Just beat this game. Overall, I rate it very positively, but it's not without its missteps for sure. Overwhelm excels in polish. The sound effects and visuals all play a part in the vibe that the game has, and it has a VERY strong sense of design which lends itself well to this vibe. On one hand, it's very arcadey and nostalgic, and on the other, it's dark, edgy, and scary. There were a few times during my playthrough where I genuinely jumped-- not as if there are any scripted jump scares, but the game's sounds, music, and aesthetic all make you tense to the point where when an enemy you didn't at first see jumps at you, it's hard not to be scared. It's not easy to establish that kind of fear in a 2D setting, but this game does it well. As a whole, it feels like all the components of this game, down to the music and level design, all contribute to that feeling, which gives it a great sense of unity.
Also contributing to how the game feels, the player is given strong control of the character, which helps to make it hard to blame the game for the player's shortcomings. The character moves fluidly and there are pleasantly few controls which are easily learned. The game does a good job of putting the character straight into the world without much need for explanation or tutorials, and that snappiness continues on into the rest of the game. Everything happens as fast as the player wants it to, which makes jumping right back into the game after losing so hard to resist.
Speaking of losing: This is not a game you can just breeze through, but it's not super difficult either. Some will definitely be left wanting more of a challenge, but I think for the size of the game and the amount of content available to the player, it takes just long enough to get good enough to beat the game. You become familiar with the world and its enemies without being annoyed by running through the same content again and again, losing again and again. It finds a good balance of difficulty.
I only have two complaints. First, the ending sequence (Don't worry, no spoilers) of the game is pretty weak. It's exciting, but the stakes feel very low after a certain point and the end of this short game which could have tied the experience with a perfect bow instead left me wishing it had ended a little more satisfyingly. My second complaint is the lack of replayability. I just beat the game, and I enjoyed it enough to where I want more, but after getting all the achievements (which is done simply by beating the game) the only thing left to do is speedrun, which isn't for everyone.
Tl,dr: Short but sweet. Wish it ended better, though.
Developer: Ruari OSullivan
Publisher: Untitled Publisher
Release Date: 11 Jun, 2018
Genre: Action, Horror
- OS: Windows 7
- Processor: Intel Core2 Duo 2.4GHz or equivalent
- Memory: 2 GB RAM
- Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5000 or better
- Storage: 200 MB available space