Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
There are a ton of great shooting gallery style games on mobile devices - probably because they seem almost quaint compared to the ridiculous technology in home consoles and touchscreen cell phones. Overkill Mafia plays like an old fashioned shooting gallery, but with the new age veneer of a detailed mafia universe.
The game is organized like a typical free shooter, where players have to complete missions and gain enough currency to upgrade their weapons, earn higher levels levels, or pay ahead if they've got enough on their credit card. Players stare down the barrel of a gun as an endless wave of enemy enforcers try to gun them in down in places that look like mobsters hangouts from the Prohibition Era.
The graphics are easily the game's best feature. It has a slick, black and white, indie comic look that sets the dark tone perfectly. The developers even took the time to include some great voiceovers for typical wiseguy characters, just to add an extra touch of tone and mood. The enemies are more than just flat targets. They have real depth and great modeling that actually make them look more real than most people will be willing to accept for a free game. As for the shooting, the targeting has a lot of freedom to move around and it's easy for anyone to pick up and play.
Unfortunately the gameplay is very repetitive as there's only so much one can do with a simple shooting gallery game. The targeting also feels tougher than it should be, making it tough to score that extra headshot or randomly placed bonus. It can also be tough to handle multiple enemies since there's no way to dodge oncoming bullets. So players will either take a lot of damage or die more than any mob enforcer should in the field.
Of course, it's not meant to be a mafia simulation but it does get annoying to deal with one enemy only to have the other slink away just as the first has been mowed one down. The challenge is that if they made it any easier, the game would be totally unplayable. There's only so much one can do to make a shooting gallery game where the targets can shoot back a real challenge.
Overkill Mafia's got a clever look, but it's more style than substance. The developers clearly put a look of work in making it look good but it needs some stronger gameplay to back it up and make it worth looking at as players are staring down the working end of their trusty firearm.