Version Tested: PC
Available On: Windows, Mac and Linux
Developer: Pera Games
Publisher: Pera Games
Genre: Early Access, RPG
Official Site: Overfall
Release Date: Mar 1, 2015
Where to Buy: Steam
On paper Overfall sounds like a dream come true for any fan of role-playing games. With a feature list that includes permanent hero death, procedural world generation, and challenging and addictive turn-based combat. So you can understand why I was very excited to get my hands on it when Pera Games was kind enough to send us a copy to review.
Overfall is ambitious and daring, not to mention beautiful and spirited. The developers have taken elements from strategy-focused RPGs, Roguelikes, and procedurally generated open world games and thrown them together into one large hand-drawn mixing bowl. With so many different features the game could easily suffer from inconsistency in quality, thankfully that’s mostly not the case.
The story presented by Overfall is standard enough; you control a pair of adventurers who recently returned from a quest into another dimension to retrieve an artifact for their king. They return with a Viking inspired enemy called “The Vorn” hot on their trail. Finding themselves in a world centuries after they had left, the adventures must complete quests to gain the aid of various factions in their attempt to stop The Vorn. It’s not a classical masterpiece, but the story serves as a decent framework for the addicting gameplay. You will spend much of the game trying to win the approval of the various races to unlock more quests and gain their support against The Vorn.
The core of the game consists of traveling the overworld map, which is comprised of dozens of islands. Each island is controlled by a different faction and can contain quests, battles, shops, or a number of other events. The world is procedurally generated and you never know quite what you will get. Some of the islands I landed on even contained very entertaining easter eggs, including both “Pokemon” and “House M.D.” themed events. During my first game I landed on an island controlled by Orcs (who did not care for my intrusion) and despite my best efforts, my two heroes met their ends in this encounter. I was a little frustrated to see the game over screen so early, but I later learned to accept and sometimes welcome the chance to start a new game in Overfall.
As you complete the game’s many quests you will unlock various party members, abilities, and equipment that can be used in future playthroughs. Speaking of party members; although you only start with two, you will quickly unlock additional slots by completing quests and events. These slots can then be taken by the various characters that you meet on your adventures. There are dozens of possible candidates and learning how their abilities work is a lot of fun. There abilities and appearances are greatly varied, from a caveman to elven warriors, to undead forsaken.
Overfall’s has a turn-based battle system that uses hex-shaped tiles. The mechanics are similar to something like Final Fantasy Tactics, or Disgaea. You take turns moving your characters around the map and using their various abilities to heal, do damage, or buff/debuff. The difficulty of the encounters can be surprisingly high at times and will definitely keep you on your toes. This difficulty does have the positive effect of making your victories feel really good. In each consecutive playthrough, I was able to make it just a little bit further than the last time and this kept me coming back for more.
Aside from the main story, Overfall also has a “Story Builder” feature, which is a robust scenario creation tool. If you’re not the creative type, however, you are able to download other people’s storylines directly off of Steam. I haven’t messed around with this feature nearly enough, but I am intrigued by it and can see it extending the game’s life by many hours. Pera Games has even partnered with Chris Avellone (famous for Fallout and Planescape: Torment) to create a guide on how to create and engaging and enjoyable story.
My only real complaints with the game so far are a few difficulty balancing issues, and the generic main storyline. I did come across numerous typos and grammatical errors as well, although since the game is still in early access these will inevitably be corrected. At a completely reasonable price of $9.99, there is no reason you shouldn’t pick up this awesome game. If you are looking for a deep, open RPG, with great replay value then I would readily recommend Overfall.
- Graphics: Hand-drawn artwork is charming and well-made
- Gameplay: Deep and engaging, with a mix of elements from multiple genres
- Sound: Beautiful and atmospheric
- Presentation: Very well put together presentation, especially for early access
- Great hand-drawn graphics and atmospheric presentation
- Fun and engaging turn-based battle system
- Deep story building features adds longevity to game
- Generic main story
- Sometimes difficulty spikes with no warning
- Still some spelling and grammatical errors to work out