for quite a while.

Gameplay: Fast, frantic and quite challenging, but also very addictive.

Graphics: The generic visuals are not bad, but definitely a little overused at this point.

Sound: The rocking chiptune soundtrack is definitely a highlight

Summary 7.7 Great
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Overture

Developer: Black Shell Games | Publisher: Black Shell Media | Release Date: 2015 | Genre: Indie / Action / RPG | Website: Official Website | Format: Digital Download

Overture is a game that wastes no time getting straight to the action. In fact, after launching the game you can pick your character and be neck deep in swarms of enemies within a matter of seconds. This comes at the cost of a story or any type of plot progression, but seeing as it is an action-adventure roguelike, there really isn’t much need for any superfluous stuff. What it does have though is 24 different characters to choose from and ten floors filled with monsters just waiting to rip you to shreds.

The developers of Overture list games such as Diablo, The Binding of Isaac, Realm of The Mad God and Zelda as their inspiration for this title, and these influences are immediately obvious. Your goal is simply to kill as many monsters as you can while grabbing loot, without succumbing to death. If your character is killed you lose all their items, but can keep whatever money they collected in order to unlock or upgrade characters before venturing into the dungeons again. Since the upgrades become progressively more expensive and the difficulty soars with each new floor there is quite a bit of grinding involved if you want to stand a chance. Levels are randomly generated though, which cuts down a bit on the repetition and the gameplay is addictive enough that you’ll continually jump back into the action after dying.

Overture is quite fast paced and has that same quarter munching arcade feel of early titles such as Gauntlet. Enemies attack in droves and you pretty much have to keep moving in order to stay alive. The game almost feels like a bullet hell shooter at times with the amount of projectiles and enemy sprites hurtling in your direction. This can make it tricky to see what goes on sometimes, but it is all part of the challenge. The game doesn’t have any multi-player modes, but considering how chaotic the screen can get I had a tough enough time keeping track of my own character.

The visuals of Overture is a bit of a letdown, not because they are bad, but because we have seen this style and sprites so many times before already. Apart from the familiar sprites and limited animations the randomly generated levels also feel a bit empty and featureless. Each level is basically a giant arena that is packed to the brim with monsters. There are different floor tiles such as grass, mud, water or lava, but these are only cosmetic changes and even water or lava will only slow down your character instead of doing damage.

The result is that the game can appear rather generic and it is not until you actually play it that you can appreciate how much fun it is. Skeletons, mummies, goblins, necromancers, zombies and many other creatures attack in relentless swarms, while tougher “named” monsters and overgrown mini-bosses roam around as well. In true RPG fashion, there are also treasure chests, pots and exploding barrels dotted around.

The audio on the other hand is brilliant and this is definitely a game where you won’t be turning down the volume. Each one of the tracks from the chiptune soundtrack is great and despite spending hours playing the game I never had the urge to mute the audio. The controls are responsive and you use the WASD keys to move while left clicking to attack and right clicking to use a special ability or equip whatever item you are standing on. To run you have to move your character in the direction of your mouse cursor which takes a little practice, but it is a vital skill, especially against bosses. I like the fact that it is easy to see if equipment on the floor is better than what you are wearing by simply moving over it and there is no fiddling with an inventory which can slow down the action.

Although only four initial characters are available, one from each class, you can use your hard earned cash to unlock more. The “Warrior” class features brawny melee fighters such as knights, soldiers and brutes while the “Mage” class is where you will find the spell casters such as wizards, witches and invokers. The characters have different attacks, but these all fall into specific categories such as melee, projectiles or homing projectiles. There are no skill trees and you do not unlock any new abilities for characters as they progress either. As you run around the dungeons you will also discover special crates that summon an NPC to your side when you run over them. These characters will help you fight, but only until they are killed which usually doesn’t take very long.

Since you pretty much do the same thing every time you play Overture there is no doubt that the game can become repetitive. You basically kill all monsters in sight while grabbing whatever loot and weapons are available until you are ready to kill the slimy blob guarding the stairs. After this you go down the stairs to take on a VERY challenging boss in a very confined arena before moving on to the next floor and doing it all again. After defeating a boss you can choose between a health or mana bar upgrade or sacrifice some cash to open chests for random equipment rewards.

Despite its shortcomings Overture is a very entertaining title and one that I will be returning to regularly. Players who are easily frustrated or demand a bit more depth from their titles might not like the action oriented approach of the game and there is no denying that it can get repetitive, but what is available is easily worth the low price tag. The game doesn’t do anything dramatically different or enhance the genre in a significant way, but it is a lot of fun and sometimes that is all that matters. Do yourself a favor and check out the demo first though.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 7
  • Processor: 1.0 GHz
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM
  • Graphics: Integrated Graphics
  • Hard Drive: 50 MB available space
  • Sound Card: Integrated Audio
  • OS: Windows 7
  • Processor: 1.0 GHz
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM
  • Graphics: Integrated Graphics
  • Hard Drive: 50 MB available space
  • Sound Card: Integrated Audio

Related posts

Regency Solitaire

Regency Solitaire

Regency Solitaire builds on the solid foundation of this addictive card game, but adds enough extra elements to keep you hooked. The game has a romantic storyline, beautifully drawn visuals and more than enough levels to keep you busy for ages. The challenges start out very simple, but quickly ramps up and you’ll need all the ballroom items you can find or purchase to even the odds. Even if the Regency era and casual games are not your cup of tea you’ll find that Regency Solitaire is addictive enough to make it worth your while. Gameplay: Very addictive and features plenty of extra elements to keep things varied. Graphics: Beautiful visuals, but the resolution is rather low by modern standards. Sound: Features a relaxing soundtrack and good effects, but no voice acting.

Knock-knock

Knock-knock

Knock-Knock is not a very conventional game, which is both a blessing and a curse. It is a title that can easily confuse and frustrate players as it is not very forthcoming with what exactly it expects from you. However, once you figure out the gameplay mechanics, you'll find that it can be an engrossing and creepy experience. Wandering around a house in the dark while fixing lights and hiding from ghosts may not sound very original, but the way in which Knock-Knock does things certainly is. In the end, it is another one of those love it or hate it games, which makes it hard to recommend to everyone. Gameplay: Frequently frustrating and quite repetitive, but also strangely compelling. Graphics: The 2D art is very unique and looks great. Sound: Not much in the way of music, but the sound effects are excellent.

Reverse Crawl

Reverse Crawl

Nerdook once again impresses with a title that delivers turn-based strategy in an engaging, humorous and very accessible manner. The visuals are charming, the gameplay addictive and although short, there are enough reasons to replay the game a couple of times. Anyone looking for a turn-based strategy title that can be enjoyed without a degree in military tactics should definitely add Reverse Crawl to their library. Gameplay: Easy to play, but with enough depth to keep it interesting right to the end. Graphics: Features the typical charming Nerdook visual style. Sound: No voice acting, but the music is pleasant enough.

Toast Time

Toast Time

It would be easy to dismiss Toast Time based purely on the simple visuals, but doing so would rob you of quite an addictive and challenging experience. Using a toaster to battle interdimensional enemies that are intent on destroying your alarm clock is just as goofy as it sounds, but this doesn't stop the game from being a lot of fun. Gameplay: Definitely captures the "just one more go" spirit of the simple arcade games from yesteryear. Graphics: Very simple, but quite charming, especially with all the ways to customize TERRY. Sound: Each level has its own catchy tune.

Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness

Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness

The Ultima series provided the world with some truly groundbreaking games over the years and it is great to see the humble roots of such an excellent series. This EGA version has been given a new visual coat of paint compared to the monochromatic original, but still looks archaic compared to modern titles. However, the gameplay, although simplistic, can still entertain if you are able to look past the limitations. Whether you want to play it for nostalgic reasons or simply see what all the fuss was about, Ultima 1 should definitely be owned by all retro fans and RPG aficionados. Gameplay: Truly great for its time, but obviously it is very simplistic by modern standards. Graphics: Once again good for its time, but time hasn’t been too kind. Sound: Nothing more than noise.

To Be or Not To Be

To Be or Not To Be

To Be or Not to Be is a faithful recreation of the original book by Ryan North, only enhanced by the Gamebook Adventures Engine from Tin Man Games. This means that there isn’t much here that’s new for people already familiar with the book. Anyone that hasn’t yet experienced the over the top interpretation of the famous tale should have lots of fun with To Be or Not To Be. The story is humorous and the artwork contributed by some very well-known artists are great. Gameplay: The story is great and with so many different endings to discover there is plenty of replay value. Graphics: Great presentation and brilliant artwork. Sound: The music is good as is the narration, although the latter can become repetitive.

Leave a comment

four × four =