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iPad  header logo

Overkill Mafia

For: iPad   Also on: Android, iPhone

Crude weapon

Product: Overkill Mafia | Publisher: Craneballs Studios | Format: iPad | Genre: Action | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Overkill Mafia iPad, thumbnail 1
A glance through the pages of history will reveal that most human conflicts have a familiar pattern to them.

Most are made up of the same motives, the same tactical principles, and the same critical mistakes.

Overkill Mafia might represent a radical shift in setting from the gritty near-future dystopia of Overkill 2 to a comic book gangster-noir America (think Sin City).

But it still pushes the same core gameplay and the same structure, and it suffers from all the same failings.

Same old mob

This is a simplistic static shooter, like those light gun arcade games that stand unused in the dustier corners of multiplex cinemas. Except, y'know, without the light guns.

Instead, you must aim your piece by swiping your left thumb on the screen. There's a deeply exaggerated movement ratio, so a slight movement from you will send your floating gun sight whizzing across the screen. This takes some getting used to.

Your right thumb is kept equally busy, pounding a virtual trigger button, stabbing the 'reload' button when you run out of bullets or suffer from a random gun jam, and using one of your limited-use healing packs.

Enemies wander out from the sides of the screens and pop out from behind cover at varying distances, and will open fire on you if you don't pop them quickly.

Fire and forget

Overkill Mafia is a very simple game, then, which makes any shortcomings to its core action all the more obvious.

We might be able to stand the repetitiveness - which involves ploughing through the same stages again and again and blasting the same goons - if the core gunplay was nigh-on perfect. It's not.

IAPs explained
Liquor is the premium currency here, and it's used to speed up upgrades and purchase the more specialised components and weapons.

£1.49 / $1.99 will get you a crate of 30 bottles, which is only enough to buy a revolver on the weapons front. It'll cover the premium trigger on your starting weapon, and just about covered the first magazine expansion in my first machine hun purchase.

The liquor packs max out at £34.99 for 950.

You can also purchase the more freely available coins, and any purchase removes the ads.
Popping off head shots is a lottery dependent as much on your chosen gun's accuracy stats as your own skills. It's truly frustrating to sit there with your gun's iron sight planted over an enemy mobster's bonce, pounding the 'shoot' button, and only scoring a headshot on your sixth shot.

Now multiply that by a couple of hundred, and you can begin to guess at my irritation levels.

The cost of war

You can improve your weapons and purchase better guns, but this element is tied into a frustratingly slow free-to-play currency system.

You might have to invest some of your premium liquor currency to purchase a new iron sight. You'll definitely have to wait for a cool-down timer to expire before some of the components you've bought get fitted - unless you pay more liquor to speed up the process, of course.

Such a system isn't automatically a bad thing. But in a straightforward blaster that's already a repetitive grind to its core, it grates just that little bit more.

Overkill Mafia might have bought itself a snazzy new 1930s business suit, but it's still a brainless trigger-happy oaf underneath.
Overkill Mafia
Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy | 22 May 2014
More clumsily unrefined gunplay from the Overkill series, but this time with a slightly classier 1930s comic book setting
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