You can never have too much Overkill

As an avid fan of the House of the Dead series, I approached House of the Dead Overkill: The Lost Reels with a slight feeling of concern. It’s an iOS and Android port of a game I thoroughly enjoyed, and it’s always worrisome to see a console game get adapted for smartphones and tablets. Now, having played the game for almost 20 minutes, my feeling of concern has turned into one of anticipation.

House of the Dead Overkill: The Lost Reels

But before I start waxing excitedly about what I liked, let me offer up a brief history lesson. House of the Dead: Overkill was first released for the Wii in 2009. Like previous entries in the series, it was a rail shooter where players served up a bullet-y lunch to any and all zombies in their way. In 2011, House of the Dead Overkill – Extended Cut was released for the PS3. The game featured two new levels, updated cutscenes, and PS Move support.

Also, fun fact: House of the Dead Overkill holds the world record for the most swear words in a game. What a pedigree!

House of the Dead Overkill: The Lost Reels is something of a best-of compilation of the past two Overkill releases. It features content plucked from both, as well as a revamped control scheme to better suit its new mobile digs. When you first fire up the game, you have the option of playing with either accelerometer or touch controls – although you unlock a “tap to shoot” control scheme upon beating the game. At the recommendation of a nearby developer, I opted for touch controls.

House of the Dead Overkill: The Lost Reels

On one side of the screen, I could drag my finger around to move the on-screen reticle. On the other side, I could tap buttons that allowed me to fire, reload, and unleash special weapons. In typical rail shooter fashion, I frequently found myself in a position where I didn’t reload fast enough and a zombie was trying to eat my face. It was frantic, it was fun, and most importantly, it worked like a dream.

Sega also made the excellent decision to not tone down the game’s over-the-top action. Each headshot rewards you with a bloody explosion of zombie meat, and tossing a grenade will result in a swift (and also bloody) death of all on-screen zombies. And this isn’t a case of violence for the sake of violence; it’s violence for the sake of awesomeness.

The Lost Reels is expected to hit iOS and Android in late April.