App of the day: House of the Dead Overkill - The Lost Reels review

House of the Dead has moved its lightgun-based arcade gameplay over to the smartphone. Bringing back memories of pound coin swallowing afternoons spent in arcades, it captures most of the fun of previous games in a handset sized package.

There is a bit of the dreaded in-app purchases going on, but other than that, the game is all about fun. Translating lightgun-based gameplay to the touchscreen isn't easy, but Sega has done a good job. Read on to find out why it's worth a download.

House of the Dead Overkill - The Lost Reels

Format
Android, iTunes
Price
£2.99
Where
iTunes, Google Play

You control House of the Dead Overkill in a way that initially seems counter intuitive, given previous games were based around shooting at an arcade machine. You would expect you tap an enemy to shoot them, but instead you use your left hand to control a crosshair and your right to reload and shoot.

The weighting is just right on the aim controls, so it's easy to hit targets accurately, as opposed to the usual darty controls on smartphone shooters. This makes going for head shots and hitting the limbs of the attacking zombies much easier, all resulting in more points. 

In-app purchases come into play with something called Kash, basically currency for buying weapon upgrades and new levels. At the end of each stage, you are given Kash depending on how well you played. In reality, you get enough to not need to put any real world money into the game. If you are the sort that wants to unlock everything straight away, then investing a bit of your own money will make the game a lot easier.

The game itself has two separate modes. You can choose between survival or story, the latter puts you through increasingly difficult stages with upgradable weapons to choose from and a very bare-bones story to enjoy. Survival is like Call of Duty: Zombies in that you shoot as many undead as you can before you run out of health. It's challenging and a fun way to play the game for brief moments of time on the train or bus.

Graphically House of the Dead is impressive, but not quite up to the standards of some other current smartphone apps. The £2.99 asking price is reasonable because there is a decent amount of content to work through. One of our favourite shooter apps right now, if just for its simplicity of gameplay.