SHORT REVIEW: PC VERSION
What the hell is this? That Don’t Starve boat edition? Great, I do like me a bit of Don’t Starve. Oh… it’s not that. Another Kickstarter thing? Psssfh. Fine…
Turn based permadeath roguelike randomly generated world with a wanky quest. Enough buzzwords for ya’? Yeah? Great.
Let’s do it!
The first thing to do is skip the intro. Blah, blah save the world, magic gems or something, who cares. Intro skipped, excellent. Now we get to choose the two heroes to begin this awesome quest, the details of which elude me. Ok, only 2 heroes to pick from. Look’s like we have to earn our way to interesting classes. Fair enough, one of those games.
I’m in a tiny boat with other boats whizzing around the map and there are hundreds of teeny-tiny islands.
So what is the game?
Voyage to a lil’ Island, disembark and a quick insta-quest pops up. Make a choice or two and it will end in a warm fuzzy feeling with much needed supplies or a bloody fight. Or both. 6 different races populate the world and you can almost certainly piss them off, or if you’re a fancy pants, please them.
That’s the game.
Oh, also make chums, reveal secrets, upgrades and piece together the story through many many playthroughs.
The tiny quests are fine but I fear subsequent replays will lead to repeat “adventures”. This could be a very shallow game. Sod it, tired now. Let’s go to bed and try again tomorrow.
Yawn. You still here? Fighting is a huge chunk of the game, which was daunting. After the uninteresting combat of the Banner Saga and Bedlam I wasn’t overly enthused to plough any more of my life into the delicate art of turn based combat. Not without a break, lets give it a whirl. The combat in… what’s this game called again? The combat in Overfall is a bit interesting! Each of your turns comes in three parts. I know. An extra thing to do!
Normally in these types of game you move and smack someone in the head. Here you move, do a thing, such as heal or make someone bleed AND smack someone in the head. Each character class can do a myriad of things and finding these out is half the fun. The fights take place in small environments, but that’s ok, as it encourages quick battles that don’t outstay their welcome. In fact… everything in the game is kinda small.
Small quests, small boats, small dialogue, small quick battles, small islands, big giant cartoon heads.
Speaking of the art style it’s full of personality. Now that personality could be described as a crass loudmouth, but you wont see this art elsewhere. I especially enjoy looking at the Sharkhead blokes.
I’m not a huge fan of tactical games where you feel like you’ve already lost before you’ve even thrown a punch. Spiral death loops aren’t fun. The thrill of overcoming the odds appear absent as you’re outnumbered, swarmed and bludgeoned to death. You can’t heal your way out of trouble, nor run. You can upgrade your characters, hire two more mooks and earn a pretty penny with the quests.
Which begs the question, why have a roguelike quest system? Unless you hired a huge team of writers and wrote the equivalent of Lord of the Rings, you’d never have enough material for subsequent playthroughs. It is a damn fine effort, but soon you’ll be re-reading and skimming through the same text. The quests have to be short, so they’re closer to gags then traditional quests, how many times can you enjoy the same gag?
You can’t randomly generate story… not yet anyway. I’m sure we’ll see computerised digital monkeys typing stories in our lifetime, but I’m sure we’re a few years away from that. Actually… Hollywood might already be using them. Oh.. the game includes a storybuilder… I guess we’re the monkeys after all. Fair enough.
These rogue-like permadeath adventures are like gaming poker, as you attempt to play the hands you’ve been dealt. Every now and then the game will fuck you over. Nothing you can do about it. Reset and try again, hopefully with an upgrade of two in your pocket. Still, by keeping everything small the games pace is agreeable. It didn’t annoy me, nor did it grip me. The purchase price is right, as you wont feel hard done by if you take the plunge and spend a tenner.
Overfall is full of nice touches, yes some of them appear to be reappropriated from other games. Lasting mental effects from, say, Darkest Dungeon or warring gangs with reputations like, say, GTA2. Not a problem. It all comes together nicely. It’s a nice little game. It’s not a game I’ll scream “you must play this!” But hey, I liked… what’s it called again?
This might be one of those games to return to with a retrospective in 6 months time. Storybuilder and active updates from the developers might transform the good into the great.
If five is average, what do you think a six is? Consult the score guide for extra words!