Rogue-like or Rogue-lite, these phrases and descriptions have shown up a lot in the last decade or so. We’ve had games like FTL, Rogue Legacy, Binding of Issac, Nuclear Throne, and a whole assortment with takes on the rogue-like genre and Overfall falls into the same category with it’s own twist of adding more RPG style elements with turn based grid combat.
Disclosure: This review was written using a press copy of the game.
First, I want to say Overfall has some great elements like its open world exploration. It has multiple islands for exploring and adventuring that you can visit with your boat. Each Island has events based on its type and are usually associated with a helpful shop or have to do with one of the many races in Overfall. When you reach an island, a small dialogue happens between your characters and whatever you meet. You then get the choice of how to respond, sometimes, and depending on what characters you’ve brought with you there might be some specific options. Most of the time you’ll either get a quest to travel to a different island, or be led to a round of combat. However, there are few instances where you can unlock new weapons, skills, or characters to choose from when you eventually die and have to continue.
This leads me to the next part of Overfall I like: the character choice aspect. Both in customization of starting gear and characters and their ability to influence certain events. When you start up, you have only two characters and a max party size of two, however as you progress and play through the game, earning reputation of recruiting other people, you can choose a new line up and have a larger party. Not only that, but each character has a plethora of moves, weapons, and items you can unlock and switch out to customize your party to your own liking.
However, with all these interesting story events, open exploration, and extensive party customization there is one thing that really turned me off from this game: it doesn’t give you any any game play information. Let me explain: while it explains its story a bit, has many things you can discover and experience story wise, gives you new characters and things to try, it doesn’t explain it’s game play in the slightest. To some this won’t be a problem, but combat is tough at first with only two party members. It has little tip windows that try to give you information, but the status effects are hardly explained and it’s very easy to die in moments if you get bad rng your first time. As I said, you are given an open world as well, but no direction at all. Just travel and hope you find what you need without getting killed along the way.
Overall, Overfall isn’t a bad game. I see a lot of potential and, if you can get past that initial few hours building up yourself enough to start with a chance, then it can be fun. But it expects you to figure your own things out, and do a little guess work. As well as have some good luck. It’s not the game for me, but if you enjoy rogue-like/lites, exploration, and RPGs, as well as can tough it out for a little while in the beginning, then you can really enjoy this game.