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The House of the Dead: Overkill - The Lost Reels

For: iPad   Also on: Android, iPhone

Schlock horror

Product: The House of the Dead: Overkill - The Lost Reels | Publisher: Sega | Format: iPad | Genre: Action, Shooter | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
The House of the Dead: Overkill - The Lost Reels iPad, thumbnail 1
Like a shuffling zombie, The House of the Dead: Overkill - The Lost Reels is back from the dead - or at least from an all-but-defunct console.

Also like a zombie, it's brainless, ugly, yet oddly fascinating all the same.

Where did they dig this one up?

Based on a four-year-old Wii shooter, THotDOTLR (blimey, even the shortened version is unwieldy) is a bit of a dog to look at - all chunky 3D models and basic textures.

That kind of fits into the whole schlocky B-movie feel that Sega is aiming for, though.

If you're not up on your console gaming history, Overkill took a detour from the usual straight arcade light gun kicks of the franchise.

Sega placed its undead tongue firmly in its rotting cheek.It's a foul mouthed, '70s exploitation flick-referencing slab of nonsense that's not for the young, the easily offended, or anyone looking for a pleasant word puzzle game for a sleepy Sunday afternoon.

Aim for the head

IAPs explained
Kash packs start from 69p / 99c for 6,500K, which won't get you any decent weapons but might get you an upgrade or three. £1.49 / $2.99 gets you 18,500K.

4,800K will unlock the final level, Naked Terror, which isn't too bad a price... but for the fact that the game already costs £2.99 / $4.99.

Why not simply build the cost in from the start?
The virtual light gun controls are mapped to an analogue area at the bottom left of the screen. Firing and reloading are handled by virtual buttons on the right of the screen.

As with other similar games this control system lacks the immediacy of straight-up tap-a-thons, but makes for a more satisfying game overall - there's genuine skill in nailing a headshot (though you can unlock a straight tap mode later in the game).

And headshots are one of the keys to success in THotDOTLR. Without such one-shot marksmanship, you'll quickly become overwhelmed on the tougher levels.

Enemies come at you from all directions and in a variety of shapes, from hulking chubsters who can take a few body shots to smaller running targets who can be tricky to pick off.

Light gun for hire

It's all very standard lightgun stuff. There are bonus kash stacks to shoot (but you'd better be quick) as well as health boosters and temporary time-slowing power-ups to help you clear congested areas.

You'll acquire more kash (that's not a typo, by the way) from successful runs through each level. This money can be put towards purchasing new weapons or upgrading your existing ones, as well as buying status-boosting 'gadgets.'

You can plough real money into the game in order either to purchase more virtual kash or to directly buy and upgrade weapons. It's slightly irritating to find that you have to upgrade in order to take on the first boss, regardless of how skilful you are.

Even more annoyingly, you have to splash out to purchase the final level. As there are only three overall, and the game costs £2.99 as it is, this seems unnecessarily stingy.

The House of the Dead: Overkill - The Lost Reels is a decent arcade blaster that will undoubtedly scratch your itchy trigger finger, but it arrives on an App Store with plenty of other games of this sort available - and many of these are better-looking and more generous packages.

It's good schlocky fun, but like a zombie its best days are well behind it.
The House of the Dead: Overkill - The Lost Reels
Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy | 30 April 2013
The House of the Dead: Overkill - The Lost Reels remains a decent virtual light gun game that translates pretty well to iPad, but its graphics haven't aged well and the IAP system is an unwelcome addition
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